A good restaurant menu is an effective sales tool. Sound menu engineers will study the prime real estate on a restaurant menu to determine which items will generate the most attention from customers. For instance, the dishes that are vertically arranged tend to receive the most customer attention and, therefore, will be the best sellers. They will use illustrations and photographs and box or frame unique dishes.
High-profit, low-popularity menu items
Many menu items are popular and profitable, but which ones do not sell as well? You might be tempted to get rid of them altogether, but the truth is that the opposite is often true. Some menu items aren’t as popular as others, but these are the ones you need to avoid at all costs. Consider adding a description to each item or using a descriptive photo.
First, consider whether there’s a better way to categorize your menu items. Are some items higher profit and lower popularity than others? If so, cut them or move them to a lower-rent category. Consider using an Item Placement Chart or a “Where the Eye Neglects” column to figure out where to place them on the menu. Then, try to increase the popularity of the other items.
Boxes or frames to highlight certain dishes
Many menus use boxes or frames to highlight unique dishes. These boxes usually contain colorful illustrations that draw the reader’s attention to the most expensive items. Chophouse Dubai Red boxes, for example, are a surefire way to get diners’ attention, while blue ones are for specialties. Regardless of the reason, these menu design tricks will help you attract more diners. And, the best part is, they’re free!
Using boxed or framed designs can highlight specific dishes on a menu. Some menus use graphics, while others feature photos of individual dishes. This technique can be effective as long as bold, eye-catching types are kept to a minimum. The goal of menu design is to get diners to look at the essential items, and using eye magnets, such as images, is one way to accomplish this.
Price lists as a decoy
A price list can work as a decoy for a menu item priced higher than the one it represents. Using price lists as a decoy will encourage customers to buy the more expensive version of an item, even when the price difference is not substantial. By showing pricing next to the more expensive item, you’ll increase your conversion rate. Also, people often view expensive items as higher quality than less expensive ones, so putting these items first will give people an anchor to compare prices with the cheaper items.
A price list is used as a decoy item in a restaurant menu to lure customers. When compared with an overpriced item, the decoy item is priced lower. This makes the other items appear more attractive to customers and thus leads them to spend more. This strategy works well in fine dining restaurants but would never work as a decoy on a QSR or student restaurant menu.
Illustrations and photos
Some restaurants use illustrations to emphasize the menu’s categories. High-end restaurants often use these types of illustrations, as do casual eateries. One classic pizzeria, for example, uses an old-style illustration with a tiny graphic per category. According to Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab, using photos or illustrations to describe menu items can increase customer satisfaction. People who visit restaurants with photos and illustrations often leave more positive comments.
When used well, photographs and illustrations can make your restaurant menu more memorable and draw diners’ eyes to specific items. They’re more universally appealing and easier to adapt to your brand. Photos and illustrations of foods and drinks can play up colors, textures, and other visual elements. However, if the images aren’t of high quality, they defeat the purpose of the menu. So, use photos and illustrations sparingly.
Descriptions of options
Using descriptive language in the menu is an important marketing strategy. People will read the descriptions of options if they know more about the food being offered. For instance, a restaurant menu that lists a “Succulent Italian Seafood Filet” costs $13; they will be more likely to choose that item over a dish that costs the same amount elsewhere. This is especially true if the menu is written in an evocative way.
While writing descriptions for menu items, remember that customers spend minimal time reading them. Therefore, it is more important to spend time describing popular dishes such as steaks or burgers rather than focusing on less popular ones. You should also avoid using greasy, burnt, or honeyed, especially on a dessert menu. Use words like caramelized, glazed, honeyed, or charred instead.