There's nothing worse than a restaurant menu with specific categories. Keep your categories broad and don't be afraid to let them take up a full page. If your categories are too specific, you'll often have items which could exist under multiple categories, and this makes it really difficult for customers to locate. A good system is to use categories like "Starter", "Main Course", "Dessert" and "Drinks". If you find that you need more categories, you can create a category for a specific dish like "Pizzas".
2. Font Is Everything
Font size and colour can have an enormous impact on how your customer's access the information in your menu. Information should be found straight away. It goes without saying that category names should be large, and the product names emboldened. This takes the focus away from the price, and towards the dish they are ordering. Often using a different colour scheme for categories and products can be helpful to quickly distinguish them.
3. What About Images?
Images can be both good and bad. Including an image of dishes can greatly increase customer satisfaction. Who doesn't want to see the food before they order? It's also great to include your restaurant's logo on the menu. Having your own branding can help build your brand by reinforcing your restaurant brand through the use of imagery. It's a lot of work to take a photo of each dish, but it's definitely worth it!
4. Have A Website
Your menu is no good if your customers can't access it. Having a website which includes your menu is a great way of getting customers to eat at your restaurant. It's not even that expensive to own a website anymore. Buying a domain costs as little as €5 and you can get hosting for a year for even less than that!
5. Label Allergens Correctly
It's really important that allergens are correctly labelled on your menu. It's actually a legal requirement now. If you don't have allergy information labelled, you should do so immediately. It's also really beneficial information to give to your customers. We'd recommend you also label vegan and vegetarian options, as this will help people select the right dish for them!
6. What About Descriptions?
Okay, so descriptions can be really important. If people want to know more information, it can be useful. What's not useful are wordy descriptions, which don't really describe anything. Keep them short, but to the point. Remember: "A picture paints a thousand words". This is why images are so much better!
7. Keep It Simple
Don't have too much information on your menu. You want to prioritize what's important. Try to keep the dishes you are offering at a minimum. Most successful restaurant only have a few dishes available, and it certainly simplifies the dining experience for everyone.
8. Keep It Updated
This one isn't for your sit-down menu, but rather for the other places you host your menu. If you're keeping it on your website, or on social media, then make sure it's updated! Nothing worse than having customers come in, sit down, and realize it's a completely different menu than the one advertised online! Papershop is a menu management system which keeps menus updated across platforms such as JustEat, Deliveroo, UberEats, your website and even your printed menus!
9. Use A Menu Management System
Using a menu management system makes ticking all of the above boxes simple. You don't have to worry about categorizing your products, uploading images of your dishes is made simple and it's incredibly straightforward to implement. Papershop does just this and creates a website for you! Signing up is as simple as entering your email address and everything will be set up from there.
10. Use Contactless Menus
Covid-19 is doing massive damage to the restaurant industry at present. Menus are quickly becoming a health hazard, so it's important to have contactless menus available for your customers to use. They're actually incredibly cheap. You can get these from Papershop as mentioned above. It'll give you access to a menu management system to manage everything, including your contactless menus.
Papershop is an Irish startup founded in Dublin & digitizing dining experiences across the world.