When you go to a restaurant the first thing that you see is their menu. It has to be impactful for a greater impression. For a restaurant owner, a food menu is your way of communication so it should be poignant enough to be understood by every customer. It is an art to write a menu, to price and market your craft, and to present it in the most tempting way possible. A well-crafted menu can upsell even the simplest dish as bon appetit while a poorly written menu can put your best dish in the back. With everything going online the digital menu is there to replace the static ones. With digital menu boards, you can communicate more than the name and prices. They give full room for creativity. You can use smart animation to describe the structure and taste of any dish.
There is a research named menu engineering which is the study of how a menu item impacts the popularity and lucrativeness of a dish and its restaurant respectively. It focuses on the placement of a certain item on a specific place in your menu which can increase the profit from 10 to 15%. Usually a name then a list of ingredients followed by a smartly explained method of preparation is what we can call a typical menu writing template. A well-worded food menu is something that can change the fate of a dish. The same dish described differently can show a huge difference from the buyer’s point of view. Here are some key factors you need to look through before creating your menu.
The dish should sound interesting enough to engage the reader. For example, instead of writing “charred beef steak with vegetables,” one can write a beautifully cut steak blackened to perfection with our deliciously creamy mashed potatoes with a side of grilled vegetables. Play with words in your restaurant management system to build a large clientele.
- Aesthetically Pleasing
You should be creative with your menu using pictures, graphic layout, different sizes of font, and boxes. According to studies, people remember 10% of what they read but 65% of what they see. This is why the restaurants with graphic digital menus have relatively more sales online. Use sparkling bright colors and captive designs to highlight the dishes.
- Make it lucid
As a restaurant caters to people from every walk of life the menu should be easy to understand. For example, while defining taste or method of preparation words like succulent and braised use juicy and steamed instead. The customer should know what he is ordering so keep it simple yet informative.
- Phrase it well
While defining your food use tempting words and also define the structure of your eatable. For example, a creamy mushroom soup that is infused with rosemary and thyme or mouthwatering pasta made in our special buttery sauce with a smoked chicken fillet is way better than writing mushroom soup and white sauce pasta. Phrasing a dish wisely can really give the consumer an urge to try it.
- Keep it short
A menu should not contain paragraphs. You should describe your dish completely but keep it precise. Your menu must be specific with a reading time not more than 2minutes. There is no need to tell how the sticky rice is made to look fluffy because it’s mixed with chopsticks and not a spoon. Include the details that add to the value of your dish like saying our made pasta dough in house will show the freshness of your food.
- Know your audience
People are getting more and more aware of their food choices and many restaurants respect and include them in their menus. Describe your dish with its health aspects like baked tender meat without oil. It is very wise to highlight vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian options in separate boxes or different pages. Customers will find this easy to locate and their satisfaction is essential for any successful business.
- Price placement
The standard method in placing the price of a dish is right or left side on the page but some studies show this placement makes people end up buying the cheapest dish. So, try placing the price of the dish right after describing it on the menu. With your words, convince the customer that they are getting a great bargain.
Emphasize the quality of ingredients your dish has. For example, you can write that our crunchy fried chicken is marinated with organic herbs served with sautéed vegetables, chemical-free homemade fermented beans, or our velvety smooth buns are made without any added preservatives. Writing your top quality ingredients helps gain the buyer’s trust.
- Use Nostalgia
People buy something when they relate to it. If you tell them this is grandma’s chewy cookie recipe, the chef’s special scalded chicken seared in our wood oven or original Hyderabadi biryani then it attaches a unique authenticity to the dish. Tell a story through your description like you can write the chicken wings are breaded and then assembled with our secret honey glazed sauce. It gives a customer a complete picture of what they are eating in just one line.
Lastly, after writing the menu you should check it thoroughly for any mistakes because it carries the first impression of your place. Match the vibe of your menu with your restaurant. Use colors according to the aesthetics of your place so the menu conveys the message properly. Remember that a good menu can upsell your place in no time. It is an extension for your business so craft it carefully.