Use Your Menu To Create A Top Dining Experience

 In Bar & Restaurant Operations

The most fundamental reason loyal customers choose your restaurant over your competitors is because they truly enjoy your food, service and the atmosphere you provide.

Of the three, the menu portion is the most indicative way of promoting a loyal customer base. A well-crafted menu can increase sales on an average of 2 to 10 percent, which can equate to $20,000 to $100,000 per year. Utilizing the listed recommendations below will ensure you are making the most out of your menu. After all, food is at the core of your restaurant and satisfied customers will take notice.


  • The first thing consumers will notice is the layout of your menu. If the menu is too cluttered or apparently sparse, it can severely impact the customer’s decision process and impact their overall satisfaction.
  • Position popular items in favorable places on the menu. On a twofold menu, the a customers’ eyes are  first drawn to the right-hand page a few lines from the top. On a tri-fold menu, the center portion, just a few lines down from the top is the most marketable place to highlight a priority menu item.
  • Brand your menu by matching the colors to the general design of your restaurant. Pick from the same color palate to help generate memory recall.
  • On the same token, fonts should not be too extravagant or distracting. All menus should be checked rigorously for spelling errors. You do not want to deter attention away from the actual product they will purchase.

Keep It Fresh

  • Depending on each particular restaurant, you may update your menu anywhere between once per month to once per year. Regardless of your current operational system, add new items throughout the year, and remove less popular and less profitable items.
  • Here are the top 10 restaurant menu trends for 2013. When you plan to update your menu, perform simple market research to see what is trending in the industry in order to match competitors’ efforts and options.
  • Be sure menu options reflect your customer base. While avocados and vegetarian options may be popular in the market, if your basic customer base indulges in steak and potatoes, your updated menu items need to reflect your particular audience’s tastes and preferences.


  • If you do not understand your customers well enough, you may not be delivering options they would like to see.
  • Menu items should be versatile so ingredients can be re-purposed across multiple dishes. This saves money if one item does not sell as well as you had predicted. Moreover, it allows you to provide more choice to your customers.
  • Your menu should make the decision process smoother. Thus, the diner’s overall experience will be more positive. Having too many options or too few options might negatively affect the diner’s experience.
  • Do not exclude particular segments of the market. Provide options for vegans, vegetarians and those who may opt for a lighter, fewer-calorie filled menu item.


  • Prices should reflect your customer base’s relative expenditures. For example, if you are a small mom and pop shop, you should not be charging $15 for a burger and fries because this is not directly reflective of your customer base.
  • You should be charging customers for what they are receiving. For example, excessive charges should not be enforced for small portions and food that is not of the utmost quality. Here is guide to effectively price your menu.
  • Quality and quantity should match the price for menu items. Customers should be receiving an equivalent amount of food for the money they pay in addition to the quality food you should serve.
  • Keep prices tucked within the paragraph description of menu items. Having a price line menu is a setting the stage for your patrons to make meal decisions based on price, rather than what they truly desire.

Last, but certainly not least, be sure menus are clean. There is nothing more displeasing and unappetizing than having your fingers stick to some unidentified food remnant when looking through the menu.

These are a just a few ways to be sure your menu is not hindering possible sales. Do you have any more to add?

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