Many food businesses of all types—from snack bars, food parks, fast food chains to restaurants—are lucky enough to benefit from regular, loyal customers. Loyal customers help run a good business. In order to make them dine in to your food place, the best choice is to do some upgrades.
Now, the main question is (considering the fact that there are a lot of competition in the market right now): How do you make customers stick around?
In our previous vlog, we talked about the importance of having an instagrammable restaurant. This time, let us elaborate more on one important tool that food entrepreneurs like you should not forget: a menu.
Right! Having a well-designed menu is a way of communicating your brand’s personality to your customers. Customers usually go through the whole menu before ordering something. So you really have to make sure that from the big down to the tiny details of it, you are showing who you are as a brand.
Time to get those creative juices flowing! Check out the menu designs and samples below for inspiration:
Colorful / Abstract / Playful (but not too much)
Depending on what type of food place you are, having a colorful and playful menu will surely do the job. Incorporating colors and eye-catching designs on your menu will help trigger emotions to your customers—making them more drawn into you.
Let’s get deep and scientific: it is said that proper perception of color has been one of the key drivers of human evolution. So if color is really that important to human evolution, just think how important it is in building the value of your brand. Color affects us all in different ways, and you can use this as an advantage to attract your customers.
Take a look at Caliente HK’s menu:
As you can see, they put striking borders above and below, with their own colors to stay on brand. Another thing, they also put emphasis on their best-selling dishes by adding their photos on the menu. Yes, if you’re planning on improving your menu, it is advisable to not put all the photos of your offerings and just focus on the best ones. This is a marketing strategy too, as some customers would most likely ask for your best-sellers.
Overall, this is a good example of a colorful and perky design that still looks presentable.
We recommend you to have a colorful/abstract/playful menu if you are a/an:
Ice cream shop, Mexican restaurant, Asian restaurant, Candy store, Burger & fries joint, Fast food store, Cake shop
Minimalist with a twist
Sometimes, less is more. Yes, stripping down a design to focus more on what is essential (like your food) can be beneficial for your business. You may ask: is it really effective? Well, one restaurant that has proven its effectivity is Sunnies Cafe. This hippie restaurant has a very minimalist yet appealing menu that is heavily inspired by american resto menus from the early 60s.
As you will notice, there’s really no photos and colors on the menu. But why is it that people are still dining in? It is because of the witty names on the menu.
Take a look at the “milkshakes” pane, one milkshake is named “charlie’s golden ticket”—an ode to the 2005 hit movie, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. Another one is named “kimye”, the combined name of famous socialite Kim Kardashian and rapper-husband Kanye West. The idea is very clever and stirs so much curiosity. This is the main reason why majority of Sunnies Cafe’s customers are millennials and early gen zs, as people in those age groups are fond of these twists.
Just a friendly reminder: minimalist design does not work for all. It can make or break your business, so it’s best to really identify and know your brand image and personality before you consider implementing it.
We recommend you to have a minimalist menu if you are a/an:
Ice cream shop, Coffee shop, Milk tea house, Wine house, Fine dining restaurant
Digital and multifunctional (the use of technology to order food)
Going digital is a great strategy to attract more customers, as more of these people are fond of new technology. If you really want to step up and improve your menu, why not consider having a kiosk at your store?
Ever since Mcdonald’s implemented their digital kiosks, many more businesses followed. Why? It’s because it’s essential and improves wait time and order accuracy. Also, it doesn’t negatively affect labor as much as people think.
Note: If you are just starting a food business and you’re on a tight budget, this may not be a good choice for you. But if you have the means of implementing a kiosk at your store, then go for it.
We recommend you to have a digital menu if you are a/an:
Fast food restaurant, Ice cream store, Coffee shop, A food place with a budget
A menu design is a low cost but effective marketing tool for a restaurant. So if you’re a budding resto in your city, and you really want to maximize your efforts to market your business and get customers in return, do not forget this very important tool. Again, there is no perfect formula to win the hearts of consumers, but with the right planning and execution, they will surely keep on coming back to your restaurant.