With endless options for casual dining, first impressions matter more than ever before. Your restaurant’s menu is the first thing that your customer will engage with and gives valuable insight into your brand personality and culinary expertise. It is therefore imperative that both the aesthetic and content impress! Ultimately, a well–designed menu can drive profit.  

According to a Gallup poll, it takes on average 109 seconds for a diner to scan the menu. Therefore, it is so important to keep it simple and legible.  
Navigation and Order 

Clear navigation will allow your customer to focus on the higher profit items. An eye-tracker study by San Francisco State University, Professor Sybil Yang, finds that customers read a menu sequentially like a book.  The starters should be on the top of the page and the rest of the logical groups should follow sequentially.  Highlight the higher profit items within by using colour or sub-boxes.   


With design, less is more. Limit the number of images of food as they are often associated with junk mail. If it feels bare without images then perhaps fill the space with illustrations that advocate your brand identity. Whatever you use, just make sure it’s high quality! 

Decorative Detailing 

Decorative detailing can act as an “eye magnet” and frame items. Nostalgic illustrations such as fine line food sketches are universally appealing.  An upcoming trend is classical foliage and animal illustrations. The nature–inspired sketches suggest fresh food in a charming, characterful way. 


Colour can be used for emphasis if you apply the principle of colour theories to your design. Certain colours are associated certain feelings and can be used in combination for greater impact. Transparent colour overlays are a popular and effective approach. Layering can achieve a dynamic and visually intriguing design.  

Searchable Menus 

A mighty 93% of people read online menus before eating out, according to research by OpenTable. Online consumers are searching for essential information to help decide what and where to eat. Ensure that your menu exist as searchable text and not just in PDF format so that you appear in the top searches relevant to your offering, such as “pizza near me.” Without a searchable menu, you risk going undiscovered.  
Do you need help with your menu design, brand identity or interior design for your restaurant, café or bar? Our designers have got you covered! Contact Catersales at design@catersales.co.uk or call 020 8684 6500 

Posted by: Fey Mac Canna

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