A restaurant’s only as good as its food. But what’s the point of having great tasting fare if nobody ever samples it? That’s where the humble menu comes in. The opportunity to sell your dishes, menus are one of the most important elements in the hospitality industry.
Follow these top tips to get the most from your restaurant’s menu.
Menus are often updated seasonally. For a look that’s as fresh as your ingredients, it’s important to regularly refresh your offering. People will always look for your classic dishes but will keep coming back to enjoy new additions and specials.
Along with these new dishes, people will want a good-looking menu. Keep your document looking fresh by tweaking the design. Think about the fonts you’re using, and the imagery chosen. Updating these can make a huge difference to the look of your menu and keep your printed material looking current and up-to-date.
As well as the design of the document, the special print finishes you choose can make all the difference. Upmarket food deserves an upmarket menu to sell it. Gold foiling or a spot UV finish can add a luxury finish to your final document.
Also, think about the style of menu you’re looking for. Booklet menus are the most traditional, but there is also the option of folded menus, table talkers and placemats.
The weight and finish of the card can also affect how you are perceived. A higher stock weight can add gravitas. The finish meanwhile can convey the impression you wish to promote. Matt coated paper is great for documents with lots of writing. Gloss will make colours appear vibrant and bright. Making the right choice for your clientele will ensure your menu delivers.
To sell your dishes effectively, it’s important to consider the words you use. Describing dishes in more detail can help influence how the meal will be perceived by the guest. Tell them how their dinner choice will taste, and they’ll be positive about it before the plate has even arrived. Then it’s up to the food to do its job.
Likewise, ingredients can be made to sound upmarket by describing them as ‘locally sourced’ or ‘line-caught’.
There’s a final trick you might like to try. Using terms your customers are unsure of can lead to more sales. Often, they’ll be intrigued and choose that dish out of curiosity. At the very least it will initiate a conversation between customer and waiter, which can lead to upselling.
Like using detailed descriptions, there are other tricks that can influence your guests. Colour is often used in graphic design to evoke emotions. To make people feel happy, hungry, good about themselves. Reds, yellows and oranges can make a customer feel relaxed and more open to trying new things. Green can make a dish appear healthier. Whatever feel you’re trying to achieve; the use of colour can help you realise your aim.
Pictures sell. But lots of imagery on the page can devalue a menu. For maximum effect, pick out high-quality images of your best dishes. The ones you want to sell most of. Research by menu engineer, Gregg Rapp shows that using one image per page can increase sales for that item by up to 30%.
If you want a more contemporary look, mix things up by using illustrations rather than photography. This technique looks great and works well for high-end restaurants who don’t want their offering to be cheapened.
We’re experts at designing and printing menus for restaurants and hotels in Westminster and the surrounding areas. To find out how Kall Kwik St James’s can help you create menus that entice and excite, please contact our design team on (020) 7930 1976 or use our online form to send us any enquiries.