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How to design restaurant menu?

Why a menu is important for a restaurant?
It is a huge challenge to design menu for your restaurant. A menu of a restaurant may prove as a key to success for the hotel business. The menu is the core tangible asset of a restaurant which provides all the information regarding food items, dishes and their prices. A menu is a best communication channel in a restaurant, as it shows which food items are available in the restaurant.
Many times a menu shows the attractive colours and appetizing images which make customers curious about the food and they want to taste it. A perfect menu may help restaurant in marketing activities. A menu depicts what restaurant has for its customer’s i.e dishes, items, offers, discounts etc. A menu is a core element as it is the basis of all the food operations. It also gives instruction to restaurant staff about the material equipment and skills needed to maintain the availability of the food. The good image of a restaurant is created through its well designed menu.
Gayle King said:
“I have an impressionable palate. A well worded menu or beautifully presented dish excites me. I get a great deal of pleasure just thinking about food.”
Hence a perfect menu meant a lot to every person who comes to your restaurant. So make your menu smart and appetizing. As customers always starts with a menu, when they are in your restaurant.If it is colourful, it will appeal the customers.
We may say that a menu is catalogue or a card which shows all the offerings of your restaurant. We may say that menu is not the product of a restaurant but it tells the story of the product line of the restaurant. The menu defines the food items with its prices which a customer wants.
A good menu creates positive image before a guest select dishes and go for an order. Every restaurant has a theme, so the menu should always be designed according to that theme. If a restaurant has a vibrant look, then menu should be of bright colours because bright colours always show energy, excitement and happiness. Whereas if a restaurant doesn't have a vibrant look and interior, it should go with menu having soft and light colours as they show care, harmony, peace and calmness. Some restaurants have over details which has a negative impact on customers. A menu should look pretty and provide only useful details to customers.
Joe Bastianich has said:
“The menu should be part of entertainment part of the dining experience. It’s kind of like reading “Playbill” when you go to the theatre. It should be alluring and interactive document. Does it have burn marks on it from the candle? If you ever get a greasy menu with food stains on it, it’s time to run like hell. “
The well designed menu helps to retain customers. The loyal customers visit your restaurant often. The cost and expenses can easily be known to the restaurant staff through a menu. You can also publish your menu on your website to increase traffic. People want to view menu before going to a restaurant. An online menu provides all the information about the available dishes in a restaurant. Make different designs for your menus and pick the best one.
There are some recommendations to design a menu:
Use colours that match the restaurant theme
Make specific categories of food items
Classify food in the related categories
Divide page and do menu engineering
Placement of dishes with low and high prices
Mix the low and high prices items
Don’t make crammed menu
Use appetizing images
Use words that makes the food delicious in customer’s mind
Highlight offers, discounts, birthday or holiday packages etc
Use arrows, bullets, boxes etc

Bistro Services Researcher
Feb 2016 , Feb 12
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