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Bizimply Guidebook - Designing a menu


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Help ensure you get the most from your menu. A well thought out menu design can help to increase visitor satisfaction and increase your overall sales.

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Bizimply Guidebook - Designing a menu

  1. 1. A Great Menu It is so much more than a list of food and prices. Your menu is often the first thing your customers see when they take a table at your restaurant. It may even be the reason they came through your doors. You would be surprised how many restaurants spend little or no time on menu design and miss out on easy ways to help drive sales of their most profitable dishes. This guidebook has what you need to know about great menu design From layout to pricing we have it covered. There is also a glossary of mouth watering adjectives and some excellent tips on how to turn your menu into your most important marketing tool. | 2
  2. 2. BEFORE YOU START HOW WILL YOUR MENU BE DIFFERENT? How are you going to stand out? What are your singnature dishes? WHAT IS THE LINK BETWEEN THE MENU & YOUR KITCHEN? A smaller kitchen will limit the variety of your restaurant menu. ARE YOUR MENU ITEMS VERSATILE? Keep food spoilage down and use ingredients in more than one dish. ARE YOUR DISHES EASY TO PREPARE? Unless you plan to get a Michelin Star, any menu items that have over-fussy presentations will bog down your kitchen staff. DO YOU KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS? A very important thing to remember when designing your menu is your customers. Who do you want to attract? HAVE YOU CHECKED OUT THE COMPETITION? Study their menus to see their pricing. Look for similarities and differences between your prospective restaurant menu and theirs. GET INSPIRED! Collect as many menus as you can get your hands on. | 3
  3. 3. Stay flexible when you first open. Don’t over invest in the printing of menus. You may have to make changes | 4
  4. 4. MENU STYLES THE LEATHER BOUND BOOK THE CHALKBOARD Once regarded as the height of chic in top end restaurants, today, the leather book seems a little tired and old fashioned .Nowadays they are best suited for a country house or perhaps your wine list. The chalkboard is great for gastro pubs and neighbourhood restaurants as they create a sense of homespun cooking. Make sure you have an employee with clear handwriting. Don’t use different colours, stick with white and don’t actually use chalk, use chalk pens. Chalkboards are also great for promoting specials. THE LAMINATED MENU Usually a one or a two panel menu (opens like a magazine). This type of menu is very popular with restaurants with a large foot-fall as they help to turn tables. They are great for sports bars, fastfood, casual and family friendly restaurants. The advantages of this style is that they are cheap to produce, easy to handle and offer lots of scope for creativity. One disadvantage is that they can easily become tatty. ONE-USE-ONLY PAPER MENUS These have become very popular in recent years with restaurants that have a relaxed atmosphere. They also often double as placemats in canteen style restaurants. Paper menus allow you give a fresh menu to every customer. THE CLASSIC PAGE TURNER These are still the most popular form of menu. They are great for restaurants with a lot of dishes , but they can slow down decision making. Make sure you divide it into clear sections. | 5
  5. 5. According to restaurant consultants interviewed by Restaurants USA magazine, re-designing your menu can improve your sales on average from 2% to 10% | 6
  6. 6. MENU LAYOUT Careful layout of your menu is very important. We know that most customers are going to order an entrée when they open the menu, so your goal is to ensure the customer sees the more profitable items first. MOST VALUABLE REAL ESTATE On a solo page layout, it’s a proven fact that the more profitable items should be placed on top and bottom thirds of the page. On two-panel (page) menus people most often look at the top right-hand side first. On three-panel menus, people most often look at the centre panel first, and then move counter clockwise. These areas should be reserved for more 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. The order in which dishes appear is also important. People most often remember and buy the first two items or the last menu item in each menu category. Place your menu items with the highest gross profit in these spots. Finally, do not fear white space as it allows the eyes to pause and rest. | 7
  7. 7. See the change of seasons as an oppertunity to introduce spring, summer, autumn and winter menus. Reflect the seasonal products available and holiday eating habits | 8
  8. 8. PRICING Once you have your restaurant menu drafted, it‘s time to decide on setting the prices for each dish. In order to maximise your proofit it is important to understand the psychology of pricing. ABOVE £5? - ADD 95p Since price increments of less than £1 don‘t change the perceived value of a dish, add £0.95 to any item that’s available when it costs more than £5. For example, since £12.50 and £12.95 have the same perceived value, go with £12.95 to maximize your profits. SCANNING Avoid listing prices down the right-hand margin. This can result in customer scanning down the list of prices and choosing the least expensive items. It is much better to add the prices at the end of each description inline with the body of the text and using the same font. Removing the £ sign can further help the customer focus on the product, not the price. | 9
  9. 9. If your customers have trouble pronouncing the names of your menu items, number them. Its much easier to correctly pronounce “No. 9” than “Nicoise Salad” | 10
