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Memorable menu design


How your menu design is laid out and perceived can be your gateway to driving consistent new sales, or it can be your ticket to failure. Understanding what it takes to create an awe-inspiring restaurant menu design can unlock new revenues and dramatically grow your business.

How Can An Amazing Menu Design Help Me?


One of the best and least expensive ways to improve guest experiences, increase profits, and grow your brand is upgrading your menu design. A restaurant menu design needs to:


  • Be a reflection of your restaurant's character

  • Upsell your highest margin items and drinks

  • Offer direction and simplicity for ordering

  • Promotes your carryout and delivery services

  • Enhances the image of your restaurant

Food Cafe Menu Template.png

Restaurant Menu Design Essentials

Using the correct combinations of colors and text to where you list the price, you, too, can begin to benefit from a fully optimized restaurant menu design. But it doesn't stop there. 


Understanding the psychology behind the design can quickly boost sales without adding or removing items from your menu.


Your menus color theme, font styles, restaurant logo, images, featured items, and hierarchy layout are all items of the menu design that need to be incorporated into the menu design, plus in alignment with your brand's images.



Incorporate the correct color variations into your menu design to trigger feelings and action. An example of this would be going with a light background color for your menu and incorporating red stars around your higher-margin items. This subtle use of color can shift your guest's attention to the things you want them to focus on.


Professionally Taken Food Images


For starters, never use stock images that you find online or cheesy free clip art. When using professionally taken pictures of your food, you will feature actual items and capture your items' freshness in a visually stunning representation that commands attention.


Nested Pricing 


In 90% of menus, we see a generic food name title with food prices justified to the right. This all to typical set-up offers little appeal when it comes to food names and, even worse, encourages guests to select food items by price.


Because we naturally read left to right, the menu names need to be catchy and unique. On the right of the menu, remove prices. Below each item name, write out a short yet descriptive description of the item. Make sure to include several key ingredients to help further describe flavors. At each description, two spaces over add the price without the dollar sign. This arrangement builds maximum value per item while eliminating price buyers.


Remove Currency Symbols


Studies show that the mind subconsciously connects the dollar symbol with money. Indirectly your mind can associate that with profit. By removing the currency symbol, you emphasize the food description and focus on the overall dining experience.


Item Translations


If your menu items are from a different region or country and feature foreign names, consider adding the English title with a description of the item.


Sweet Spot Real Estate


Also known as menu engineering, sweet spot menu design optimization is when you fine-tune the menu arrangement to influence your guests' buying habits. By doing optimizations like this, you will help to improve profits levels.


Sweet spots are areas within your menu that guests eye falls on first. By understanding the visual flow of how people read your menu and what they look at first, you can maximize the real estate menu design.


Here is an example of a sweet spot within a tri-fold menu. When a tri-fold menu is opened, your eye naturally looks at the mid-center first then, scan up to the upper right corner, then scan across the menu, ending up on the upper left corner of the menu. 


With this knowledge, menu designers can add featured food images and spotlight your higher-margin food items.


Item Attention and Bringing Focus


Not all items on your menu need to stand out or be highlighted. By keeping the majority of your restaurant menu design clean, you will be able to make the most of featured promotions. 


An example would be you have five burgers. 4 out of the burgers feature the same size and color item names. The 5th burger's title is bold and one shade color darker. Because the 5th burgers' title name is different, it will stand out to guests.


Carry Out Menu Designs


In today's fast-paced world, more and more people/families favor to-go orders. A well-designed carry-out menu design is your opportunity to plant the seed for future orders.


Your menu item names and descriptions must be exciting, vivid, and well thought out to help ensure later orders. Another point to remember is your food images. Make sure to try and use professionally taken food images… a picture is worth a thousand words.


Another essential item to include on your carryout menu design is a social media call to action like, Follow Us On Instagram/Facebook for exclusive news and specials. 


Menu Pricing Strategy


When it comes to menu design, pricing is critical. If you are looking to be the best in value, understanding what your area competition is charging is essential. If you are looking to offer a higher-end dining experience and low pricing is not the focus, it is necessary to focus on your menu item names and descriptions. 


Your restaurant's identity


When establishing who you are and your brand, you will begin to separate your restaurant from the competition. When working on your menu design, it is crucial to incorporate your brand's image into the layout. From colors to personality, incorporating your restaurant's brand into the menu design is essential to consistency and representation.


The Positioning of Your Restaurants Brand


After you have worked on what your brand is and have identified what makes your restaurant different, your focus should be around delivering this message across every touchpoint. When it comes to your restaurant menu design, sprinkling in your unique selling points into the menu layout is a great way to incorporate your brand's messaging creatively.

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