One of the mistakes that rookie restaurant owners make is creating a menu that doesn’t attract customers. Indeed, the menu is often neglected by people who are establishing a restaurant for the first time. Usually, restaurant owners are more excited to take care of the food offerings, decor, signage, and concept. But a restaurant’s menu is critical. The design of your menu can even determine whether you’ll succeed or not. How to design a menu that will make happy customers? Read on to find out.
First of all, you need to know what makes a good menu. The truth is, there is no general formula for creating the perfect menu. The best menus are those that support the mission and vision of the restaurant. So if you don’t have a clear mission and vision statement yet, then this is the right time to formulate them. Whatever menu design you will implement, it needs to make the dining experience smooth and easy for your customers. If you’re operating a fast food joint, for example, then your menu should be designed with speed and convenience in mind. Your menu, therefore, should be straightforward, with only a few words. Menus of fast-food restaurants also emphasize quantity and variety.
If you are running a more high-end restaurant, then you need to emphasize on quality rather than quantity. This means having fewer but more detailed photos. Your menu should reflect elegance and luxury. The menu is part of giving your customers a unique experience. Take note that both menus are useful. Just don’t swap them or you’ll get a different response from your target customers. Having an elegant-looking menu for a fast-food restaurant can alienate customers. If you use a fast-food menu in a fine dining restaurant, then you will most likely disappoint your patrons. So the first rule of designing a menu is that it should be appropriate for the kind of restaurant you are running.
Before you start designing your menu, you need to have the right focus. You need to know your restaurant’s identity first. Ask yourself, what’s your purpose for opening the restaurant in the first place? What makes you different from the other restaurants in our area? You need to define clearly what you want to achieve. Who is your target market? What are you doing to attract your target customers? These are the essential questions that you need to answer. All restaurants must have what is known as a positioning statement. It is a statement that clearly states the identity of a restaurant.
If you don’t know your identity and if you are not focused, then it is easy to create a menu that is out-of-focus as well. You’ve probably eaten in a restaurant that has confused you before. For restaurants like these, it’s hard to tell what they want to achieve. This is why when it comes to designing a compelling menu, quantity is not better than quality. Try to focus on a few dishes and then just add some items later on.
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