July 19, 2023
Devn Ratz

6 Restaurant Menu Design Tactics to Boost Online Orders

Restaurant menu design is a science, and an art. Every detail counts in what’s known as “menu engineering” in the industry. Your fonts, colors, and categories influence buying and attract customers to your restaurant.

Will your menu set the stage for an improved customer experience, or for disorder and disappointment? Menu management for restaurants, no one said it would be easy, especially without a menu management system.

Key Takeaway: Custom restaurant menu design optimized with strategic software from Revolution Ordering drives engagement, loyalty programs, and growth for enterprise restaurants. 
Learn to update restaurant menu design and keep your place in the online ordering rush through a free demo with Revolution Ordering.

6 Restaurant Menu Design Ideas for Enterprise Growth

Learn to set your restaurant menu designs apart, and make it easy for customers to imagine the mood and moment of receiving service or streamlined restaurant delivery. Aligning menu descriptions and designs with brand identity, industry trends, and consumer preferences may be no simple task. 

Create a compelling introduction for your service with digital menu ordering that builds a bond through our favorite strategies. Become irresistible to the online ordering customer: consume our in-depth dive into effective restaurant menu design.

1. Categorize Your Dishes

Initially structure and make a restaurant menu by using a category layout. Clear “cells” of offers boost revenue statistically. They also increase customer engagement with menus easily navigated by everyone. Go deeper with organization and satisfaction by trying these well-studied suggestions:

  • Split menus. A separate menu for special treats drives appetizer and dessert sales. So does a secret menu. In short, let customers ponder over which items they want from every list.
  • Divide drinks. A unique beverage or alcohol menu saves space. Feature non-alcoholic drink favorites on the main restaurant menu design, but keep spirits, wines, or craft beers to themselves.
  • Distinguish diets. Dedicate sections to vegans, vegetarians, and the gluten-free or carb-conscious. Help customers feel supported in dietary decisions: give them a reason to return.
  • Spotlight seasonal. Use boxes, borders, or center placement to draw eyes to seasonal dishes or specialty plates which are sure to stimulate customer satisfaction (in addition to profits). 

Remember: as you tirelessly list items, details, and descriptions, simplicity still matters. Don't overwhelm readers with more than two pages, if possible. Use larger pages and clean online designs when pressed for space. 

In the end, organized menu management more easily convinces customers. That lowers restaurant customer turnover as well. Logical, carefully arranged items really prepare dining experiences with informative first impressions. 

These positive, planned appearances cheaply increase customer acquisition, restaurant retention, and multi-location KPIs. Software tools like Revolution Ordering will even help measure customer experiences through custom reporting and analytics for your business.

2. Refine Dish Descriptions

Whether you’re making menus for movie theaters or sustainability, drafting restaurant menu formats and descriptions remains a continual process. You may not get it perfect the first time, but the best food delivery management systems report on your progress to support updates and improvement. 

This is as true for cruise ship food as for country club menus or catering items for groups. They nudge customers to experiment with new flavors and dishes. It also helps guests with food allergies. They can identify a suitable dish based on descriptions and featured ingredients. 

Make names unique, or charming, to support speedy understanding. When you clarify what a dish includes, customers feel more trust and security in placing the order. But, go beyond mere ingredients. 

Describe taste and texture. Make the customer experience irresistible. For instance, don't just list a simple set of salad ingredients. Instead, enrich the plate with adjectives that add intrigue and highlight your process or standards.

3. Identify Sustainable Dishes

Showcase those plant-based items. These attract health-aware, vegetarian, and vegan customers. Highlight the variety on offer. Restaurant menu templates with inclusivity assist restaurant promotion by catering to different market’s dietary concerns. 

Customers appreciate the help finding preferred choices. Special diet customers may even find it essential, preferring other restaurants when they feel neglected. Add sections or other signs to help guests find their favorites and spot dishes satisfying their standards.

4. Choose Friendly Fonts

In online communication as well as print, font selection remains critical. Seemingly slight, even the shape of letters will definitely affect the success of your overall restaurant menu design. 

