Much more than a list of names and prices, your restaurant menu is a reflection of your theme, your style and the quality of your food and service. How do you create a menu that your customers love, but at the same time benefits your restaurant? There are crucial menu building strategies that you can apply to make that happen.
BUILD YOUR BEST RESTAURANT MENU ITEMS
First, Have An Impressive Theme
It is suggested that your restaurant has a theme. Today there is a trend of themed restaurants being introduced all over the world. Sure, you serve world-class food and service, but thousands of other eateries do as well. How do you make your menu stand out among its competitors?
The answer is to support the menu with a memorable atmosphere which gives the guests an impression of your restaurant’s “character”.
What Is A Theme?
A restaurant’s theme is the overall atmosphere of the restaurant. It is built around a unique concept which influences everything else, including the architecture, the décor, music, and of course the menu. It can also be the cuisine that you serve. Should it be Mexican, Italian, Thai, Korean, Japanese or Vietnamese cuisine, you base your menu around its central theme. The theme can reflect those countries’ spirits as well as their eating etiquettes.
Create A Unique Menu Aligned With Your Restaurant’s Theme
Once you develop a concrete theme for your restaurant, build a set of menus that represent that theme. For example, let’s take a look at The Rainforest Café’s menu.
Just by looking at the menu, guests feel like they are enjoying organic food in the middle of a jungle! (their décor actually looks like a jungle). In sync with the concept, their dishes are given the names of things in nature (animals, ocean, trees, etc.)
Create Some Signature Dishes
Many restaurants serve the same kind of cuisine. If your restaurant offers Korean food, then you probably have the traditional bulgogi or bibimbap on your menu. If your restaurant specializes in Italian food, pasta or pizza must be available. However, that does not mean you should lack creativity. The ideal menu consists of traditional favorites and new, unique culinary delights. Create some signature dishes that foodies can only find at your restaurant.
At Home Cook Gia Đình BB, aside from only offering traditional Vietnamese food, guests coming here especially favor unique dishes which are fusions of Vietnamese and Western cuisines.
Build A Versatile Menu
This tip is actually a great way for your restaurant to save a great deal of money. A versatile restaurant menu consists of dishes which have the same ingredients. For example, if you serve roasted chicken, make sure chicken salad is included in your menu as well. In case you do not sell any roasted chicken, you can still use the chicken for making salads. This way no spoiled chicken is left behind, helping you to reduce food wastage.
Select Smart Side Dish Options
There are plenty of ways to build an excellent list of side dishes. You can create a side dish that matches the main dish, for example, some fresh bread served with bún bò sốt vang, or french fries served with steak. On the other hand, you can also think different. If the main course includes filling dishes such as heavy cream pasta, the side dish should be something very light, like a basic salad without any heavy sauces.
RESTAURANT MENU DESIGN
Highlight Your Best Dishes
Make sure your best-selling dishes get the most attention. Highlight them in bold and with different colors. When you promote your most popular items, the guests have a point of interest which will actually make them want to try it (and come back!).
In whichever way you categorize your items, make it easy for your guests to navigate through your restaurant menu. Many restaurants use the traditional style of categorization “breakfast-lunch-dinner” or “entrée-main course-dessert”. However, if your restaurant has a versatile menu, you can name each section with specific type of dishes, such as “Pastas”, “Burgers” or “Soups”.
In case you like to name your special dishes with special words, it is suggested that you also number them, since it is sometimes difficult for your guests to pronounce their names. Be as creative as you like, however, also make sure you do whatever possible at your guests’ convenience.
Short But Inspiring Description
An inspiring description is as powerful as a mouth-drooling picture. Entice your guests to order your unique creations with elegant descriptions of the food. Of course, you have to take your restaurant’s theme into account as well. If your restaurant’s theme is a dynamic place for the youth, then use energetic words to describe your dishes. If your restaurant’s concept targets families, your descriptions should be written in an easy-to-understand and suitable-for-all-ages voice. More importantly, the description needn’t be unnecessarily long. However, it should deliver the passion behind the food and its creators when writing it.
Appealing Food Photography
Last but not least, pictures evoke curiosity and enthusiasm. Use appealing pictures to make your customers so hungry that they cannot wait any longer to order the dishes.