August 25, 2023
Devn Ratz

Optimizing Menu Formats: How to Make Massive Order Sales

The modern eatery increasingly focuses on the constant optimization of their restaurant menu design. For off-premise customers, with an emphasis on mobile- and online-friendliness, they follow best practices in visual appeal, organization, and customization. 

Through a simple and effective menu format, restaurants can streamline the online ordering process while stimulating delivery and takeout options. Today, enterprise restaurants compete through many diverse menu formats, designs, and approaches to selling with images, illustration, or simply text. 

As you work to optimize your off-premise dining experience, focus on the following research, expert advice, and proven methods for improving on your menu format. Your overall goal should be to create a menu that appeals visually, simply, and easily.

Key Takeaway: Menu formatting influences the perception of your brand, the performance of your sales, and the maximum profitability of your restaurant. 
Download our guide to online ordering in restaurants, and learn to create a restaurant that saves, sells, and satisfies.

Online Menu Format Trends to Know

In general, menu formats sport restaurant values and goals. From their concept to final organization, menu formats speak volumes for the establishment at hand. 

Today, a modern restaurant menu will often make notes about sustainable, local choices or ingredients. In addition, there’s a continued emphasis on being ready for the customer who wants to order from the phone, such as with text-to-order features.

Understand menu concepts and formatting trends below to inform your current menu with the tactics that work best. 

Show Your Healthy, Sustainable Side

As the years go on, customers increasingly shift their attitude about what makes food “good.” And, what tastes better than doing food for the planet with a sustainable menu?

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, customers are more aware of the issues and dangers present in online ordering and public service. Perhaps as a result, they prefer healthy menu options that bring a sustainable flavor to the dish. 

In other words, sustainability in restaurants makes sense for your market as well as creating reductions in food waste and improving inventory control

Make Your Menu Mobile-Ready

When they craft a high-selling restaurant menu online, designers and restaurant owners focus mostly on the highest-margin item lists. 

By emphasizing the best-selling dishes, these eateries forecast and prepare foods in advance of service while still maintaining standards of freshness. 

While online ordering software helps them to build their mobile menu and facilitate ordering, it may also come with data analysis tools to make the whole process easier, smoother, and more profitable. So, make sure to look at how your online ordering partner works with mobile technologies.

In these formats, they feature foods that travel exceptionally well. These restaurants also mind the idea that their menu will appear in a vertical format for most users. As a result, there’s plenty of A/B and device testing involved in menu format optimization.

Ease the Eyes with Organization

As you create your sustainable, mobile-ready menu format, please keep in mind the principles of organization for restaurants. 

In the first place, you want to be conscious of eye movement as you review drafts of menu designs. In general, you want to entice and entertain the eye with a delicate combination of contrast and consistency. 

Then, you should ensure that the dishes you feature contain a diverse variety of nutritional profiles, market appeal, and dietary concerns. This will make your menu most appealing to people with diverse tastes, casting a wide net on earnings. 

Making Menu Formats Rich and Visual

The steps to creating an enriching and visually enhanced menu format include:

  • focusing on online orders, 
  • choosing strategic items, and 
  • leveraging technology to inform design 

Once you’ve checked these off, you’ll be ready to feature the new menu format with cross-platform availability through stable integration—assuming you use an online ordering partner. 

If you really wish to dig into more menu insights, make sure you review our guide to how to create a restaurant menu.

Options for Customization

Off-premise dining is much more than a trend. It includes takeout, delivery, and drive-thru ordering. Over the coming years, it's also expected to grow its multi-billion dollar industry by about 11 percent—translating to an enormous sum of potentially loyal customers.

As you customize your menu experience based on restaurant CRM system, POS integration, and customer profile data—remember to keep things simple. Feature only the items you want to promote and which your customers are particularly excited for. 

Some technologies that will help you identify the high-margin dishes, appropriate segments, and right organization for your menu may be tech solutions you already rely on:

If you’re unsure how these software systems could help you create a high-volume menu format, explore the guide to restaurant data intelligence

Optimizing for Delivery and Takeout

Menu management, engineering, and optimization techniques often rely on the same data to stir new ideas into restaurant operations. 

To optimize your menu format, you will need to analyze your current menu, its sales, and success. Once you know the most desirable dishes, you can adapt the current menu format to suit the trends, needs, and best practices discussed above. 

For instance, you may find—as many restaurants do—that a simple a la carte boxed menu will help increase sales by adding flexibility to the experience of ordering. This is a kind of menu customization customers enjoy, and it’s simple to implement. Finally, remember that you can experiment with unconventional and unique menu formats. 

This may not be available for all restaurants, however. Those who rely on menu templates will struggle to distinguish themselves from the mass of ghost kitchens, food trucks, and pop-up restaurants using the same template on Square, Toast, or Clover.

If you’ve chosen a software partner who can customize your digital menu ordering, consider what would give you brand pop and appeal. Look to big data in restaurants to support your design choices—and publish when you’re convinced.

Demo Revolution Ordering technology to design a menu format based on restaurant intelligence from POS integration\.

Frequently Asked Questions About Menu Formats

Discover how restaurant owners create menu formats that formidably compete for customers in a market saturated by strategy, successful techniques, and sophisticated tools. 

Know the reason that menu design ideas matter, and get the right answers below.

What is a menu format?

A menu format is a visual and functional way to understand how you present food and beverage options to your market. 

Your menu’s format can have a critical impact on sales, restaurant expenses, and overall customer satisfaction. That’s not to mention engagement with loyalty programs and brand identity as well. 

How should a menu be written?

Most customers will expect you to present dishes in the same order that customers would eat them. For that reason, start with appetizers and move to entrees, sides, and desserts. 

Group similar items as much as possible, even within categories, so that vegan drinks and vegetarian options appear together, for instance. But, as you write, ensure that each dish stands on its own ingredients, preparation, and appeal.

Why does menu formatting matter?

A custom restaurant menu format supercharges your brand promotion potential. When you choose a menu format, you should consider how it expresses an idea about your brand, restaurant, or experience. 

If you do this, you’ll see how subtle changes in presentation lead to positive and noticeable new outcomes for your profitability and service. You’ll see that a unique, memorable format that makes ordering easy-to-complete will have the greatest benefit for your eatery or multi-location restaurant. 

To learn more about how Revolution Ordering can give you the tools to create a popular and pleasing menu format, demo our technology

Find the tools and information restaurants need to elevate every aspect of business, beginning with menus.