Explore how the slightest typeface change in scale, symbol use, or size can advance (or undermine) online ordering at restaurants:

  • Scale item size. Make sure your dishes and descriptions loom over pricing. When prices are bold, customers seek cheap items. The focus should be on appealing dishes.
  • Use uppercase bold. Highlights for dish names will give each dish distinction and clarity. For descriptions, adopt lowercase, regular styling.
  • Drop dollar signs. Money symbols inspire a negative impression. Without them, customers make larger purchases more easily, freely, and without guilt.
  • Make menus accessible. Demographics matter when the very young and very old make up the majority. They often prefer larger fonts. Menus should remain legible for all.

5. Use Helpful Colors

Menu colors reflect your restaurant and reveal your brand's essence. Online ordering at enterprise restaurants shows why you must choose wisely with every business decision. 

Data tells us that colors steer your guests' appetites. Using bright colors, you can ignite hunger on an almost unconscious level. By adding lots of red, yellow, and orange, you even more surely increase ordering appetites. 

On the other hand, blue and purple weaken interest in food. Your color schemes should be harmonious with your brand and follow marketing insights. Keep your brand consistent while using proven strategies to sway orders. Even color choices must align with your goals.

6. Enable Multi-Platform Publishing

Done with your new menu idea? Create a digital copy in Revolution Ordering and put it online for the world. Then, sync your menu across delivery platforms and take-out services with ease. Revolution Ordering keeps such seamless restaurant integration efficient and simple. 

Make mobile-friendly restaurant menu designs too. Use cloud technologies for restaurants to get customers interacting with your business from phones or tablets. Online ordering software integration helps here. Revolution Ordering supports multiple platforms, apps, and third-party services to ensure you reach every potential customer, wherever they are. 

Transform satisfaction and sales through this free guide from Revolution Ordering, a technology where custom restaurant menu design has been perfected.

Frequently Asked Questions About Restaurant Menu Designs

Designing menus requires careful thought. Precision and planning is key to launching a menu that motivates your most valuable customers to order and enjoy more often. 

Learn to balance the aesthetics and information of your restaurant menu designs to foster loyalty and more orders. Get the quick version of menu management for enterprise restaurants here.

How do you format a restaurant menu?

To make a restaurant menu, start with listing every menu item on offer. Then, group dishes according to their category (or dietary requirements). You should separate appetizers, entrées, and desserts from beverages, vegan drinks, etc. 

Ensure you make the most important features stand out, like your dishes, descriptions, and details (not their current price). Finally, craft appetizing descriptions and set pricing that doesn’t disrupt near-seamless scanning and ordering.

How many items should a restaurant menu have?

For studied but still unclear reasons, high-performing restaurant menus have around 40 items, total, and about 7 per category. Keep your menu precise, focused, and clear—if not having seven items per group—to help restaurant sales and satisfaction

How do you design a good restaurant menu?

To design a strong restaurant menu, use eye scanning patterns to determine your use of space first. Next, you’ll divide the menu into customer-centric sections, using photos sparingly where needed. 

You can use graphics and outlined boxes for item emphasis instead. Definitely remove currency signs which stir concern, friction, and negative emotions. Once you pick a typeface, color theme, or simply menu management software—you’re ready for more loyalty.

What are the basic rules of menu design?

Most restaurants follow the pattern of planning budgets, estimating capacity, and lowering food costs before deciding on items and designing a menu. After drafting item names and descriptions, carefully weigh restaurant goals against available POS data for the full scope of your design options. 

Once you intimately know your customer’s habits, patterns, and preferences, try these restaurant menu design and engineering tips:

  • Assess food costs against budget objectives and business trends.
  • Reflect on the location's true production capacity and available resources.
  • Review your service process, delivery system, and menu sustainability.
  • Align restaurant menu design with the philosophy of your business.
  • Optimize regularly with integrated ordering and customer data
Get the smarts and savvy you need to overcome obstacles and your competition with free restaurant business resources from menu tactics to running multiple locations and more.