Much more than a list of items and prices, your restaurant menu is a reflection of your concept, your style and the quality of your food. Write this critical marketing tool carefully, speaking directly to your audience, and you will entice them to order your unique creations.
First, are there limits to keep in mind?
It’s usually best to avoid extra-long menus and/or extra long descriptions because they can confuse people, making it difficult for them to make a choice. It’s generally more effective to hone in on a powerful list of offerings that guides customers to easier decisions.
Keep your item descriptions short but powerful whenever possible. Try not to use more than one or two adjectives on a given ingredient (and many ingredients don't need adjectives at all). Remember, you're not trying to impart the whole recipe to your customers - just give them the tantalizing highlights.
Write for your audience.
Do you truly understand your customer base? You may want to study the demographics of your target, learn their preferences. For example, if your restaurant mostly attracts families, your Family Restaurant Menu should be written in an easy-to-understand style that results in happy choices for all ages. On the other hand, if your restaurant is a French Bistro and attracts a more elite crowd, write your French menu in a more sophisticated style. For example, "Appetizers" will become "Hors d'oeuvres".
Write for clarity.
Reading your menu should not be a challenge. Too much text or tough-to-read fancy fonts will frustrate your patrons. Keep the design of your menu simple and avoid using a lot of culinary jargon, especially if you are designing cafe menus. Describe the items in simple, but tantalizing, terms that tickle your customers’ taste buds.
Write to create hunger.
You’ll increase sales when you write tantalizing food descriptions. Check out the examples below!
Sliced Brisket: Beef brisket, seasoned and smoked for hours for a deep smoky flavor and sliced thin.
New Orleans Catfish: Petite prawns, Andouille sausage, mushrooms, scallions, peppers and Cajun cream sauce served over blackened catfish.
Thai Sticks: Charbroiled fiery chicken, prawn or beef skewers with a peanut-chile dipping sauce.
Chop Salad: Hearts of Romaine, citrus poached shrimp, sweet onions, radish and queso fresco tossed with a creamy guajillo Manchego dressing.
Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake: A flour-free chocolate cake covered with a silky smooth chocolate fondant.
Jasmine Green Tea Torte: White chocolate mousse-spiked green tea, jasmine and honey in a crispy cookie crust.
Sliced Pork Loin: Tender slices of pork loin rubbed with our secret blend of spices and slow smoked.
Steamed Clams with Guinness: A pail of our finest, steamed with Ireland’s finest.
Buffalo Tender Wrap: Crispy strips of breaded chicken tossed in spicy buffalo sauce in a spinach-herb wrap.
You can see even more examples when browsing our menu designs - just open the menus for editing and check out the sample data provided.
Employ these simple but effective restaurant menu writing tips to create powerful, successful menus.