A Well Designed Menu Is An Art of Seduction As Much As A Sales per Item Table Strategy.

Updated: May 17

Do you know that menus are a restaurant’s most intimate point-of-sale connection to the customer and their buying decisions more than you think?

Client: StarThai Sushi, Siesta Key, Fl

Brand Manager: Chez Boodparset

Project: New Menu Design and Promotional Items

Goals: Increase user friendly design menu, increase customer positive experience, strengthen brand products and upsales and better buying decision making for our customers.

Creative Brand Designer: Chez Boodparset

Production/Business Owner: Ommey M., Staff.

Psychology Behind Restaurant Menus

Menus obviously play a veryimportant and direct role in priming yet it's one of the over looked elements in restaurant industry. In fact, the menus were distributed to customers (one type per table) and check average monitored. There were many surveys were also distributed to customers to better understand how the menu influenced their decisions.

A restaurant’s menu is one of the most important internal advertising tools that can be used to educate the customers about the experience they are about to have. The true is the driving force behind a well-designed menu is not the designer or printer, it is the restaurant owner or head chef. Whether it is a five-star restaurant or a mom and pop restaurant, the menu needs to be developed from the perspective of the specific clientele the restaurant is looking to target.

“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” – Peter Drucker

Menus Are Your Point of Sale

Menus are a restaurant’s most intimate point-of-sale connection to the customer. A too-large menu also means longer ticket times. When you have too many different dishes cooking at the same time and not enough of the same items in the same pans, you’ll spend more time producing orders. Each table takes longer to serve, and you’ll turn them over at a slower rate. This only means one thing, there will be more complaints, customer dissatisfaction and of course bad customer experience.

Therefore, the importance of the menu content and design cannot be overstated. Much of the restaurant’s success will be determined by its menu. Do you know that your menu is your internal advertising device used to sell the customer once they are inside your restaurant? In fact, a well-designed menu demonstrate the importance of the planning and research that needs to be done before a menu is finalized. A well designed menu should be an effective communication, marketing and cost control tool. A well thought-out menu emphasizes what the customer wants and what the restaurant prepares and serves best. Good menu sells.

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Menus Are Showing Your Unique Selling Proposition

Keep your menu size in check. Instead of offering a five-page menu, consider offering a smaller number of dishes and doing them really well. People need to know what your restaurant is about – keep your menu aligned with your restaurant’s unique proposition. Along with these results, researchers confirmed that party size, dining duration and table location play an obvious and statistically significant role in total check average.

“We, as human beings, learn through sharing and communicating.” –Hugo Reynolds

If your customer is not sure what you are selling, then there is a problem on your menu communication. In fact, your menu is the most basic promotion item to show your products. The secret of success with menu design is the same as with any image. It must have an emotional appealing to the audience. If your best products are placed properly according to the design rule, than there is a chance that your products are desirable. A well designed menu isn't just communicating to the audience, but it also inspires and creates a desire to buy more. This would make your sever's job easier. Good menu saves time, sells more and more importantly, reflects your brand unique selling point.

Menus Boost Your Up-Sales

The fact is, good design can mean the difference between a flourishing business and a shut-up shop. We live in a world where quality is an idea that is preached more than it is practiced. The business benefits of design go beyond typography and color schemes. Good design increases sales of your products or services, improves market position, boosts customer loyalty, and builds a stronger identity for your business. At the same token, good designs, save you time and help you accomplish your task more effectively.

If positioned correctly, the arrangement of the images and text on your menu can possess lots of persuasion power than you think. Menu can be used as a powerful persuasion. In menu, images even when they are static photographs or drawings, can tell stories. Image can appeal with an emotional connection to the audience in a great deal. Your menu image sets an expectations about what your customers are buying. Through my experience, a well designed menu motivates and inspires people to buy more. If used properly, menu should be used a perfect selling tool. I regularly train my server staff about its importance.

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Customer Insights

Good branding is about knowing who you truly are and how much you know about who you're targeting to. For example, here at the Star Sushi, consumer understanding plays a huge role on our product and campaign greatly. Understanding the relationships between your brand and consumer behavior influences the way we promote our products and new items, introducing out special menus to your marketing campaign.

A well designed menu provides you with the actual insights and reports on how your customers behave once on your establishment; what are the most requested items, or the less ordered items and why, etc.; When you know who your customers are likes and dislikes, etc., you can take proper measures to enhance their overall brand experience. You can direct their attention and up-sales them toward something they might like including chef specials, promotional items, and your signatures. An inspired customers are the best customers.

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Again much of the restaurant’s success will be determined by its menu. Not only your menu is your internal advertising device used to sell the customer once they are inside your restaurant, it's about customer insights. Menu tells about your customer behavior. Your menu shows you about their likes and dislikes, your best items and your least. So if paid attention, your a well designed menu can be an effective two ways communication between your customers and your brand.

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My Thoughts & Experience:

As an entrepreneur, you must know how important it is to see what works at your business and what doesn’t. Therefore, your brand unique selling proposition has to be established early. Business is unpredictable, and about the only thing that you can count on is that everything continuously changes. You need to constantly measure your business performance so you know what’s successful and what isn’t. Just remember, you must establish your goals and objectives early.

How To Measure Your Weekly Business Overall Performance:

  • Daily Occupancy: Paying attention to the trend

  • How Do Your Customers Know About You?: Search, Referral, Promotion Ads etc..

  • Overall Customer Satisfaction: What is the percentage?

  • Repeat Customers: Improved or not?

  • Online Engagement: Increased or decreased?

  • How's Your Website Visits: Increased by how much?

  • Online Weekly Orderings: Increased by how much?

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