Optimize Your Menu


Oct 4, 2017

Are you getting the most out of your menu? What you serve is not the only consideration—the design of your menu can also affect the way patrons perceive it, even if they’re doing so subconsciously. If you think it might be time to update your offerings, develop your approach with these tips.

  • Collect data about which items are most and least popular. Feature the favorites prominently if you aren’t already. Whatever isn’t selling might be getting lost on the menu—if not, it might be time to replace it with something more in demand.
  • When it comes to menu layout, remember the golden triangle. Research into reading patterns has shown that the middle of the page attracts attention first, followed by the top right and the top left. These areas should showcase high-priority content.
  • Keep up with trends through specials and limited-time offers made with seasonal or other of-the-moment flavors. These provide a fresh feel for return visits from repeat customers without requiring any changes to the permanent menu.
  • The number of menus you offer, and the length of each one, can influence your guests’ experience. They might get overwhelmed with too much information, but a minimalist method could leave them wanting more. Finding the right balance is key.
  • Desserts can increase check averages, particularly if you find a unique way to modify traditional choices. It also helps to get diners craving these treats from the get-go by including selections in your main menu or in a separate menu displayed on tabletops. When servers wait until the end of the meal to mention this course, it becomes an afterthought and is easier to turn down.
  • The wording, colors and fonts on your menu establish the tone of your operation—choose them deliberately. Noteworthy names can draw attention to an otherwise ordinary food or beverage option and reinforce the theme or location of the venue. A special font, color or symbol is a good way to designate house specialties.

Have you had success with these or other strategies? Let us know on Facebook or LinkedIn, and visit our Tips section to find more ways to optimize your operation.

SOURCES

Is Your Restaurant Staying Competitive?, Linga POS, April 2017.

These Dessert Trends Will Differentiate Your Menu, QSR, August 2017.

Costa, Kristen. The Impact of Your Restaurant Menu, Restaurant Insider, November 2016.