The Best Restaurant Menu Designs- An In-Depth Analysis


Arpita Chanda10/28/2021

What is restaurant menu design ?

The restaurant menu design is said to be a reflection of the restaurant itself. Restaurant menus can affect the customer psyche. A strategically planned menu is easy to navigate and promotes menu items. The creative menu design brings out the personality, identity, and value of the brand. To influence the decision-making of the customers, restaurants must use menu engineering to create a design that is not only visually appealing but also helps to increase sales. Restaurant menus have the power to entice customers. A good design can not only attract customers but also retain them and convert them into regular patrons. The menu design depends on the type of the restaurant and highlights the story of the restaurant.


The History of Restaurant Menu Design

The history of restaurant menu design is a long and complicated one. Restaurant menus have come a long way from being just a list of the dishes available to the diner's choosing. In the beginning, restaurant menus were just a list of dishes available to the diner's choosing. Then, as kitchens got more complex, restaurant menus evolved to become more complex as well, with choices for appetizers, entrees, desserts, wine, and more.

The history of restaurant menu design is an interesting one. The earliest restaurant menus are thought to have been created in ancient Rome. Romans used slates to list the food being served, but the slates would get easily damaged. They eventually started using wax tablets. We can also find evidence of restaurant menus or rather a list of prepared food during the reign of the Song dynasty in China.

The word menu is French in origin. It emerged in mid 18th century Paris. These restaurant menus were written on a chalkboard, referred to as a carte in French. The first restaurant menus in America were in the late 1800s when restaurants were starting to become popular. Restaurants would mail the restaurant menus to people in the city to get customers.

One notable feature of restaurant menus in earlier times was the menu design did not include the menu items price. However, it provided other valuable information like a description of menu items for the customers. The menu design evolved with time. As paper got cheaper and printing speed increased, more ornate versions of restaurant menus came out. In today's world, a small business or startup can select automated menu maker services to design restaurant menus themselves. These menu maker services also have a help center to assist people to create a menu design that respresents them clearly.

article image

What Makes a Good Restaurant Menu Design?

Successfully engineered restaurant menu design is one that is easy to read and in which menu items are updated frequently. It is necessary to develop the restaurant menu keeping the target audience in mind.

When designing a restaurant menu there are a few key aspects to consider.

  • First, the content. Does the restaurant menu offer a variety of dishes? Do the menu items taste good? What is the price point? Mouth-watering descriptions of menu items can get your customer's attention and convert them into regular patrons. According to a 2019 study on the influence of menu design it was seen that the description of menu items triggered 45% of buying decisions for that particular dish. Using sensory words with proper menu items along with adding location for explaining quality had a great impact. Also including the latest dietary customs like vegan, vegetarian or health-based diets like gluten-free, lactose-free in the restaurant menu draws people to the restaurant.

  • The second aspect is the restaurant menu layout. While creating the restaurant menu layout, the menu maker must make sure to implement eye scanning patterns to draw the customer's attention to the menu items they want. It is necessary to divide the menu design into logical sections starting with appetizers. Using high-quality photos or illustrations in the right way can also help to bring out the restaurant's personality.


  • The third is the visual aspect. This includes the color scheme the typography, the restaurant's logo, graphics, facade, which make menu eye-catching. Visual branding shapes a consumer's perception. It helps to express the business's message clearly. The visual aspect of the restaurant menu design must consider the emotional aspect and the restaurant's story. Correctness, creativity, and consistency are the key elements of a restaurant menu design.
When all of these aspects are taken into consideration, a restaurant menu or menu engineering becomes a marketing tool. A restaurant menu can relay information about the food and the story of the restaurant. The restaurant menu design also becomes a very important part of the customer's experience.

article image

Analysis Of The Best Restaurant Menu Designs

Menu design is one of the most important elements for a small business or restaurant. Analysis of best restaurant menu designs shows that restaurant menus that focus on their target audience fare best in the long run. A menu design that is well-thought, well-polished, and well-executed will help a small business or a restaurant stand out.

Restaurant menu design is an important part of the total restaurant experience. The menu maker must make sure that the restaurant menu is easy to read, attractive, with clear prices and menu items description. However, it is an often-overlooked opportunity for restaurants. Any restaurant or a small business can use menu to attract and retain more customers. Only the best restaurant menu designs capture the attention of customers and bring them back to your restaurant.

For a small business or a restaurant, it is necessary to create a menu design that will resonate with the masses and stay ahead of the competition. Restaurant menus are arguably the most important marketing tool in any restaurant. The best restaurant menu designs are those created by a menu maker after multiple rounds of analysis through restaurant menu engineering. A professional restaurant menu is visually appealing and is in tune with the latest trends.

article image

Restaurant Menu Design Trends

To stay ahead of the competition, restaurants must know about the latest menu design trends and make sure to incorporate them into their business for increasing profit. Restaurant menu designs change with time. Keeping up with the latest menu design trends helps in creating a great impression and attracting more customers.

To make menu as per the latest menu design trends does not mean changing the menu items and their prices. It is more about changing the design restaurant goes can relate with. Automated menu maker with menu template has simplified the menu design process for restaurants. Any small business or Food Trucks can easily use a menu template available online to make menu design.

