Whatever your business, if you sell food, drink or even services, you’ll need a menu or pricelist that shows you off to the fullest.
Making a few simple tweaks here and there can make all difference, and could see your customers buying more, returning more often and spending more with each visit. But where do you start?
Take a look at your current menu or pricelist. When was the last time it got a refresh? Is it printed on paper sheets and held in a clipboard, is it bound up, brochure style, or is it on your wall? However you present yours, think about whether it still looks as professional and clean as the day you started. Consider:
- Are the fonts used up to date?
- Is it eye catching?
- If you’ve used photos, are they up to date/representative of what’s on offer?
- Is anything missing (like offers or deals)?
Once you’ve identified where you need to improve your menu (and you’re hopefully thinking about a redesign, or a few tweaks here and there), it’s time to think about how it looks when it’s printed. The finish of your menus can make all the difference.
From Table Mat style menus, to Saddle Stitched booklet-style or high quality Postcard or luxury Flyer style for specials and promotions, your menu is your first impression – so think about the way you want to be perceived when your customers sit down to eat, drink or consider what’s on offer.
With so many styles to choose from like, Mounted, Folded, Brochure, Wall, or even something totally unique to you (like a Laser Cut or Die Cut menu), the sky’s the limit for your creativity. For the full range of our menu printing options, take a look at our Hospitality Collection or go Bespoke.
How to encourage more sales
It’s not just how your menu looks and feels that can be the key in selling more though. The actual content and the way you display it can contain subtle cues that actually encourage customers to buy. There’s an entire industry known as “menu engineering”, dedicated to designing menus that convey certain messages to customers, encouraging them to spend more and make them want to come back, time and time again. No, really.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to head back to school to learn the basics – we’ve rounded up some key takeaways that you can apply to your own menu…
A key to selling more (and convincing customers to pay higher prices) is to use indulgent descriptions to get their mind ‘tasting’ the food or drink before they’ve even ordered. Think: “Handmade deep-filled shortcrust pastry pie, with British chicken and organic leeks – served with extra thick, steak cut rosemary fries” sounds a lot more appetising than simply “Chicken pie and chips”.
Customers will also attach a certain quality to your food or drink depending on the description used. If you offer homemade lemonade for example, “Aunt Jemima’s famous bitter lemonade” gives a certain authenticity to the lemonade you create – even if it’s made up.
Think about onomatopoeic words and exciting descriptions too. “sizzling”, “crispy”, “sweet”, “bitter”, “dark” and “rich” can add a new element to your menus.
Location, location, location
No we’re not talking about where your premises are – we’re talking about the layout of your menu.
By placing the most expensive item at the top of the menu, it makes those that come after it seem far more reasonably priced.
In the same way, placing your two most expensive items next to each other can make the cheaper of the two seem far better value, even if it is still your second most expensive menu item.
Consider highlighting these options – surrounding them with a box, a heading, or even a photo if you have it.
Using photos or images of your food or drink on your menu could be considered quite a dated practice, and perhaps one used by cheaper fast food establishments. But this doesn’t always have to be the case.
Using photos can trigger the mind of your customers to think about what they’re about to eat, and tempt them to order. They may not have considered a starter or side dish, but an image could be all the temptation they need to place their order.
Have a think about how you can incorporate images into your menu, and remeber, they don’t always have to be photographic! This design for Esquire/Woodford Reserve shows how an illustration can be just an enticing as a photo, and gives a whole new feel to menu design.
Planning a menu redesign soon? Let us know what you thought of our tips in the comments section, or show us your designs on social by using the hashtag: