Designing a great menu. Includes our glossary of menu lingoGuide Book #4
A great menu is much more than just a list of food andprices.Your menu is often the first thing your customers seewhen they take a table at your restaurant, and may evenbe the reason they came through your doors in the firstplace.But you would be surprised how many restaurantsspend little or no time on menu design and miss out oneasy ways to help drive sales of their most profitabledishes.Inside this guidebook you will find everything you needto know about designing a great restaurant menu fromlayout to pricing.You will also find a glossary of mouth wateringadjectives and some excellent tips on how to turn yourmenu into your most important marketing tool.
Lets Get StartedBefore you sit down to write your restaurants menu, you should first consider some important Stayfactors. flexible when you first open.How will you restaurants menu be different from everyone else’s? How are you going to stand Don‘t over investout, what will be your signature dishes. in the printing of menus as you may have toUnderstand the link between the restaurant kitchen and a restaurant menu. The size and make changessetup of your restaurant kitchen will directly impact the size and style of your menu. A smallerkitchen will limit the variety of your restaurant menu.Items on a restaurant menu should be versatile. Cross utilization of menu items keeps foodspoilage down and allows you to use ingredients in more than one dish.Ensure your dishes are easy to prepare, unless of course you plan to get a Michelin Star. Anymenu items that have over fussy presentations will potentially bog down the kitchen staff during alunch or dinner rush.Know your customers. Probably the most important thing to keep in mind when designing yourmenu is your customers. Who do you want to attract. A sports bar will require a very differentmenu than a fine dining French restaurant.Check out your competition. Study their menus to see their pricing. Look for similarities anddifferences between your prospective restaurant menu and theirs. Look at their layout, how arethey promoting their signature dishes.Get Inspiration Collect as many menus as you can get your hands on and go-online. Today manyrestaurants have PDFs of their menus that you can download from their sites.
Menu StylesThe Leader Bound BookOnce regarded as the height of chic in top end restaurants, the leader book seems alittle tired and old fashioned these days .Today they are probably best suited for a country house or perhaps your wine list.If you do decide to go with this style try to find a colour that suits the overall design andbranding of your restaurant. If in doubt, black classic style covers will go with mostrestaurant designs.Most suppliers will also imprint or emboss your logo on the front of the cover to helpbrand your restaurant.The Laminated MenuUsually a one pager or a two-panel menu (one that opens like a magazine), this type ofmenu is very popular with restaurants with a large footfall as they help to help turntables. They are great for sports bars, fast casual and family friendly restaurants.The advantages of this style are that are cheap to produce, easy to handle and offerlots of scope for creativity. They are also probably the only style of menu that can handlephotos.Disadvantage – The can easily become tatty.Quick tip, if you have a double sided menu put main courses on both sides asyou have no control over which side the person is reading.
One-Use-Only Paper MenusOne-Use-Only Paper Menus have become very popular in recent years withrestaurants that have a relaxed atmosphere. They also often double as place matsin canteen style restaurants. A4 or A3 are usually the most popular sizes. Papermenus allow you give a fresh menu to every customer and have the addedadvantage that customers can take home the menu with them.The Classic Page TurnerAre still the most popular form of menu. These are great for restaurants with a lot ofdishes , but they can slow down decision making. Make sure you split it into clearsections.The ChalkboardThe chalkboard is great for gastro pubs and neighbourhood restaurants as theycreate a sense of homespun cooking. Make sure you have an employee with clearhand writing. Dont use different colours, stick with white and dont actually use chalkbut use chalk pens. Chalkboards are also great for promoting specials.
Menu Layout AccordingCareful layout of your menu is critical. We know that most customers are going to order to restaurantan entrée when they open the menu, so your goal is to ensure the customer sees the consultantsmore profitable items first. interviewed by Restaurants USA magazine, re-It is critical that you are aware of the most valuable real estate on your menu. On a solo designing yourpage layout, its a proven fact that the more profitable items should be placed on top and menu canbottom thirds of the page. On two-panel (page) menus people most often look at the top improve yourright-hand side first. On three-panel (page) menus, people most often look at the centre sales on average from 2 to 10panel first, and then move counter clockwise. These areas should be reserved for more percent.profitable dishes since it is the best place to catch–and retain–the reader‘s gaze.Remember cheap, popular staples like a burger should be harder to locate. This is akinto the grocery store putting the milk in the back. You have to walk by all sorts oftempting, high-priced items to get to it.The order in which dishes appear is also important. People most often remember andbuy the first two items or the last menu item in each menu category. Place your menuitems with the highest gross profit in these spots on the menu.Borders and boxes are also a great way to draw attention to special parts of your menu.Our eyes are drawn to boxes, and diners are statistically more likely to order whatever isinside them. Restaurants reserve them for profitable items or dishes the chef wants topromote.Finally do not fear white space as it allows the eyes to pause and rest.