To design restaurant menu, a menu maker should remember the theme of the restaurant. For a restaurant or small business accepting online orders, it is necessary to create an eye-catching web design for the online restaurant menu design. Restaurants can also offer a Digital Menu managed from their pos system for easy use by customers.

Post pandemic, many restaurants have switched to qr code restaurant menu option. Customers can scan the code and read restaurant menus eliminating any contact. Qr codes embedded in the restaurant menu can also be used to get customer feedback or as a help center to address their queries. Any New Restaurant can also share this code as a part of their promotional posts on various social media for attracting potential customers.

article image

Restaurant Menu Designs that Engage

The appearance of restaurant menu boards to the font and graphic menu design can make a huge difference in whether a customer decides to stay and enjoy a full meal. The restaurant menu boards, in particular, are a crucial component in a successful restaurant. A menu maker must design restaurant menu as visually appealing, engaging, and easy to read.

It is also necessary to design restaurant menu according to the target audience for increasing engagement. The age of the target audience is a crucial factor that helps to decide the restaurant menu design elements like the images, color scheme and other aspects.

The placement of dishes in the restaurant menu is ineffective if the customer cannot read them with ease. Readability is another important factor that restaurant menu designers need to note. For an older age group, a restaurant menu with a relatively larger font placed symmetrically would serve better.

While experimental styles in other restaurant menus may attract the younger generations. Creating the correct level of contrast on the menu design with appropriate font size and style results in an attention-grabbing restaurant menu.

article image

Restaurant Menu Designs that Create a Sense of Fun

Restaurant menus have the power to help create and build the brand. Adding bright colors, quirky illustrations, innovative names for dishes are some ways to design unique restaurant menus. The menu design is one of the places where restaurants can show their creativity.

Restaurants can also add fun elements in the Digital Signage placed near the drive-thru to bring out their personality. When a restaurant menu design feels fun, it creates a sense of joy and anticipation for the customer. Including a sense of fun in the restaurant menu designs give it a refreshing vibe and draws in customers with their uniqueness. However, it is necessary to ensure that adding the fun element does not alter the theme of the restaurant.

Online tools and ready-to-use menu template services have eased the creation of restaurant menus. These services have free and paid versions. Any small business looking for ready-to-use restaurant menu designs can use these online tools. It is necessary to read the terms service and conditions before signing up. While the free version of the menu maker offers a basic menu template and design with rights reserved, the paid version offers a wide range of choices. The paid services also include a help center to assist the restaurant owner in creating the menu design.

article image

Restaurant Menu Designs with Personality

Today's restaurants are more than just places to eat. With the rise of social media and the fresh increase of food blogs, it's no longer enough to just provide a menu. You have to provide a restaurant menu to entice your customers to come to your restaurant. To attract customers, a restaurant should Make Menu in a way that reflects its story.

In a world of social media where everyone has a voice and a platform, restaurants that have a voice and a personality will have an edge. The menu design is an effective tool that brings out the personality of the restaurant along with promoting profitability and assisting overall operations. It is necessary to understand that the menu design for fine dining or family restaurants would be different from the menu design of any food truck.

Restaurant menus speak to the customers. In terms of the language used, the color scheme the layout, simplicity, and all other elements come together to make sure that the restaurant menu is in harmony with the theme of the restaurant. While a light-hearted quirky menu design would work well for a food truck or a similar small business it would not generate the same response when used in a fine dining restaurant. The menu design of these restaurants are usually minimalist with a formal air and exude a sense of sophistication. Restaurant menus should enhance the get along with the atmosphere of the restaurant. Only by syncing the essence of the restaurant with the restaurant menu design restaurants can create something that will speak in their words to the customers.

article image

Why Do These Restaurant Menu Designs Work So Well?

The restaurant menu design can actually make or break a restaurant. That is not something restaurants should take lightly. Restaurant owners should use menu designs as a way to make their restaurant stand out and make their dining experience better. Every menu design should be both attractive and easy to read.

A restaurant menu is a marketing tool that should draw attention, entice diners, and make it easy to order. Not to mention, a well-designed restaurant menu can set you apart from the competition. People like to click photos of everything they find attractive for social media posting. In a restaurant, they are not only attracted by the food, but also by the restaurant menu design that is unique and appeals to their taste. By uploading the image of a restaurant menu along with other food images on the social media they are helping the restaurant in its marketing efforts.

The reason that well-thought restaurant menu designs work well is that they have all clicked all the requirement boxes. Proper menu items placement, correct color scheme menu layout that highlights all the specials, consistency in the overall theme, attractive and descriptive language and smart use of food images are some of the key parameters the help restaurant menu designs perform well.

article image

What Can We Learn From These Restaurant Menu Designs?

One of the hardest parts of running a restaurant is coming up with a creative and appealing menu design that will attract customers. Designing a Restaurant Menu is a lot like designing a poster or a flyer. The restaurant menu needs to quickly and communicate the restaurant's message and offer an enticing preview of the food and experience.

Designing restaurant menus is a delicate art. The restaurant menu must be easy to read and represent the restaurant's culinary offerings. As the menu design can help restaurants get a leg up on the competition, therefore it's important to have a menu design that is unique and eye-catching. Keeping up with the latest trends restaurants can use menu maker or readily available menu template to create stunning restaurant menu designs.

article image

SCHEDULE A DEMO