10 Food Menu Design Tips

10 Food Menu Design Tips

Food Menu Design Tip 1 - Amazing Cover Design

1. Amazing cover design

An intriguing grabline and striking image printed with a tactile finish makes you want to touch, pick up and flick through a menu – even if you’re not hungry! You only came for a drink, but you might order something after all! [revolution silver foil summer menu cover]


Food Menu Design Tip 2 - The Box

2. The box

Bring attention to choices worthy of guests’ attention whether it‘s new, local or high margin. However going overboard on boxes brings attention to everything and nothing! Go easy and box 1 in 8 choices. [ask Italian box highlights]


Food Menu Design Tip 3 - Food Photography

3. Food pics

Food photography is great for showing guests what strange and exotic dishes look like. But be prepared when guests ask: “why doesn’t my food look like the one in the picture?!”. Use sketches or have food photography creatively directed with a strategy for how they will be used. [Wagamama illustrative food photos]


Food Menu Design Tip 4 -Pricing & Currency Symbols

4. Pricing and currency symbols

Removing currency symbols doesn’t turn the contents of your purse into monopoly money, but it does help guests to think about food, rather than money. Numbers play a huge part in comparing choices and will be a decision factor for value seekers and weekend millionaires. Symbol-less prices can even feel a bit more ‘European’ but it’s a good idea to include currency symbols in places such as airports. [indigo rounded prices sans currency symbol]


Food Menu Design Tip 5 - Great Descriptions

5. Great descriptions

It’s a menu, not a memory game. Avoid loading guests with the ‘burden of choice’. Consider a limited menu of few dishes done well where less is more. Instead of crafting superfluous eye-candy – why not invent uniqueness, and add value by creatively copywriting dish names and descriptions. [dishoom’s down to earth dish descriptions]


Food Menu Design Tip 6 - Drink Pairing

6. Drinks pairings and discovery!

Demonstrate your food and drink knowledge by pairing food with premium drinks flavours. Guests collect and share eating experiences like badges of honour. Convince guests to spend a little more on something new and unusual, and they’ll thank you for helping them discover their new favourite. [Butlins BBQ ‘delightful with’ drink pairings]


Food Menu Design Tip 7 - Honest Language

7. Honest language

Use a tone of voice aligned to the overall brand and dining experience to create engaging personality whether you’re being daft, serious, or seductive – be honest. [east street’s friendly and informative language]


Food Menu Design Tip 8 - One Side

8. All on one side

Avoid guests getting in a flap by laying out all of your choices on a single sheet. Best sellers and high margin dishes in the middle – keep sides, nibbles and drinks close by. A must if your concept requires choosing multi-component meals such as Tapas or Nando’s. [nandos single sheet menu]


Food Menu Design Tips - 9 Break The Rules

9. Break the rules

Comparing menu designs and all their differences can have you pulling a menu in different directions. Sometimes it’s good to break the rules and forget about grids and columns. Be bold, why not give burgers a whole page to itself. Go crazy and see where being brave takes you. [belushi’s dish layout]


Food Menu Design Tip 10 - Tell a Story

10. Tell a story

A food branding agency, like us, will discover or create your uniqueness for engaging with guests. Whether you grow your own, have a brilliant chef, or use mamma’s recipe – no detail is too small for cooking up a tasty story. [carluccio’s personable story]