PricingOnce you have your restaurant menu drafted, it‘s time to decide on selling prices for See the change ofeach dish. seasons as an opportunity toDownload the Catering Mentor costing tools and GP calculator to help you decide on introduce spring,your selling prices. summer, autumn and winter menus that reflect theUnderstand the psychology of pricing. Above £5, add 95p. Since price increments of productsless than £1 don‘t change the perceived value of a dish add £0.95 to any item thats available, themore than £5. For example, since £12.50 and £12.95 have the same perceived value, holidays of theso go with £12.95 to maximize your profits. season and seasonal eating habits.Avoid listing prices down the right-hand margin. This can result in customer scanningdown the list of prices and choosing the least-expensive items. It is much better to addthe prices at the end of each description within the body of the text using the same fontand size, so that they cannot be read easily together and compared.Removing the £ sign can further help the customer focus on the product, not the price.Update your menu periodically and remove items that aren‘t selling. Download theCatering Mentor Menu Engineering Tool. This powerful and fully automated tool, helpsyou assess the profitability of your menu items based on their food cost, selling priceand popularity
Menu DescriptionsYour menu description should make a guest‘s mouth water. The adjectives lavished on a If yourdish can be as important as the names of the ingredients. What would you rather eat, customersgrilled chicken or flame-broiled chicken with garlic rub? have trouble pronouncing theHowever avoid making descriptions too long. A sentence or two is fine. You want to names of your dishes, numberintrigue the customer. If they have more questions, their server should be able to give them! Its muchfurther information about a dish or recommend a house favourite. easier to order a #9 than it is to tryIncorporating local references and traceability can also help your restaurant menu stand to puzzle out howout. For example, Galway Bay oysters sounds very inviting. I was recently in a great little to pronounce an unfamiliar namerestaurant in Scotland that use blackboards to display their daily fish specials andincluded the name of the fishermen who had pulled in the catch.Check out the Catering Mentor glossary of foodie buzz words for inspiration when writingyour menu. Here you will find hundreds of Scrumptious, Yummy, Heavenly, Melt in themouth, Indulgent and Irresistible adjectives.
Final checklistDo: Enlist theOffer a balance of unique dishes and old favourites talent of a local artist toGive personal recommendations design a cover.Place side orders and add on in a prominent position Perhaps youPromote New Items and Specials. Highlight them with a box or a ―New!‖ graphic. could show caseChoose a great typeface. Check out www.dafonts.com a different localMake the desserts sound like a must have treats artist every time you reprint yourUse table tents to promote deserts menu.Have a balance of high and low food costs for a reasonable profit margin.Highlight sharing dishes ―These are often bought by couples on dates who are moreconcerned with the experience that the price‖Have a signature dishesInclude symbols and icons for healthy options and allergy free dishes etc.Offer wine and beer matchesAlways ensure that your menus are cleanDont:Over work dishes by using expensive and pretentious itemsLitter your menu with superfluous adjectivesAdd to many pictures or busy backgrounds, that make the menu hard to read.Use clipartUse £ signsHave too many dishes. The optimum number of dishes in a category is between five andseven. If you have too many dishes it decreases the value of each itemHave spelling mistakesMake your menu 10 pages long
Glossary of menu descriptorsTake advantage of your menu‘s power by including menu lingo that sells.Below you will find 100‘s of foodie buzz words to help you write an inspired menu. Here you will findhundreds of Scrumptious, Yummy, Heavenly, Melt in the mouth, Indulgent and Irresistible adjectives..But remember only great ingredients make for great descriptions, so never exaggerate whats in a dishVegetables On a bed of Candied Side OrdersHand Cut Medley Stuffed with For even more flavour,Crunchy Steamed Array of add one of these toLocally sourced Crunchy slaw Sautéed your favourite entrée:Organic Field mushroom Cholesterol free An assortment ofOrgasmic Generous Portion of Chunks of Bite SizeSpring Complemented by Colourful Paired withSummer Home-style Julienne Perfect for dippingAutumnal Served with Mushy AccompanimentsWinter Chunky Served with your choice Served with your choiceBaby Local of ofWood Roasted Fresh SteamedBrambly Apples Seasonal Dressings/Sauces/TopHand cut Roasted Pastas and Rice pingsJacket potato Oven Baked Aromatic DecadentBaby Medley of Fluffy With an extra drizzle ofWarm salad of Rustic Al dente RichCaramelised Crispy Simply noodles Mouth wateringGolden brown Over crispy Be specific with your ChunkyPresented on Sweet pasta: fettuccine, linguine A balsamic glaze
