Making the menu

Finally the dishes have been chose and their descriptions written. How will you menu look? Well here's some examples:

The menu should:

- match the style of the restaurant
- have the logo and name of the restaurant
- be easily readable and understandable (not all clients have eagle eyes and not all can read "Gothic" font for example)
- graphically reflect the restaurant image

Today you can use a computer and printer and make a menu yourself however should it be necessary you may also contact professional design firm who specialise in style development. If you've decided to go it alone it's recommended to pay attention to some technical advice.

Design. A menu can be considered ideal if it's easy to read thanks to an optimal relationship between blocks of text and empty "space".

Format. This is the most important element in menu making. Format depends on the number of dishes and should be comfortable to the client.

Font. Size and choice of font directly corresponds to how easy clients can read you menu and should also fit with the overall style of the restaurant.

Colour. It is responsible for two major functions; providing "weight" to your menu and of course affects ease of reading. It's known that the human eye finds it easier to perceive "black on white" than "white on black". The table will give you an idea of how different colours interact. Colours and drawings underline your menu's merit, making it original and effective. Don't forget though that they also imply higher production costs of making you menu. Colour printing usually requires four colours and the quantity grows if you want to achieve special effects. It isn't worth it to, for instance, use gold or silver ink if your restaurant isn't top-class. Focus more on your menu's content than it's decoration.

Text. Avoid using too many languages in your menu text because this leads to increasing reading difficulty and are not helpful to the client. Analyse your clientele and make copies of your menu in the most frequently occurring language needs of foreign guests.

Price. Price should be understandable to ensure the bill at the end is not an unpleasant surprise for the guest. All items in the menu should be clearly linked with a price. For some very high-class restaurants an additional menu without prices is needed for Ladies. If an fee for service or certain table choices added into the bill then it should be stated so in the menu. Furthermore, a menu should have at least three dumping prices on dishes offered by competitors and by which clients will judge the restaurants price levels. By the way, this calms and reassures some of them and calming a client before a meal is the duty of any hospitable restaurant.

Menu colour scheme

Comfortable Available Difficult

black on white
black on pastel tones
black on bright yellow
green on white
red on white
white on blue

black on yellow-green
black on light blue
black on aquamarine
black on yellow-red
black on orange-red
blue on white
white on red
white on green

black on bright-red
black on bright-orange
green on red
red on green
red on yellow
white on black
white on gold

The menu should contain all relevant, important information about the restaurant:

  • logo and name
  • telephone number
  • operating hours
  • days off
  • credit cards accepted
  • proposals of special services or banquets

You should note down any detail, that could provoke interest in your restaurant or encourage a visitor to order something! Also, don't forget: The menu's look with greatly affect a clients opinion of your restaurant.

It's obvious to anyone that a spotted menu with mistakes and a clean kitchen are not compatible!