Love Your Restaurant Menu

A big part of our job is to help folks look good. And our talents are often very well-suited to restaurants, so we think a lot about how our skills can complement this kind of a business.

We view the menu in a restaurant a lot like we view the website project. Prior to walking into your restaurant, your website might be the first thing your customers see. And until they order their food, they spend some quality time with your menu. So it’s worth giving it some extra care and attention.

Often the proprietor of a restaurant feels as though they don’t have the time or financial resources to make something terribly fancy. Often they will settle on a menu they can print from a printer in their shop, because they may need to update it on short notice, or they prefer it because it’s very affordable.

But a bad menu experience can really cloud a visitor’s opinion of a restaurant. If I think the menu is ratty, cheap, and ugly, I might have a similar expectation of the food. If care is not given to the menu, I might well assume the same is true of the food.

With that in mind, here are a few humble suggestions from Needmore for your restaurant menu.

  1. If you can, have it professionally printed. It’s worth reconsidering your budget if you’re not sure. Try it for a month, and see if your customers respond.
  2. Use a nice font. If it came with Office on your PC, it’s not a nice font. Use something distinctive, that reflects your personality without being difficult to read. When redesigning a website, we take this into account, and will be sure to set the website’s type in a font we can also buy and install on that PC.
  3. If you must print your menu on a printer, take advantage of what that means. Print a new menu every day. Put today’s date on it. Don’t underestimate the psychological impact of getting “today’s menu” at a restaurant. Also, it will be crisp and clean.
  4. Think about how it is framed. Bulky covers with paper shoved into them are out. Unique hard material with a funky clip and a single page attached to them are in! Try something different, something people will remember.

I hope these suggestions have encouraged you to give your menu a little more gentle consideration. Remember that it’s much harder to convince folks that your food is mind-blowingly good when your menu looks lazy!

Raymond Brigleb

Creative Director, dreamer, partner, father, musician, photographer. Has been known to ride the rails. Pulls one heck of a shot.