Restaurant Menu Design Trends for 2019

Why is menu design important?

What is menu design?

What is a good menu design?

These questions come up in client meetings. Regularly. Whether in talks to develop a concept, expand, or staffing a client’s restaurant or hospitality business, the conversation inevitably turns to menu design. It’s that important.

We are big proponents of the positive impact successful menu design can have on a food service business. From local coffee houses and eateries to high-volume restaurant businesses and catering services to high-end hotel conglomerates, our clients cover all restaurant industry genres, and menu design is a common denominator for all food service business, big or small.

The Importance of Menu Design. Everything from layout and graphics to fonts, colors, and descriptors – all restaurant menu development elements – should be chosen with care, and always through your brand filter.

The First Look. A restaurant menu design is a guest’s first tangible taste of your brand, aesthetic, and food & beverage focus. It should encapsulate your overall message.

Decisions. Decisions. With so many menu design ideas out there, decisions should pull through your brand filter. Does your restaurant have a modern feel? Then look to a contemporary design. Do you have a hopping, colorful bar area set within your main dining area? Go for an inviting, whimsical menu design. And so on. Choose a menu style that doesn’t follow thelatest menu design trends,but instead stays true to who you are and what brand elements you aim to convey.

Streamlining Success. With the overall menu design in-hand, it’s time to streamline. Gather your culinary team to determine:

  1. Menu focus. Will you have one comprehensive menu or divide into: main menu, kids menu, and/or bar menu?
  2. Focus your list of food + beverage items
  3. Develop sections using easy-to-identify headers (i.e. Starters, Salads, Steaks, etc.)
  4. Determine pricing
  5. Descriptors? If yes, offer clear + concise dish/beverage + ingredient descriptors

Personalization Pros. If done right, a little personalization goes a long way. Adding a few sentences outlining your inspiration, branding, culinary focus, introduction of your chefs, etc. to a menu is a great way to connect with guests (and a great starting point to expanding your brand’s social media story).

Sure, designing a menu is focused work, but the process is a great opportunity to streamline your brand focus and display creativity, while connecting with diners. Use your passion for your business to your benefit. Go the extra mile. Personalize your menu and offer food + beverage pairings. Take extra care to put forth a winning menu. Hire a proofreader. You don’t want all your hard work diminished by a spelling error.

*image: a fun, inviting, seasonal menu crafted for our client, Farmers Fishers Bakers’ Tiki Bar.