how to create a great menu

May 3, 2014, by Lisa Saville


Restaurant menu layouts and colors, should match your restaurant concept. For a fancy restaurant, dark colors will convey a sense of seriousness and professionalism. At a casual restaurant, warm, muted colors will look appropriately inviting. At a restaurant with a young clientele or a zanier theme, bright colors will usually make the most sense. Same for the font – a French bistro may have a classic script font, while a sports bar could use more bold and playful fonts. Here are some guidelines to get you started…



Engineer your menu for maximum profitability. Follow these quick tips:

– Customers will start reading at the upper right quadrant, so your most popular items or specials should be placed there to promote sales.

– Group items logically and list them in the order in which people would be eating them.

– Highlight your signature dishes with icons or other visual cues.

– Give descriptive titles. Eg: “Burger” doesn’t sound like much, but “Juicy Burger with sweet chilli and parmesan” will get your readers’ attention.

– Upsell items, eg.drinks and desserts, could be on separate menus or table tents.

– Put your daily specials on one sheet so you only have to reprint a single sheet.



Focus on font, margins, spacing, and overall composition:

Keep your fonts simple: more than 3 fonts will make the menu look busy.

People buy more if they can easily find and read their choices.  Check the legibility in a low light setting too.

Err on the side of a shorter, simpler design, especially relevant for high-end restaurants, where taste and simplicity are paramount.



Errors in the menu send out a poor message and can leave customers with a bad taste for your brand. Consistent styling from section to section, easy-to-read fonts, clean spacing, and a typo-free menu will be easiest for your customers to digest, so careful proof reading is critical.  Perhaps get someone outside the business to look at the final draught before signing off.  What’s obvious to the professional may not make sense to a lay person.

Hope this guide was helpful, now here’s some visual inspiration for you:

Contact us when you are ready to get started and we will engineer the perfect menu for you!




<< Go Back