jungle, welcome to the juuungle

January 20, 2009


A good restaurant menu design is key to any restaurant’s marketing plan. It expresses your eatery’s personality, focuses your overall operations, promotes profitability, establishes your budget and keeps your brand fresh in your customer’s mind.

What is the goal of a well-crafted restaurant menu?

Your menu is your primary means of representation: It says exactly who you are and what you hope to convey personality-wise. It also should create enough of an impression so that it stays with your client long after the waiter or waitress walks off with it. In addition, it must convey your restaurant’s brand in a manner that makes diners excited to be there, want to come back and recommend it to family and friends.

What steps should I take before designing my restaurant menu?

As with most creative endeavors, proper results can’t be achieved without sufficient research. In the case of designing the right menu, that means collecting data from various sources. Examine your own numbers first, such as your restaurant’s prospective financial and marketing numbers and its sales mix. Then look at your competitors: Examine their Web sites, menus and marketing efforts and try to see where they went right and how you could compete successfully with those traits. Also, look at vendors and see how they handle similar challenges, and read industry sources (trade publications, published research) to evaluate trends and successes.

How should I design my menu?

There are no rights or wrongs in restaurant menu design. What works with some establishments fails at others. However, as mentioned before, your menu should be an expression of your restaurant’s personality. In designing it, think about how it will best represent your image and objectives. Are you classy and sophisticated? Fun-loving and wild? A small, plain text menu can be used to enhance a restaurant’s impression of elegance or simplicity. A thick, flashy, image-intensive menu can emphasize a location’s festive side. Once you determine your restaurant’s personality, you can easily begin crafting the look of your menu to match that.

(A promo pack isn’t a menu, but I think I lot of this still applies)



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