Making A Restaurant Menu: Tips & Ideas

Jul 5, 2019 | Restaurant Menu Design, Restaurant Menus | 0 comments

Making a restaurant menu goes beyond the items your serving on it. There is so much focus on this aspect of owning a restaurant because a menu will dictate the profitability of each item, hence your bottom line. Because of today’s reasonable costs to change your menu you have the flexibility to adjust as needed.

A properly designed restaurant menu can increase your restaurant’s profitability by up to 10-15%, so you can see why it’s so important.

Steps To Follow for Making A Restaurant Menu

Don’t let designing your restaurant be a huge burdensome process, keep these steps in mind to help you get through it correctly and efficiently.

  1. Developing the menu with your chef based on the capabilities of your kitchen and the food costs related to each item
  2. There are menu layout software programs online or you can contact a professional menu company that will take care of the production form A to Z
  3. Layout is important, so consider eye flow and focus. Where do your eyes go when you first look at a menu? This can vary, so get some other successful restaurant examples to look at, mimic what you like when making your restaurant menu.
  4. Make this list in sections: appetizer, lunch, dinner, entrées, and so on (add breakfast if you serve breakfast).
  5. Save this on a computer in a PDF or Word document format for the ability to make changes as needed. Pdf files are a composite and cannot be altered but are good for e-mailing to your print shop
  6. Make sure there are enough menus for every seat and the bar in your restaurant. A good rule of thumb is 60 to 70% of your seating
  7. Use covers, waterproof restaurant menu paper or lamination
  8. Test it!!! See what items are selling and what aren’t. Is this because they are hidden on the menu? Your menu should change every so often to keep it fresh with new items because food trends are changing so often today

**Side Note, if your menu changes every single day, printed out on a printer. You can find some nice menu papers on line in different colors, weights, textures and sizes.

Laying Out Your Menu

The visual look and feel of making your restaurant menu is also incredibly important and not something to be overlooked. People will look at certain areas more than others, here we’ll look at them.

  1. Front and Center. Eyes first go to the middle. Here is where specials should go or other high selling items and signature dishes.
  2. Upper Left Corner. Appetizers often go here and its where we start after the middle and overall glance.
  3. Upper Right Corner. Following working down the left side most diners go to the right upper corner, so be sure to have entrées there

**For single page menus, start simple and end simple. Appetizers, salad, entrées, and side dishes. Desserts should be on a separate menu and presented at the end of the meal

Size Of The Menu

This is important because not only should the menu not be overwhelmingly big for the patrons, but also for the staff and cooks. It’s also a sign of freshness, if there is 300 menu items, we all know that much of that food is frozen (meat, vegetables, etc). Keeping your menu size reasonable is a huge must for restaurants when making their restaurant menu. So, be sure you’re offering the right amount of items, so that you can keep things fresh and focus on the bestsellers and what people come for.

Creating a menu shouldn’t be a stress creating exercise for restaurant owners. Take it step by step and make the most out of the offerings you have. Specialize where you can and honestly go to restaurants you like and know are successful. What do their menus look like? Take some pointers and use the info here to make the greatest restaurant menu to help your business succeed.

Stay tuned for our next article which will provide more tips on making the best restaurant menu. For more tips and guidance for restaurants, visit