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Set your restaurant apart while maximizing your sales with a custom design menu. Create an immediate impression that gets your customers taste buds craving your signature dishes, drinks, or appetizers. Kick-off your grand opening with a menu design that is on-point and visually scrumptious.

menu template design guide

Menu Template Quick Start Design Guide

The menu template that you decide to use for your menu is one of the most important decisions that you make when opening your restaurant. Your menu is what markets your food while setting the tone for your restaurant's brand.

How Can A Top Notch Design Menu Template Help Me?

A well-designed menu will help you drive food sales while reinforcing your image. Follow these 8 steps to learn how to design the perfect menu templates for your restaurant effectively.

Food Cafe Menu Template.png

1. Menu Template Ideas

When searching for your template, start by identifying the type of menu you are looking for. Chalkboard, fast-casual, BBQ, and quick-serve all menu template style examples you can search for.


Another way to search would be to look for the food type that your restaurant specializes in, bar, burger menu templates


By looking for restaurant menu templates that are specific to your food type, you will be able to find a style that aligns with your restaurant efficiently.

2. Selecting a Menu Template


After finding several menu layouts in line with your restaurant and food, it is time to examine the structure. Look at how the menu templates are arranged, the placement of images, and the number of categories and items. 


When looking at the menu template layout, cross-examine your menus categories and items with the templates you've selected. Look at how your menu can be used with menu layout. 


If the menu template is image-heavy and features minimal room for items, but your menu has many things, then that specific menu may not work when spacing and arranging the overall layout. 


If you have a small menu but the menu template you like features lots of items and categories, that template may not be a good fit either because lots of time will be needed for customization.


Don't let your emotion get involved in the selection process. Choose the best menu template that fits your menu and style. This approach will save you time and get you the best looking menu design.


3. Menu Theme Colors


After choosing the menu template you wish to use, the next step is to weave in your brand colors into the theme. The background, font, borders, and boxes are all components of the menu template that you may want to customize to color. 


For color selection, go with high contrasting colors like black on white or coral orange on sea blue to create an eye-catching color layout that is easy to read and visually appealing. Remember, the colors you select should be in the same family as your brand and logos color. This helps with keeping your brands image across all mediums.


4. Layout Design Basics


Organizing your restaurant menu template into food types and categories is critical. The most popular layout is a three-column. This menu template allows for, on average, between 6-8 food categories featuring no more than nine items per sort. 


If you have a smaller size menu, consider going one page 2 column menu. This set up is very popular with minimalist fast-casual restaurants.


5. Layout Optimization for Maximum Sales


Regardless of a 2 or 3 column menu, studies reveal that a guest's eyeballs naturally look at the center of a menu first, then scan to the mid-upper right and across to the left. 


Knowing this, menu designers look to place a restaurant's top 3 highest margin items in these three locations of the menus template.


6. Item Descriptions


A special menu features well-written descriptions that are unique and vivid. This means listing several vital ingredients to help in painting a picture of the flavors of the items. Other ways would be to describe how the thing is prepared or cooked slightly. 


An example would be "marinated 18 hours in a garlic zest bbq dry rub, then smoked at 425 degrees". These mouth-watering descriptions get your taste buds excited while creating demand for coming back visits to try other items on your menu.


7. Item Names


Generic, run of the mill item names are used on 7 out of 10 menus today. They do little in creating excitement and don't separate you from the restaurant next door. Take the ten extra minutes and think about the name before finalizing it. 


8. Menu Item Positioning


Smart restaurants place the most expensive and best-written items at the top of each category. Why? Well, there are two primary reasons. Studies show that 34% of guests tend to order the first item of a class. 


The second reason restaurants place high ticket items at the top of each menu template category is to cater to the value eaters. From a physiological view, objects lower in cost with well-written descriptions can be perceived as a bargain.


From a maximization perspective, it makes a lot of sense to lead with the highest item with a strong description, then follow with two other high margin items after that also contain an appealing story.




Menu templates are a great starting point for inspiration and ideas. Whichever menu template you choose must be adaptable to your brand and theme while fitting your menu items into the layout correctly. Take your time for the menu design and make sure to get feedback from friends and family before finalizing the final menu design.

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