Want to design a new menu, but unsure of where to start?

Maybe we can help! We’ve designed over 6,000 professional menu templates, and we’d love to share some ideas with you!

Here are some quick tips from our experts:

1.) Drop the Dollar Sign

The human brain is weird. We see a dollar sign, and the number suddenly holds extra weight. It’s easier to envision that as money coming out of our pocket. But drop the dollar sign, and we no longer place the same monetary value on the item. Then we’re encouraged to spend more.

Weird? Maybe.

Effective? You bet.

2.) Callout popular items

Some customers like to peruse Yelp before dining out to see what dishes are the most popular. For the rest, consider calling out customer favorites or chef specialties directly on your menu with icons. Choose from our wide variety of fun icons, or upload your own custom icons to really stand out.

3.) Place expensive items at the beginning or end of a section

If you have expensive, high-margin items that you want to sell more of, consider placing them at the beginning or end of your section. Customers tend to focus more on the first and last items, so you don’t want your premiere dish lost in the middle. Plus, an expensive dish at the front of a section makes the following items seem more reasonable in comparison. Checkout layout options.

4.) Understand eye-scanning patterns

New research suggests that customers read menus like they would a book, left to right, top to bottom. Corners wind up being the money spots where you want to place your in-demand or high-margin items, while the middle of your menu can become more of a dead spot.

5.) Make your menu scannable

Your menu should be easy to take in at a glance. Avoid a crowded layout with clear section headers, easy-to-read fonts and only one to two colors for your menu data. Even multi-page menus can be quickly read if they’re formatted into digestible sections.

6.) Use visual separators

Visual cues help customers quickly navigate your menu. Most people know to divide your menu into appropriate sections, but it’s often best to take it a step further and clearly separate those sections with boxes, frames, color pops, etc. They help the eye clearly delineate between your different food groups.

7.) Limit choices

Sometimes a surplus of choices can lead to anxiety and decision paralysis. Make life easier on your customers by limiting the number of items in a section to around 7 or fewer. That way your customers won’t be overwhelmed by the number of options.

8.) Be smart about the size

Don’t go too large with your menu. Physically oversized menus can be a pain for your customers to look through. Plus, they crowd your tables and make it harder to seat more customers. Consider splitting certain sections, like desserts and drinks, off into their own half-page menus or tabletop inserts to save space. Here is how you can create additional menus using the same theme.

9.) Communicate with colors

Colors have powerful and often subconscious effects that you can use to subtly influence customer decision-making. Keep this in mind when choosing colors for subheaders or background details of different sections on your menus.

  1. Greens imply healthy and fresh, so they work well for vegetarian dishes, salad bars, smoothies, etc.

  2. Oranges, reds, and yellows are appetite stimulants, so consider using them for headers and background colors.

  3. Blues are refreshing and work well for drinks and refreshments.

  4. Red creates a sense of urgency, so you can use it to draw attention to high-margin items, specials and promotions, big announcements, etc.

10. Have fun with fonts

Fonts serve as more than simple visual flair on your menu. They actually convey information about your dish at a glance. Your font choice makes the first impression before your customers even have a chance to read the description, setting the table and influencing their opinion.

Here are what common fonts and typefaces communicate:

  1. Italics convey a perception of quality.

  2. Rounder typefaces are associated with sweeter tastes.

  3. While Angular ones are associated with sourness or bitters.

  4. Wines labeled with a difficult-to-read font are more liked by drinkers.

You can also upload your own fonts to ensure that your brand stays consistent across all your designs.

We hope you found our list of 10 menu design tips helpful!

If you have any questions about how you can apply them to your next project, our team of friendly customer success experts are ready to help!

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