Menu – The Tableware Accomplice
Menu design is a key element to enhancing a dining experience, there is nothing worse than sitting down in a beautiful restaurant to be thrust in hand with a eye boggling confusing menu. A great menu will help customers makes satisfying choices and stimulate appetite. However, a menu is more than just a list of the dishes a restaurant has available; it is an advertising tool capable of communicating a restaurant’s identity and driving profit – if it’s well designed.
Now the first topic may seem obvious but is often overlooked or over complicated.
– Make it easy for customers to search for dishes by arranging items sequentially and in logical groups, starting with the appetizers. Divide the sections up clearly with bold differentiated font.
– Photos of food are more commonly associated with takeaways, which is fine if you’re a takeaway but if you’re not, the photos you do use must be of extremely high professional quality, which may be costly. In general, it’s better to leave the quality of the food to the customer’s imagination, because not all food photography will appeal to everyone. Don’t forget your food display must also be consistent with any photography you do include. Bare that in mind.
That’s right, basically the way the human eye scans information. For years, restaurants have been designing their menus under the assumption that customers’ eyes are naturally drawn to the “sweet spot” in the upper righthand corner, and placing their higher profit items there. However, new research suggests that customers tend to read menus like a book, starting in the top left corner…interesting right?
Instead of photography, try using illustrations – they are more likely to be universally appealing and can help communicate the restaurant’s personality.
Box it in
Boxes draw attention to a group of menu items, and are often used by restaurant to promote dishes with the highest profit margins, like pasta and other carb-based items.
Effective typography will communicate a restaurant’s brand and result in a legible menu. Selection of font may depend on a number of practical factors, such as the amount of text needed to comfortably fit on the page. Using more than one typeface – say, to distinguish the names and descriptions of menu items – may help to guide customers through the menu. Try and use more rounded fonts that scientifically the brain finds easier to read, this will mean your customer can make a more relaxed decision. SOME of us have to wear glasses you know….
Chose an appropriate colour palette for your design, just as you thought out your restaurant interior, try and match your menu to your tableware or theme. Different colours have different psychological effects on a viewer, so your colour scheme will help to set the mood of a restaurant as well as draw attention to certain food items. Psychologically blue & grey can deplete a persons appetite so take that as you will…
So there are your top simple tips for creating your menu. If you’re having a redesign, why not purchase some tableware to go with it?