Successful restaurateurs have already said goodbye to the classic menus, which were simply “just fine”, but did not make a profit.
Menus should be successful tool and serve as the good advertising. This will happened only if they have meet the essential requirements. This means that they are seasonal, visually pleasant, sophisticated, clear, various, targeted to a specific group of guests, and definitely must to be credible.
This “silent salesperson” does not occur by accident – it needs to be strategically planned. Good menus should be designed to match specific groups of guests, those with deeper, and those with less deep pockets. If menus are used and understood as a marketing tool, they could increase your traffic in one season and bring more visitors to your restaurant.
1. Four levels of menus
First, the menu is a list of restaurants offer with listed prices. But the restaurant’s menu goes a lot further than that and has a big marketing function.
All you need to know about a restaurant should be found in the menu.
Since approximately 90% of guests still do not know what they want to eat when they enter in the restaurant, and 85% of them are carefully viewing and listing menu approximately for a 5 minutes, we can say that the menu is used on an emotional and effective level.
When you are searching for new restaurant’s menu ideas think about relevant tasks that menu must meet such as: Elective assistant, Additional vendor, Consultant for sale, Sales promoter and Funny Colorful notebook. It must arouses the curiosity, become gourmet deceiver, make a (food) wishes come true, etc.You should think about all of these when you found some new restaurant menu ideas.
Menu should also inform your costumer about some extra offers and opportunities too, like possibility of renting halls for various events, organization of catering, seminars and courses that can be held in the facility, special program for sale etc. Also menu should contain a reference to the website and Facebook page (link or QR code), articles and comments from newspapers and hospitality web sites and flyers with the special offer.
2. Runners in your restaurant menu
In all available menus there are so called “runners” which is popular food and “weak” food offer. Runners is best selling food and they are often popular standard dishes – which are recognizable.
If you look better you will notice that 20% of the total supply of food on the menu, make up 80% of sales. Successful restaurateur knows which food should get so-called. “star” profile. These are the “runners” who leaves the most money in the cash register.
How can you make a star from some dish? You should make it distinctive.
Customers should be able to recognize the uniqueness of your restaurant. For example if your restaurant offering a dish that has a unique shape and flavor and it is the one and only like that in your part of town you get the goal. Based on this, you can even increase the price.
Follow the golden rule: Stars from the menu should be combined with the stars from the wine card.
3. The structure of good menu
The first thing which should be done when structuring menu is to:
- make a menu content – offer which will be included in the menu,
- then comes the the accompanying text,
- and at the end – menu design.
You should be aware these important things :
- Right side of menu always sells more then left one.
- Good texts in menus emphasize the specificity of that choice.
- The first and the last dish placed in the menu card are in sections of commonly ordered dishes.
So it is clear where and how the stars of menu should be positioned in menu .A weak supply (those with a smaller margin) that we have on the menu, should be put on the left side of menu card.
4. Menu contents
Be very careful with selection of the menu contents. Small number of offered dishes in the menu is not a mistake, but rather an indicator of quality. If you offered more food that would not make more traffic, and often will only confuse the customers. If your restaurant has clearl profile then it has better position in catering industry and your menu may contain less food/dishes. In this way your dishes got always the same unique taste which make your restaurant distinctive.
5. Menu ideas & design
Content determines the form of the menu – form may not be determined by the content. But definitely what form determines is the menu effect. So read carefully those restaurant menu design ideas. Menus are part of the marketing advertising. They must be harmonized with website, business cards, brochures, images, offers and billboards. Consistency in design, color, font and logo is important for recognition and restaurant image. Standard, plastic menus are a total failure. Caterers sale pleasure and a menu just has to evoke that. Do not let the decision for change of menu design is made only to replace “old for new”. Take the opportunity to completely change the contents of the menu, of course, if it is necessary.
6. Professional design of menu
Find a professional graphic designer to design your restaurant menu if you can or made it by your own with menu templates. The menu title and the material from which it is made, should represent the type and quality of your restaurant. Hand-written menus indicate that the object is traditional, and that their guests can enjoy local dishes in your restaurant. Will the menu include pictograms and photos, depending on the style of the object, but certainly be aware that these graphical elements can make up to 15% more profit. But at the same time never forget:
• Menus must be clearly readable
• Even in poor lighting conditions, for older people or people with low vision
• Pay attention to the font size, font and contrast.
Guests gladly take flyers with them which contain restaurants offer. Be sure that flyer contain all additional information : announcements, suggestions for outings, coupons, and advertisements. Flyers should be immediately reimbursed as soon as they disappear.
Flyers with an offer come “to the people” on various ways: for example, at the exit of the building, mailboxes, etc. In this world there are more and more vegetarians, vegans, diabetics and people with allergies to certain foods, and people who dine under religious aspects.
The special menus will complement the main menu. Restaurants which have special menus for groups of guests have a much more profit, and can be proud on their service at a high level. Creative kids menu is a one of the perfect menu ideas for your restaurant.
8. Menu prices
Price must be clear and credible – this should be certainly regulated by law . Psychology gives testimony for prices determination: Amounts that end with 95 or 99 cents are insignificant. But who does not increase the price from 50 to 80 or 90 cents has lost his money.
The most important note is: The menu is not price list. The menu which has been made in order to price level is not the best one. Guest should not choose his own dish regarding how much it costs, but according to what do they like to eat. The best solution is to mix more expensive and less expensive dishes in your restaurant menu.
9. Analysis of the menu
Modern designed menu is simple and affordable way to get traffic and to improve the catering business, but also to please the customer.
Recipe for success:
- Regular analysis
- Menu modification
Optimize menu gradually by strengthening peaks in the menus and ejecting failures. I suggest that you look at your menu card with the eyes of your guest because then you will easily notice the flaws and mistakes. Also, ask your employees for advice, because they are the ones that customers ask questions related to food and drinks. Check with them about costumers questions and where they had no answers in the menu. It is required to maintain the menu, and this includes daily cleaning, invisible repairing, and replacement of defective or fatty menus.
10. Tell me a story
We can say that the menu ideas improve the sale – and the staff are performing the actual sales communication. Employees need to learn to look at the menu as a tool of communication.
Domestic cuisine is a very popular – and so the story of the region and the place where it begins is very interesting. Guests highly appreciate and respect stories about authenticity, family, and tradition – a story which provide additional information about the background and origin. In this way, the menu motivate the order, shows the power spectrum, as well as a fun way of showing the philosophy and identity of your restaurant.
Creativity in the kitchen enticing guests. The menu also can do it the same.
If you leave the menu at the table after ordering, it certainly provides additional sales.That s because nine out of ten guests in your restaurant after the election and ordering retake menu in their hands, and continue to browse it because it was fun. So most of them decide to order additional dish or drink or maybe desert.
The good menu ideas must fulfill well its function as a seller, when telling different kind of stories such as stories about the catering object, the staff, the restaurants theme etc. Almost every dish can tell some story. For example, about the origin of dishes, about its name, who and when was invented recipe, a particular way of preparing dishes, etc.