Have a look! Professional tips for the optimal menu design

A restaurant creates its image in the eye of the public not least through its menu. Once the offerings have been defined, they must be appealingly portrayed. How can the menu be designed to both optimise the restaurant’s presentation and increase its sales? Four experts weigh in.

Byliny Menu

1. Stage

‘A good menu helps guests to orient themselves: it must be clearly structured, and all the important information must be easy to find. The names of categories and dishes shouldn’t just inform, but should also stimulate the appetite with vivid language. ‘Summery rainbow vegetable lasagne’ sounds more interesting to most people than ‘vegan lasagne’. When a menu includes photos, the pictured dishes sell better. It comes down to a tasteful presentation. Use natural light and place the most attractive side to the camera. For atmosphere, use individual ingredients and set the sharply focused subject off against a more softly focused background, or take a high-angle shot with a sharp overall focus.’

Balázs Tarsoly, designer and CEO & CCO of Branding Cuisine GmbH

2. Digitalise

‘Interactive elements like filter functions or video messages from winemakers and food growers make a digital menu come alive. And when guests order and pay for their meals directly by smartphone, it saves your staff time. That takes pressure off them when things get stressful, allowing them to maintain high-quality advice in the service.’

Christoph Digwa, food service digitalisation expert at the Mittelstand-Digital Zentrum Hannover

Digital menu

3. Structure:

‘From the perspective of the psychology of pricing, you shouldn’t hesitate to place high-priced dishes, or those with a better margin, high on the menu – because a lot of guests don’t have the inclination or the attention span to read through a long menu to find the cheapest meal. Instead, they compare with the dishes they found at the top. And if they saw a low price there, the items that follow will all seem relatively expensive.’

Dr Mark Friesen, expert for price management and Managing Partner at QUINTA Consulting

4. Inform

‘The CO2 values per dish on the menu can be indicated creatively and visually in the form of a traffic light system. For determining emissions, one thing that can help is a food carbon footprint calculator. That’s a way for a restaurant to offer its guests transparency and at the same time position itself as a business with sustainable operations.’

Jonas Mog, restaurateur and founder of Ahead Burghotel in Brandenburg

Optimise your menu with METRO Gastro Consulting

Experienced consultants support METRO customers in all matters relating to gastronomic operations – from starting up a restaurant to ongoing business. The gastronomy experts come from the food service industry themselves. Together with customers, they analyse their menus: with the help of artificial intelligence, they calculate the individually optimal prices and margins and reposition the dishes with high margins accordingly along a psychological reading curve. The METRO Gastro Consulting team has already successfully advised more than 1,500 customers in 2022 alone.

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A good menu helps guests to orient themselves: it must be clearly structured, and all the important information must be easy to find.

Balázs Tarsoly

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