As we mentioned in our previous blog on menu writing tips, a growing body of research suggests there is a science to menu design, and if you tap into those principles you can sway your customers’ buying decisions and enhance their dining experience. For restaurants and bars looking to win over new customers, the psychology of menu design shouldn’t be ignored. Ultimately, an effective menu design should communicate the brand, the mission statement and vision, and the appropriate guest experience your establishment offers. Fortunately, menu maker software makes it easier than ever to create an expertly designed menu. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at software options and design best practices.
Menu Maker Software Programs
There are several effective and highly rated software programs that are specifically designed to help you create a menu. Here are some of the more popular options:
- Design Bold
- Adobe Spark
- Poster My Wall
- iMenu Pro
- Must Have Menus
Preparing Your Menu
Once you have chosen the right menu maker software program, it is time to do some planning. You will need to develop an overall concept that will help guide your design choices. Think about your brand and what you want to be known for in the area. The color, texture and fonts of the menu should support this concept.
Remember to keep it simple.
As a general rule, you shouldn’t exceed 32 items on the menu. This will make life easier for the entire staff and prevent customers from experiencing choice overload when they go to order. Customers want to be able to make a quick decision. Typically, they will make up their mind within 120 seconds, so your menu should get right to the point.
Put together a list of essential ingredients.
The core ingredients that make up the items on your menu should delight your customers and reflect your restaurant concept while also addressing your target audience. Keep in mind that there may be some trial and error as you perfect dishes. It is also a good idea to locally source your ingredients and find creative ways to repurpose food in order to reduce waste.
Research your supply chain.
You may be able to cut costs by getting ingredients directly from the supplier and getting rid of middle-men. As you research suppliers, take a closer look at their history, including any recalls, their storage facilities, delivery services and make sure that you feel comfortable partnering with them.
You can use a spreadsheet or a recipe management program to better understand the cost of each dish according to the portion sizes and ingredients. Sixdots’ Cocktail Costing Tool allows bars and restaurants to calculate the cost per serve on cocktails. So if you’re working on a drink menu, this is a good software to determine how profitable your cocktails will be. From there, you will have to make decisions about how much to charge based on your target customers, the local economy and how much profit you need and/or would like to make.
Menu Maker Design Best Practices
Once you have ironed out the details of your menu, you can begin the design process. Start with a rough outline that includes the necessary headlines: appetizers, entrees, desserts, etc. You will also want to consider how many pricing options might be listed for each item. Next, decide on the physical size and orientation of your menu. This may be influenced by whether it is a takeout menu. It is also a good idea to include enough room to list your contact information, online ordering instructions and any other important details. When deciding on the font and text size, consider your target demographic and make sure that everything is legible, especially against the background.
Menu maker software can allow you to use templates to play with your design and come up with an ideal final product. You can upload your own logos and photos and experiment with different design elements, including fonts and colors. If you need additional photos, websites like Pexels and Unsplash offer free stock images. Once you are happy with the design, you can save it as a pdf and publish it online and print copies for customers.
Menus play an important role in the dining experience. Menu maker software allows bars and restaurants to capitalize on the power of a well-designed menu and put together something that embodies the spirit of the establishment and speaks to the target audience. With the right menu maker tool, you can quickly and inexpensively design a professional menu that will help you meet your business goals.
What is the best program to create a menu?
There are several menu maker software program options: Canva, Design Bold, Adobe Spark, Poster My Wall, iMenu Pro, and Must Have Menus.
How do you create a menu?
Develop an overall concept, make a list of core ingredients you will need, research your supply chain and calculate the cost of each dish before deciding on prices.
How do you create a professional menu?
Create an outline with headings, decide how many columns you will need, finalize pricing, figure out how big your menu will be and experiment with different fonts, colors and photos.
How do you design a menu card online?
Menu marker software allows you to use templates, upload images, add stock photos and play with your design. Once you have completed your design, you can save it as a pdf.