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How Menu Design Affects Sales Figures of a Restaurant

Can menu design really affect the sales figures of a restaurant?

Well, this might sound a bit weird but psychology has deep connection with marketing. This leads us to the truth that menu design directly affects the total sales of a restaurant. Owners choose a design or at least some of its elements to give you a certain feeling or entice you into taking some action.

You can call it by any name but businesses (including restaurants) across the world are always trying to find newer ways to influence customer’s decision-making process. The restaurant sector too uses its own set of psychological tools known as menu engineering.  

How a Menu Design Company Uses Menu Engineering to influence decision-making?

Menu engineering is actually a field of study that tries to find out how verbal and visual psychology influences a customer’s choice of food at a restaurant. The menu engineers employed by companies offering menu design services use this vital information while designing menus so that it maximizes the profits of a restaurant.

Given below are some menu-design techniques that help restaurants rake in the moolah:

First Impression matters

Diners don’t read menu from the first page to the last and instead quickly scan the entire menu. Now, this implies that they spend very little time on each, which means restaurant owners have very little time to make an impact on the diner’s mind. Scanning by customers can be made easier by dividing the entire menu into subsection with clearly marked headings, dish titles and similar visual techniques.

Menu engineers usually analyze the sales charts and find out the dishes that were ordered the most during a certain period and find out the menu items that proved to be the most profitable. Now, many such analyses has lead to results such as customers spend most of their time looking at items placed on the top and last of a vertically arranged menu card. This is critical information for menu design companies as they can use it to highlight the items at the top and bottom when the menu is vertically oriented.

It’s important to catch the eyes of the diner in the first 100 seconds and a menu design company needs to consider this before finalizing the design.

Analysis of reading patterns

Ever wondered why your best dish is always placed at the right hand top corner of the menu card? Well, the reason is simple - researches reveal that it’s the spot diners tend to gravitate towards when starting to scan a menu. Companies offering menu design services call this the sweet spot and often highlight this section with creative illustrations. However, the layout of a menu design often determines the sweet spot, which implies that the layout has to be done to maximize the benefits.  

Highlighting specific menu items

Menu design price depends on the layout and creative illustrations that restaurant owners wish to have on the menu. Creative illustrations or images are often placed to highlight information pertaining to a particular menu item that the restaurant wants the diners to order. These highlighted illustrations or images are known as eye magnets. Thus, if you want your customer to maximize profits by selling certain menu items then you can use attention-grabbing highlighters such as illustrations, images, a border or colored shades.  

You can search the internet for inspiration wherein decorative frames or pointing hand graphics are used to divert the attention of diners towards specific menu items. Embellishments often render a very old-fashioned and nostalgic vibe to the menu card. However, you can be tempted into overdoing this good thing, which can spell disaster for the menu design. Thus, it’s important to restrict these illustrations to only one per category of food items. .

Influence of colors

Now, this is quite an obvious marketing strategy, as we all know that colors can evoke certain feelings in all of us. We tend to respond to colors in a variety of emotional ways, even subconsciously. This is quite a big reason why color theory is used while designing a wide range of marketing materials such as advertising, product packaging and even menu designs. Blue and red are colors that act as triggers for human appetite, so menu design companies often use them.  

Blue or red accent color is also used to design restaurants serving seafood in order to freshen up the diners mind. Since, everything is related to psychology, designers have to take creative liberty in reinforcing associations.  

Images are used sparingly

Depending on the restaurant’s type, a menu design company can choose to either use images or just create the layout with only illustrations. Photographs in the menu design among are usually used by budget restaurants and high-end restaurants often avoid the use of photographs. However, one fascinating revelation by market researchers point to the fact that use of photographs in menu designs can boost sales figures by at least 30%. You can choose to use images sparingly in order to highlight certain items that have higher profit margins.  

On a Concluding Note:

The primary aim of this article was to give an insight on the psychological strategy that works behind designing menus of various restaurants. Menu design cost is often higher when you get it done by reputed and reliable graphic designing company offering menu design services. Thus, if you wish to save on that then you can always use the free menu design templates available online.  On the other hand, if you really want an impactful design then hire the services of a menu design company.

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