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Making Menus that Sell Themselves

Longhorn Steakhouse menu sitting on a plate on a table

A few simple strategies to achieve a successful menu overhaul.

Your menu is prime real estate in your dining room, but a diner will spend less than two minutes on average browsing it. You can impress them and drive dining decisions within this small window by placing items in ideal locations and within a beautiful design.

We ease restaurant operations by revamping menus with designs that are flexible and customized. We approach menu engineering with a strategic focus on aesthetically overhauling the design while driving a restaurants’ bottom line, so the menu performs for our clients. After 33 years of working with restaurants, we’ve fine-tuned a few simple strategies to achieve a successful menu overhaul.

A menu for Bahama Breeze sitting on a table

The Journey from Drinks to Desserts

Give guests exactly the items they want and get it to them FAST. Start with consolidation and ensure your menu follows that of the customer journey: from drinks to entrées to desserts. We recommend consolidating menu items into distinct, digestible, and descriptive sections to facilitate that journey. These consolidated sections may be distinguished by color, textures, or graphics to further differentiate them.

Then group your like-minded menu items together to form subcategories. Grouping like-minded items together further reduces the overall number of choices for a guest, helping them get exactly what they want quickly. For example, ensuring handheld foods are separate from plated entrées or vegetarian items are distinct from proteins helps guarantee that finding the perfect meal has never been easier. This continues to be a point of importance as dietary trends evolve, such as upticks in snacking and small-plates, as well as the continued growth of flexitarian diets.

Designed with Flexibility in Mind

A carefully thought-through design allows for menu changes and optimizations as promotional needs arise and the restaurant learns more about what’s working. With a flexible design, restaurants can also easily swap out imagery that drives strong crave and appetite appeal which are proven to drive trial of new products. Depending on your specific restaurant need, our team can evaluate what menu options are best, comparing paper weight, color, hardware and overall structure – from booklets, to trifolds and even one-page designs. We deliver cost-effective, flexible solutions, allowing you to make pivots when and where you need.

Maximize Profits with Prioritized Placements

Items that drive high preference and high margin will satisfy both your guests and your business needs. Focus on your best-sellers and the items that drive your best margins by prioritizing their placement on your menu. Increase emphasis on these items with creative enhancements like food photography that sparks the human emotion of crave and place them strategically where most guest attention is spent. You can drive promotional preference on your menu design through highly craveable, full-width photography to ensure these items are top-of-mind during the meal decision-making process. Not sure where to start? We can help you identify what will shine on and off the menu.

We’ve helped clients redesign their house menus, built them a feast of craveable content, and sent batches of compelling emails to promote menu items. And we can help you, too!

Send us your menu, in whatever phase it’s in, for a FREE consultation.