There are many different marketing approaches to consider when promoting your restaurant. However the most effective, or what some may consider the most crucial tool, is your restaurant’s menu design.

While the celebrated quote says, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, or in this case, a ‘restaurant by its menu’; food enthusiasts such as ourselves find it a little difficult sticking to these morals… for good reason.

A menu can either enhance or entirely ruin a diners’ experience, it is where your food gives its first impression. As a top marketing agency in London, we provide a range of services in the field of marketing from influencer marketing to local marketing, to email marketing. Among these, the role of design is an essential strategy used to enrich a restaurant. Read on to find out how you can design a menu that will knock the socks off your customers.


Consider a One-Sheet Menu

Menus come in all shapes and sizes, like booklets, bi-fold book formats, tri-fold brochures etc. On the other hand, an effective menu does not have to be this complicated. It may be more efficient to reconsider the simple one-sheet menu.

The one-sheet menu has recently caught the attention of many restaurateurs across the globe. It is the most conventional and practical option making it easy to print, flexible in terms of menu changes, and a sufficient enough format to hold relevant information, imagery, or design assets while keeping it safe and minimalistic.

Pair your one-sheet menu with a wooden clipboard or slate board to give your menu a trendy backdrop and your restaurant an ideal aesthetic.


Create a Grid on Your Menu Template

A menu with poor layout structure and large blocks of text can make it difficult for a customer to understand, but simple typographic arranged menu designs can create a more enjoyable experience for those who are willing to pay for your services.

Typographic designs are divided using grids that display sequentially arranged sections such as appetisers, soups/salads, entrees, desserts, and beverages. These grids may use multiple styles of dividers such as borders, ribbons, banners, and other shapes.

Each section is clearly identified with bold headings highlighting the restaurants’ services or to draw a customer’s attention to popular dishes or specials/house favourites.

Make Food Look Fun!

In order to stray from a ‘dull’ restaurant, introduce bright pops of colour into your menu design. These are perfect for family restaurants, bars, and fast-food joints. The colours you use can make your restaurant look like an enjoyable and fun experience while lifting the spirits of those who visit.

Like a burger and fries, bright colour and bold typography go incredibly well together! Both combined work as an unstoppable force making a menu exciting and exceptionally unique. But beware, a menu that becomes a visual overload can leave an unpleasant taste for visitors – stick to those pre-designed grids to keep your text and colours looking balanced.

Reflect your restaurant

Additionally, your menu design must act as a reflection of the restaurant itself. Therefore, your menu colour scheme and font selection should mirror the restaurants’ theme, location, and concept, just like this one from London Stock.

Whether your restaurant is casual/playful or formal, the same thinking must be applied toward your design decisions. For example, a French bistro might have a simple serif font or preferably a classic script font paired with a range of pastel colours. Compared to a Mexican restaurant which would sport a more expressive typeface and brighter pops of colour such as red, yellow, and green. If either of the two design approaches were paired with the other, the menu would look out of place in a restaurant.

Make your customers’ mouth water

When it comes to the menu description, the goal is to ensure you have the guests craving your food. Include an enticing and vivid description of key ingredients in a specific dish, or use ethnic names to create an authentic atmosphere within your restaurant.

Combining local history or geography into your menu descriptions is another great way to make your restaurant stand out from others. For example, a classic Belgian waffle or a couple of Texas barbequed ribs sound more inviting whether you are eating in those respective locations or not.

However, simplicity is key, it is important you keep the menu descriptions sweet and simple – overcomplication will only confuse your customers.

We hope these tips are useful and will be incorporated into your strategy to drive your results further. If you would like our help with marketing, want us to share further expertise, drop us a message here!

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