8 MENU TEMPLATE DESIGN TIPS
A menu is one of the most essential marketing and communication assets for your restaurant. How your menu template is designed is a direct symbol of your restaurant. It needs to be a mirror of your brand, set exceptions, and properly promote your menus items.
How to Make the Most of Your Restaurant Menu Template
1. Brand Identify
Before rushing into the menu template and even writing out what your menu items will be, establish what your restaurant image and brand are. A clear brand is what will distinguish you from the competition. Your restaurant name, logo, colors, theme, and look and feel are items you will want to decide before starting with the menu template design.
2. Menu copy first, then menu template design
Restaurants often wait until the last minute to outline their menu items, then rush on the menu template design. Give your self-time and sit down to begin covering the details. Write out in-depth what your menu items and categories will be.
Once you've listed out, your items start working on the item name then descriptions. When creating item names, remember to keep them short, catchy, and unique. The names need to create curiosity while letting the guest know what the item is.
For descriptions, use vivid and rich words to describe the flavor. Try listing several key ingredients into the descriptions as well. This will help in painting an even more precise picture of taste.
3. Menu typography
The font styles you use with your menu design and template play a role in the menu layout. The fonts need to reflect your brand identify, decor, and overall theme. If you are not going to use the same font style as your logo, consider using a similar font style that is in the same family as your logo font.
Aside from front menu typography, the size is essential to remember. The size needs to be easily read. Consider the setting, as well. If dark, you may need to slightly increase the size so the menu can be read without a guest needing to take out their glasses.
4. Menu templates branding and theme
Adding your restaurant logo to the menu isn't branding. Alternatively, look at ways that you can include your restaurant theme with the menu template design. This could be your restaurant colors or textured style backdrops that are similar to your restaurant wallpaper or decor.
5. Design Around Your Customer
When laying out your menu template, design around who your customers are. An example would be you have a family dining restaurant. The menu's theme should use warm and welcoming colors.
The category names should be more focused on families; "Home Cooked Dinners." Since kids will surely be at the tables, add professionally taken photos of your higher-margin appetizers.
6. Keep it Simple
Weaving in your restaurant's character is important, but don't overdo it. The menu templates layout needs to be engaging and informative so guests can find the items they want to order easily. Don't get carried away with adding too many images or incorporating an abundance of color. The more you add to your menus design has a direct impact on how your restaurant is perceived.
Remember, simple menu templates are effective if done correctly! Less is more, and sometimes limiting the number of items is good. This speeds up table turn-over rates while reducing the chance of guests getting overwhelmed if the menu features too many items.
7. Speciality Menus
These could be menu inserts or even a smaller menu that lists outs your drinks or signature items. By creating a separate menu template for your specialties, you can increase the chances of selling those items because that menu can be positioned as something "special".
These types of menus often times are read first. Don't list for the five items on this type of menu template, and make sure you feature mouth-watering descriptions and names!
8. The Complete Experience
As your menu template design is being done, step back, and look at it from the outside. Look at it from a guests perspective:
Does the menu template give you an experience that is consistent with your brand?
From the minute you pick it up, what is your first impression of the restaurant?
Is it easy for you to read?
Did the item names and descriptions grab your attention?
Allow yourself the time needed for designing your menu. From finding the perfect menu template to writing out the descriptions, make sure you cover every detail. After you have a menu design done, sleep on it for 24 hours, then look at it with a fresh set of eyes!