Research has shown that the restaurant menu is a critical sales tool that can significantly impact a restaurant’s success.
According to a study conducted by the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, the menu layout and design can influence customers’ perception of the food and impact their dining experience.
The first impression that customers have of a restaurant is often formed by the menu. Therefore, it is crucial to create a menu that is visually appealing and easy to navigate.
Another study conducted by the MenuShop found that customers take an average of 109 seconds to read a menu, highlighting the importance of creating a clear and concise menu layout.
Creating creative restaurant menu designs that are effective and profitable is one thing, but other aspects related to restaurant menu engineering must be considered by restauranteurs.
Below we have elaborated 7 restaurant menu engineering ways that any restaurant business can incorporate into their restaurant business to upscale their restaurant operations. So let’s dive in!
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Use High-Quality Images
According to a study by the Culinary Institute of America, including photos of menu items can increase sales by up to 30%.
Additionally, another study by the University of Toronto found that people tend to perceive food as more valuable if it is presented in an attractive manner.
Using professional photographs of dishes that are appetizing and visually appealing can increase the perceived value of the dish, making it easier to charge a premium price.
Therefore, including high-quality images of your dishes in your menu is an effective way to entice customers to order and increase restaurant sales.
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Keep it Simple
A study conducted by the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research found that customers tend to prefer menus with clear headings, subheadings, and spacing.
The layout and organization of a restaurant menu can significantly impact customer satisfaction and sales.
The study by the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research also indicated that, customers are more likely to choose dishes that are easy to locate on the menu.
Furthermore, customers can become frustrated if they have difficulty navigating a menu, which can negatively impact their dining experience.
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To create an effective and easy-to-navigate menu, restaurant owners should use clear headings and subheadings to group similar items together.
Additionally, proper spacing between menu items can make it easier for customers to read and understand the menu structure.
By keeping the menu simple and easy to navigate, restaurant owners can improve the dining experience for their customers and increase sales.
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Highlight Special Dishes
According to a study by the National Restaurant Association, customers are more likely to order a dish if it is identified as a “special.”
One way to draw attention to these dishes is to use eye-catching graphics or fonts to make them stand out on the menu.
Additionally, including a short description of the dish or highlighting its unique features can make it more appealing to customers.
Research has shown that including descriptive language, such as “seasonal” or “locally sourced,” can increase the perceived value of a dish and make it more enticing to order.
Furthermore, highlighting specials can also create a sense of urgency, as customers may feel like they are missing out if they don’t order the special.
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According to a study by the University of Illinois, using sensory words, such as “crispy” or “juicy,” can make dishes sound more appetizing and increase sales.
Along with enticing restaurant interior design themes, highlighting special dishes on a restaurant menu is an effective way to increase sales and improve customer dining experience.
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Organize Items by Profit Margin
By placing high-profit dishes in prominent locations on the menu, such as the top right corner, restaurant owners can draw customers’ attention to these items and increase their sales.
According to a study by Cornell University, menu engineering techniques, such as placing high-profit items in prime menu locations, can increase a restaurant’s profits by up to 15%.
Additionally, using design elements such as colour or font to highlight high-profit items can further increase their visibility and appeal to customers.
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However, it’s important to strike a balance between highlighting high-profit items and maintaining a well-rounded menu with a variety of options.
By strategically organizing menu items by profit margin, restaurant owners can increase their profitability while still providing a satisfying dining experience for their customers.
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Use Descriptive Language
According to a study by the University of Illinois, using descriptive language to describe menu items can increase their sales by up to 27%.
Instead of using generic terms like “spaghetti,” restaurant owners should use descriptive terms that highlight the unique features of the dish, such as “homemade pasta with slow-simmered tomato sauce and fresh basil.”
Descriptive language can make the dish sound more luxurious and increase its perceived value in the eyes of the customer.
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Additionally, using descriptive language can help customers better understand what they are ordering, which can lead to higher customer satisfaction.
However, it’s important to strike a balance between using descriptive language and keeping the menu concise and easy to navigate.
By using descriptive language to describe dishes on a restaurant menu, owners can increase their sales and provide a more satisfying dining experience for their customers.
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Consider Adding a Story
According to a study by the Culinary Institute of America, customers are more likely to remember a dish and order it again if there is a story or history behind it.
Including the origin or inspiration behind a dish can create an emotional connection between the customer and the dish, making it more appealing and increasing its perceived value.
Additionally, sharing the story of a dish can help create a unique selling point for the restaurant and differentiate it from competitors.
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However, it’s important to keep the story concise and relevant to the dish. Adding irrelevant or lengthy stories can confuse customers and make the menu difficult to navigate.
By adding a story behind a dish on a restaurant menu, owners can create a more memorable dining experience and increase their sales.
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Update Your Menu Regularly
According to a study by the National Restaurant Association, 56% of customers say that they are more likely to visit a restaurant if it offers new or limited-time menu items.
By changing the menu seasonally or adding new dishes every few months, restaurant owners can keep regular customers interested in trying new things and attract new customers who are interested in the latest food trends.
Additionally, regularly updating the menu can help restaurants stay competitive and differentiate themselves from competitors.
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However, it’s important to ensure that the menu changes are balanced and that popular dishes are still available. Too many changes or the removal of popular dishes can lead to customer dissatisfaction.
By regularly updating the menu, restaurant owners can create a more exciting and dynamic dining experience for their customers and increase their sales.
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In conclusion, creating an effective and profitable restaurant menu requires careful consideration and planning.
By using high-quality images, keeping it simple, highlighting special dishes, organizing items by profit margin, using descriptive language, considering adding a story, and updating your menu regularly, you can create a menu that is visually appealing, easy to navigate, and enticing to customers.
With these tips in mind, you can design a menu that will help increase your restaurant’s profitability and attract more customers.
Moreover, this article is curated by content experts at Billberry, one of the best Restaurant Management System and POS System build according to the needs of the Restaurant Industry. Book a Free Demo Now to learn how Billberry can upscale your restaurant business instantaneously!