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Do you know what a good restaurant menu is? It's not just a list of food items for sale. Instead, a good restaurant menu is a direct-marketing masterpiece, aimed at enticing restaurant visitors to purchase more high-profit margin items. Before you print your next restaurant menu, see if your menu design and copy match up to the following criteria.
Creative menu copy influences meal-time decision making. You can harness the power of restaurant menu copywriting to help your patrons hunger for your most profitable dishes. Restaurant menu copy should be descriptive and enticing. Instead of simply listing "Garden Salad," for example, your menu could read "Crisp iceberg lettuce topped with fresh organic greens, scrumptious sunburst tomatoes, hearty bleu cheese, all delicately tossed with our world-famous Sweet Summer Sauce dressing." And instead of a "Salads" section, try something that conjures mouthwatering images such as "Fresh from Mary's Garden." Every item on your menu should seem special and unique to your establishment.
Successful restaurant menu design is all about placement. Industry pros know, for example, that the top right hand inside corner of a traditional fold-open menu is a sweet spot. It's where the eyes go first, and it's a great place to graphically showcase your high-profit items. Remember that you don't have to put an image with every single item you offer. For a fluid layout, you can maximize your potential by only pairing images with your best items. The way you list your menu items is likewise important. Instead of making a simple row of names and prices in two columns, list your items in one column and place your prices at the end of your descriptions. If they're not lined up, your patrons won't compare prices and make decisions based on them. You can also omit the dollar sign from your menu altogether, since it reminds your customers that they are spending money versus treating themselves to excellent fare. Another trick: Place your high-profit items at the top or the bottom of food lists, because that's where readers' eyes tend to focus.
Your menu should be incredibly easy to navigate and your food items should be ordered as they are to be eaten - appetizers first, desserts last, etc. You can also take advantage of creative opportunities to upsell. Make food pairing suggestions, include an advertisement for your catering service, or create a healthy eating system so patrons get all four food groups.
The quality of your printed restaurant menu is indicative of the quality of your food. Don't settle for desktop-printed menus or lackluster (or lack of) design. Invest in a good designer and a copywriter, if you don't have the time or abilities yourself, and select a 100-pound gloss text or 70-pound matte text paper stock for clean professional appeal. Printing menus that sell is a scientific process, but if you put the proper time and planning into it and apply proper finishing techniques you'll have an outstanding restaurant menu that increases your profit margin overnight.