The ambience and décor may be something that lures the diners to enter in the restaurant but it is only the food menu that makes them order more. A tactful design makes your customers want more from the menu and, thus, increasing your sales and adding to your revenue. Pictures on the menu card, food pics and prices mentioned send a subliminal message to consumers’ mind; that’s how it makes an impact on the consumers’ ordering and dining behaviour.
Many restaurants, now, hire menu engineers who study the behaviour and psychology of the consumers and then design the menu card accordingly. To make your customers order more, here are five menu design hacks you should keep on the mind.
Restaurants, big or small, these days are coming up with the mention of Chef’s Special. This is also known as the ‘eye magnets’. A consumer is always on the lookout what the chef recommends. Therefore, this is a crucial aspect. Depending upon your restaurant’s demand and the concept, you can either mention Chef’s Special on the entire menu or you can mention in each category, which could be North Indian Cuisines, South Indian, Continental, Desserts and likewise.
The Name of Food Items
When it comes to naming the food items on your menu, so far, two things are in trend. One, the traditional way of naming cuisines but with a twist. Terrace Grill’s menu, for example, has a mention of B-town-inspired names of the dishes, targeting the Bollywood fans. Secondly, telling the main ingredients without naming the dish. That’s how we found the menu of the newly-opened Tappa.
Chef Sareen has ingeniously divided the menu into small plates, large plates, salad, sandwiches and more such categories; without naming the dishes in all these categories, he had just mentioned the main ingredients, so that consumers could identify. Whatever style you choose for your restaurant in naming the dish, make sure you do a fair deal in targeting your consumers. Even if it is a cocktail menu.
Duty Free restaurant names the items well like Ladies First (gin, aperol, elderflower syrup and lime juice) and Boss Calling You (Beefeater Gin, St. German, Lime Juice, Elderflower syrup and rose water).
Adding Descriptions to the Dishes
This is one of the fast-picking trends. Most of the restaurants have started to add descriptions to the dishes – a way to hook your customers. Hyderabad’s Simply South by Chef Chalapathi Rao explains it's "menu items", clearly. Even if the diners are not from the Telangana region, they could easily get from the descriptions on what they should order. If you go through the menu of Simply South, just below the name of the dish, say Uragai Mamsam, the description says tender chunks of pickled mutton – our house speciality. Reading such a menu card, the consumers get a sense of the speciality items as well as the ingredients used.
The Spots for Your Biggest Sellers
According to a Gallup poll, the diners at a restaurant quickly scan a menu spending 109 seconds at an average. This makes the job of a menu engineer/designer tougher. In just a limited time, a restaurant has to make a big impact. Here, the visual techniques play a vital role. From deciding the fonts of the titles of the dishes to the prices of the menu, restaurants must focus on how they could make the menu easy to scan. A tip – mostly, customers spend more time looking at the first and last food items on the restaurant menu. Therefore, the food items at these spots are among the top-selling dishes of the menu.
Ever Thought of Decoy Technique?
The term decoy is used for the food item which is outrageously priced and placed right at the top of other cuisines mentioned on the menu. The trick is to make look other dishes at a cheaper price when compared to the ‘Decoy’. For example, make your signature dish at let’s say Rs 800, or you could double the price of any of the dishes mentioned on your menu. Many diners might not want to pay Rs. 800, instead they will look for an affordable option.