  10. 10. MENU DESCRIPTIONS Your menu description should make a guest‘s mouth water. The adjectives used to describe a dish can be as important as the names of the ingredients themselves. What would you rather eat “garlic chicken” or “flame-grilled chicken with garlic marinade” Avoid making descriptions too long, a sentence or two is fine. The names of your dishes should intrigue the customer. If they have more questions, their server should be able to give them further information about a dish or recommend a house favourite. Incorporating local references and traceability can also help your restaurant menu stand out. Galway Bay Oysters sound very inviting. I was recently in a great little restaurant in Scotland that use blackboards to display their daily fish specials and included the name of the fishermen who had pulled in the catch! Check out the glossary of food buzz words at the end hundreds of scrumptious, yummy, heavenly, melt-in-the-mouth, indulgent and irresistible adjectives. | 11
  11. 11. Enlist the talent of a local artist to design your menu cover. Perhaps you could showcase a different artist each time you reprint the menu. | 12
  12. 12. MENU TIPS WHAT TO DO • Offer a balance of unique dishes and old favourites • Give personal recommendations • Position side orders and add ons in a prominent position • Promote new items and specials • Choose a great typeface (check out • Make the desserts sound like a must have treats • Use table tents to promote the deserts menu • Have high and low food costs for a reasonable profit margin. • Highlight sharing dishes These are often bought by couples on dates who are more concerned with the experience than the price • Include symbols and icons for healthy options and allergy free dishes • Offer wine and beer to go with food dishes • Always ensure that your menus are clean | 13
  13. 13. MENU TIPS WHAT NOT TO DO • Over-work dishes by using expensive and pretentious items • Litter your menu with superfluous adjectives • Add too many pictures or busy backgrounds • Use clipart or similar images • Use £, $ or € signs • Have too many dishes The optimum number of dishes in a category is between five and seven. Too many dishes decrease the value of each item • Have any spelling mistakes in the menu • Make your menu too long | 14
  14. 14. Glossary Take 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 Vegetables Array of Autumnal Baby Candied Caramelised Cholesterol free Chunks of Chunky Colourful Complemented by Crispy Crunchy Field mushroom Fresh Generous Portion of Golden brown Hand Cut Home-style Julienne Local Locally sourced Medley Mushy On a bed of Organic Orgasmic Oven Baked Presented on Roasted Rustic Sautéed Seasonal Spring Steamed Stuffed with Summer Sweet Warm salad of Winter Pasta & Rice Al dente Aromatic Fluffy Specify your pasta: Farfalloni Fiorentine Linguine Penne Spaghetti Fedelini Fettuccine Vermicelloni Side Orders Accompaniments An assortment of Bite Size Paired with Perfect for dipping Served with Your choice of Dressings / Sauces A balsamic glaze Aioli Aromatic Blend of secret spices Brushed with Buttery Chunky Cooked to order Crowned with Decadent Devilishly hot Drizzled Fiery Finished with Flavoured with a hint House Light Lightly seasoned Mouth watering Rich Roasted garlic Tangy Rubbed with Saffron-infused Sage Jus Signature BBQ sauce Smothered in Splash of Sticky Sweet Topped with With an extra drizzle Soup & Sandwiches A rich and creamy Country style Floured Bun For extra crunch Fresh crusty bread Hearty Lightly Toasted Low Calorie Meaty Open faced Our unique recipe Oven toasted Scoop of Jersey cream Wholegrain Winter Meat 28 day aged 100% prime beef, Aged Aged just right Black angus beef Braised Char-grilled Choice Cut Cooked to your liking Cured Encrusted with Expertly seasoned Fall-off-the-bone ribs Flame grilled flavoured with For an indulgent steak experience Free Range Game Grilled to your liking Skewered British Beef | 15
  15. 15. Glossary Meat ctd Fish Pizza Top side of Succulent Tender Dry-cured Skewered Seared Juicy Perfectly grilled Hand-carved to order Hand-selected Hand-trimmed Juicy Our aged prime rib Over a red hot grill to seal in its bold flavour Pan Fried Seared on a red hot grill Seasoned to perfection Sizzling Slither Slow-roasted to capture the full flavours Smoky barbecue Steak lover’s steak Steaming Hot Thick cut filet Battered Broiled Catch of the day Caught by Crispy Batter Daily catch Farmed Flash fried Freshly Caught Fresh water Griddled Hand battered Hand-Breaded Lightly Breaded Delicately grilled Oven-roasted Sautéed in butter Sea Simply Grilled Smoked Steamed Sustainable Tempura Classic Neapolitan Hand rolled Hand-stretched Italian seasoning Mediterranean Made to share Our thinnest & lightest From the heart of Italy Shaved Parmesan Stone baked Thick and fluffy Thin crust Wood Fire Dessert A crunchy concoction An all time favourite An indulgent twist A perfect combination Copious Creamy Crumbly Delectable Divine Dollop of Enveloped in Generous portion Guilt Free Have your cake & eat it! Irresistible Desserts Lashings of ice cream Lavishly made with Luscious Melt-in-the-mouth Moist layers of Molten chocolate Naughty but nice New York-style Pureed Retro classic Shouts “eat me!” Simply irresistible Something sweet Sumptuous Taste sensation Tender Treat yourself Warning - addictive Baked Goods Artisan Baked fresh daily Gluten free Heavenly Indulgent Plump Straight from the oven Kids Adult free zone Chewy Deep Sea Dippers Messy Gooey Itsy Bitsy Jelly delight Just for kids Made for dunking Mini me portion Munchy Nutritional Scrumptious Yummy Zesty Beer American Style Chilled Clean Finish Cold-filtered Dark Distinctive Bite Fuller-bodied Pilsner-style Popular Import Served in Frosty Mugs Strong and crisp Wine A versatile all-rounder Bursting with flavour Complex Dark and luscious Easy Drinking Fresh and fruity Fresh, zesty flavours Full bodied Mellow Packs a punch Sensuously smooth Seriously fruity Stunningly complex Subtle and spicy Succulent Superbly light | 16
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