When you think about the most memorable dining establishments you’ve been to, what stands out in your mind? Of course, amazing food and attentive service are likely at the top of the list, but consider all of the little details that stick out in your memory and made you feel as if you were experiencing something fresh and unique. Perhaps it was the interior design, the theme, or even the menu. A creatively designed menu can be an important part of your customers’ first impressions. Here are five creative menu ideas that can help boost the experience of your diners:
1. Utilize Different Materials
In addition to traditional paper, you might want to consider unusual materials when it comes to creating your menus, especially if you’re on a budget. Some successful mom & pop establishments have even used pieces of cardboard for their menus! Or, you might just want to go for different sizes and shapes, instead of the standard.
2. Add a Personal Touch
Depending on your restaurant’s theme and vibe, a personal detail added to the printing can really stand out. Perhaps you can decorate your menu binder covers with sketches or doodles by yourself or a staff member with artistic talents, or maybe the font is based on your own handwriting. The more human the touch and the more of yourself and your staff that you put into the menu, the more familiar and comfortable the atmosphere will feel to your patrons.
3. Tell a Story
Depending on the theme of your restaurant, you can try to tell the story of your brand through the design of your menu. This will help your customers feel engaged and connected. Just be sure to keep it short and sweet; strategically placed bits of copy, photos, or illustrations can speak more than a lengthy, detailed chunk of text on the back cover of your menu.
4. Focus on Visuals
It’s said that people tend to “eat with their eyes”, which is why presentation matters when it comes to food. A dish is even more appealing when it’s artfully arranged, and it’s important to highly the quality and freshness of your ingredients. Designing your menu to include lush, brightly colored photos of fresh produce or deconstructed versions of your dishes will whet your patrons’ appetites and also show the pride you take in what you serve.
Entice your customers with your brand and draw them further into your atmosphere with creative menu design. Don’t be afraid to stand out from your competitors!