Restaurants reside in a thin line between profit and loss. Between appeasing their consumers and falling short of their sales expectations, restaurateurs have to constantly dodge the proverbial pitfalls that could jeopardize their years of hard work. Certainly, there isn’t any magic wand you could swindle and truncheon your customers to the point of a sellout. However, there are several different techniques you could implement in your restaurant to entice your patrons and raise the bar of customer satisfaction.
One of these approaches is using a menu layout that is attractive, clean, and aesthetically pleasing. Think of it as your first step to conquering the “customer experience” in your restaurant. It guides them through the delicacies you have put your heart and soul into cooking, subtly influencing their decisions and, ultimately, their overall experience in your restaurant. It also empowers you with much-needed opportunities to test drive your creations and make any necessary changes before the “big day.”
But as a busy restaurateur, you might be skeptical and think that it’s too much of a hassle to invest time and effort into something as trivial as menu layout. Understanding your dilemma, below we will discuss what and how reviewing your menu layout can help you offer the best customer experience to your customers.
1. Beautify Your Menu with Professional Photography
Pictures are indeed worth a thousand words. It can instantly transform how your customers perceive your restaurant and help them make a smart decision about their meal. It also helps you market your business more effectively as you can leverage social media and marketing channels to display your menu visually. Not to mention, it’s also good for business as the eyes are the window to the soul. A well-designed menu enriched with professional photographs of your delicious dishes will surely put your patrons at ease and help them make the right decision.
You can even take advantage of stock photos – which admittedly are already well-edited and beautifully packaged – to give your menu a little extra something. Just make sure not to overdo it. You don’t want to raise high hopes only to dash them with underwhelming dishes.
So, to get the most out of your menu, make sure to invest in professional photography that conveys the true essence of your dishes – their taste, aroma, and appearance.
2. Be Unique to Your Concept
While consistency is key in keeping your brand cohesive, the more unique you are to your concept; the more people will recognize your brand and be more likely to choose your restaurant. The menu is one of the most noticeable aspects of your restaurant and is bound to attract attention. While it is crucial to have a visually appealing menu, it should be designed in a way that is unique to your concept.
You don’t want your Mexican restaurant’s menu to look exactly like the Italian restaurant’s menu that you so admirably copied. It is not only tacky but also a sure-fire way to lose customers. When designing your menu, keep in mind the theme of your restaurant and be as unique as possible. You can do this by using photo elements, photos of local ingredients, and restaurant designs that are consistent with your theme. This will help you stand out from the rest and create a better first impression with your customers. A perfect personalized, interactive version of your menu is what will help you distinguish yourself from the rest and become the talk of the town.
3. Take Advantage of Milagro’s SmartMenu Service
Give your customers the best possible experience by letting them order and pay for their meals through a convenient, easy-to-use SmartMenu. Milagro SmartMenu brings your restaurant a much-needed opportunity to present your menu in an interactive, personalized, and highly customizable format. From the ability to offer exclusive, exciting specials and easy payment options to delivering an improved customer experience, Milagro SmartMenu is your ticket to better sales and a happier, more satisfied customer.
What is even more thrilling is that your customers don’t have to be tech-savvy to take advantage of this. All they have to do is open their camera app and scan for QR Code and experience your virtual menu, order and pay for their meals with just a few taps. The possibilities are endless, so stop limiting your customers’ experience and take the leap to Milagro SmartMenu.
4. Use Simple Language While Writing Menu Descriptions
Classy, fun yet casual writing always wins over formal, stuffy language in menus. No one has the time nor patience to read long, complicated descriptions that have little to do with the actual food. Keep your menu descriptions concise and easy to understand.
Don’t be too pompous or flowery. Use simple language that your customers can easily understand and envision enjoying your dishes. If you want, you can always add a few extra details – but these can be found in the Pricing, Ingredients, and Preparation Instructions sections of your menu. Keep the other sections simple and brief. Also, avoid using capital letters or complicated, fancy typography that will only confuse your customers. Stick to standard fonts and styles, but with more customized lettering.
5. Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Colors
Colors are an integral part of our everyday life. They influence our moods, help us influence people, and can even dictate our personality. So, why shouldn’t they also be important when designing your menu? Colors can have a big impact on how much someone is willing to spend on a meal. Not only do certain colors attract more attention than others, but the right colors can also make your customers feel more satisfied after a meal and help you make more money with add-ons.
A recent study showed that guests who dined at restaurants with red accented menus were 30% more likely to leave a restaurant with a bigger bill than those who ate at restaurants with general white and grey menus. The reason for this is that red is a highly stimulating color and is associated with feeling alert and energized. While red is a great color to use on your menu, you shouldn’t be overzealous about it. Most restaurants use a combination of colors, including red, to help appeal to their customers. So, don’t forget to use different colors on your menu and have fun with it!
To conclude, you should always strive to make your menu look and feel fresh, modern, and unique. It should reflect your brand and the personality of your restaurant. Of course, you don’t want to go overboard and make your menu look too busy or complicated. Just use the right colors and photography to help bring your menu to life and appeal to your customers. This will help you increase your sales and, in turn, your profits.
Milagro has all the tools and technology for your restaurant’s success.