Your menu prices and menu design are one of the most important parts of running your restaurant. Your menu will define your business and tell customers what kind of restaurant you are. A great menu should make customers excited to try your food, and give them an idea of what to expect when ordering. The best menus are clear and concise, as you don’t want your customers to be overwhelmed and confused. We’re here to give you 5 essential tips on creating a menu and setting menu prices that will make any patron excited to order your dishes.
Don’t Ignore The Design- Designing a menu isn’t just about putting dishes and prices on a piece of paper. The best menus have interesting and engaging artwork, where recipes are expertly placed to catch the attention of patrons. Keep in mind that you want the dishes and their descriptions to be front and center in whichever design you choose.
Pay Attention To Pricing- Menu prices are just as important as the design of the menu. The first thing to do is to take inventory of your ingredients. If you don’t have a lot of resources for one dish, consider making it more expensive or at the very least make it a special. That way you won’t run out ingredients as quickly. If you want a more detailed guide of how to properly take inventory, check out our article here. You should also keep track of all of your sales. You don’t want to wing your menu prices, so your prices should change based on the popularity and costs of the dish.
Consider Your Resources- For every dish that you put on the menu, you should have an idea of how many people it will take to make, what type of equipment and stations will need to be used, and how much ingredients it will require. Many owners make the mistake of putting a wide variety of dishes that are all made at the same station, which causes delays and poor service for customers. Try and keep the dishes varied in how they are prepared. Another great tip is to ensure that most of your dishes use the same ingredients. That way, you can make different dishes at the same time using only a few ingredients.
Focus On Descriptions- A good description can decide whether a patron will order a dish or not. You want your descriptions to be short enough that a patron can skim them quickly, but you also want the customer’s mouth to be watering after reading it. Try and highlight the tastes and flavors that you expect the dish to have. This will give patrons an idea of what to expect.
A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words- While descriptions are important, a good picture of your dishes is a great way to give patrons an idea of what they’ll get. Make sure that the photos of the food are labeled to the corresponding dish, are high quality (there are food photographers that will give you great photos for a modest fee), and are prominent in the design of the menu.
If you follow these five steps you’ll be well on your way to creating a fantastic menu that will keep your patrons coming back! Once you have a creative design, focus on honing your menu prices to get the highest profit margins possible. For more tips and tricks on growing your restaurant business, take a look at some of our other recommendations here.