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This article is reprinted from Restaurant Startup & Growth Magazine

Common Menu Mistakes

Inadequate management commitment. Not treating the menu design decision with the same due diligence as any major capital investment decision is setting yourself up for failure. So is leaving the menu layout and design up to your printer and not working with a graphic designer to accentuate the menu items you want to feature.

Hard to read. Examples include poor readability because of font size, paper color and font style; crowded menu pages with elements too numerous and font type too small; and printing on dark paper with dark ink making readability difficult under low-light conditions.

Overemphasizing prices.When you align prices in a column down the page, guests can summarily discount items based on price alone.

Monotonous design. Using the same graphic design on all menu items so nothing stands out says, “blah.”

Poor salesmanship.Not emphasizing the items the restaurant wants to sell through graphics, fonts, color, or illustrations reduces your influence on what items will move.

Poor use of space. This includes not using the front and back cover for information about the restaurant, e.g., hours, services, history, address, etc. I have more than 1,000 menus in my library and about one-fourth of them do not have any identifying information. Over the years I have forgotten where some of them came from and the menu does not contain any information. Since people take menus from restaurants as souvenirs, it should contain what is referred to as “institutional information.” To not include it would be like having custom matches without your restaurant’s name on them.

Incongruent.This includes failing to design the menu to fit the décor and personality of the restaurant. Your menu is your primary communication tool and it should be designed in a way that if a customer who had never heard of your restaurant were handed a copy of your menu they would be able to visualize your décor, type of food, price range and whether you were casual or upscale dining.

Too big.The size of the menu needs to take into account the size of the table, the place setting and the table appointments. Oversized menus can be awkward to hold and handle while sipping a martini and trying to have a conversation with your dinner companions.


Date: 2015-01-11; view: 95


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