Fiery Soup and Sandwiches Char-grilled Aged just rightSweet Open toasted 100% prime beef, Cooked to your likingLight A thick and creamy Fall-off-the-bone ribs Encrusted withDrizzled Wholegrain Flame grilledFinished with Floured Bun Game FishSaffron-infused gravy Croutons for extra crunch Hand-trimmed Hand-BreadedDevilishly hot Scoop of Jersey cream Expertly seasoned Lightly BreadedRoasted garlic Country style flavoured with Delicately grilledmayonnaise Hearty Over a red hot grill to Catch of the dayTangy Meaty seal in its bold flavour Sautéed in butterCrowned with Served with fresh crusty For an indulgent steak BroiledAromatic bread experience Oven-roastedHouse Low Calorie Thick cut filet FarmedSplash of Lightly Toasted Well-marbled SeaRubbed with Winter Seasoned to perfection SmokedBrushed with Open faced Our aged prime rib Crispy BatterFlavoured with a hint of Cooked to a unique Hand-carved to order Freshly CaughtA jug of recipe Free Range Hand batteredAioli Slow-roasted to capture Caught byButtery Meat the full flavours Daily catchSage Jus Pan Fried Seared on a red hot grill TempuraLightly seasoned Grilled to your liking The steak lovers steak BatteredBlend of secret spices Skewered British Beef Hand-selected GriddledTopped with Top side of Succulent Juicy SteamedServed with our signature Tender Dry-cured Slither Fresh waterBBQ sauce Skewered Seared Juicy Smoky barbecue SustainableCooked to order Perfectly grilled Aged Simply GrilledSticky Steaming Hot Black angus beef Flash friedBrushed with Cured 28 day aged BraisedSmothered in Choice Cut Sizzling
Pizza Moist layers of An all time favourite KidsHand-stretched Have your cake... and Ample Just for kidsThick and fluffy eat it! Copious Junior portionWood Fire Cant decide? Sample Shouts ―eat me!‖ Mini Me PotionOur thinnest, lightest, three of our most popular Pureed Made for dunkingcrispiest pizza EVER!!! desserts Velvety pudding GooeyRecipes from the heart of New York-style Enveloped in ChewyItaly cheesecake Reduced MunchyMade to share Irresistible Desserts Winter spiced ScrumptiousHand rolled Sumptuous Warning—May be YummyClassic Neapolitan Slab of addictive ZestyShaved Parmesan Sandwiched between taste sensation ½ portions of ‗ mom &Stone baked Meet in a frenzy of A perfect combination of dads ‗ main coursesThin crust Lavishly made with two favourites ZippyItalian seasoning Guilt Free Why not ask for two DeliciousMediterranean Simply irresistible spoons Messy Luscious Baked Goods Itsy BitsyDessert Retro classic Straight out of the oven Chick oLiciousMolten chocolate Served with clotted Baked off freshly in store Deep Sea DippersCool cream. daily Jelly DelightCreamy Melt-in-the-mouth Artisan Adult free zoneTender Creamy Gluten free NutritionalWhipped cream Divine HeavenlySomething sweet Dollop of IndulgentTreat yourself Celestial LusciousNaughty but nice Crumbly PlumpAn indulgent twist on the Delectable The ultimate treatclassic Generous portion Served steamingA crunchy concoction Lashings of ice cream Baked fresh daily blissful
Misc. Smoothies Ethically sourced ComplexNot for the faint hearted Nourishing blends no-frills black coffee Fruitful marriage of twoA warm feast of With big fruit flavour 100% Arabica beans top grapesAuthentic Cool and refreshing Freshly ground daily Subtle and spicyOur Famous Tangy Brewed fresh all day Award winningTraditional Blended Topped with sprinkles Bursting with flavourMade the old fashioned Healthy Spiced Latte Superbly lightway Techni-colour Brew of the day Sensuously smoothPrepare to be impressed! Ultra Cool Luxurious hot chocolate SucculentOur signature The icy-cold original Stunningly complexDive in Wine MellowLegendary Beer Dry Fresh, zesty citrus fruitDare to share Fuller-bodied Easy Drinking flavoursA real British favourite Pilsner-style Crisp Dark and luscious withA feast of Dark Fresh and fruity cherry flavoursNeed we see more Robust Great withLoaded Complex Full bodiedEnjoy the taste of Spain Distinctive Bite Crisp and refreshinglyHungry?? Strong and crisp dryHunger Buster American Style A versatile all-rounder toDesigned for kids Popular Import complement most food.Has quickly become a Clean Finish Bursting with fruithouse favourite Chilled Ideal with milder foodEndless supply of Served in Frosty Mugs Seriously fruitycooking is fit for the gods Cold-filtered Crafted especiallyA bold twist on a classic Packs a punchMade for sharing Coffee TeaWhy not go large BlendedGastronomically Frothydelightful ClassicGrab a real taste of Artfully roastedSpain