5 Restaurant Menu Design Tips to Maximize Sales

Pictures or No Pictures?

Whether or not to include graphics on your menu can be a matter of debate. Many people believe that visual representations of the food will entice people to order more; some graphic designers who work with restaurants believe that they can do more harm than good since the images often do not look anything like the actual meal, which can create a sense of disappointment as soon as the food gets placed on the table. Using strong descriptions can leave the dish to the customer’s imagination. If you do use pictures, choose carefully.

Item Placement

One of the most important aspects of your menu design is how you place your offerings.  Based on how customers typically scan a menu, placing certain items in certain locations can help maximize your profits. Most often, the eyes go to the top right hand corner first—this would be a good place to promote your most popular items. As for the order of your items, research has found that customers tend to remember the first two items and the last item listed the best.

After a customer looks at the top right of the menu, the eyes tend to drift down and towards the middle—in this area, it would be a good idea to place your more expensive items surrounded by your more popular items that may be a bit pricier. While many customers may pass on the most expensive item, the contrast in price will make your other higher-end items seem more reasonable and they will be more likely to order them.   On a somewhat related note, it is a good idea to highlight signature dishes in some way, whether you use a special icon or place a box around them. You should not be highlighting more than three dishes per section.

Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who has blogged about various topics in the restaurant arena; she recommends visiting MenuShoppe for more information on menu options for your restaurant.