Whether you own a Chinese or Indian Takeaway, you offer health food on the go, or you’re a pizza restaurant with a delivery option, a tantalising menu is essential for setting you apart from competitors. (And fundamentally, for informing customers of all your delicious dishes!) When you’re designing your menu, you’ve got to keep your main aim in mind: to tempt customers into placing an order. Here are a few tips on how to design a menu that customers won’t be able to resist!
Show Off Some Sumptuous Servings
It’s common knowledge that visual advertising is really effective when it comes to food. In this study by Spence et al, results show that we have a desire to view beautiful images of food, and upon seeing these images there are dramatic responses in our brains. Just remember to get any photos of your food for your menu taken professionally – you want your dishes to look as appealing as possible, and if you you’re taking pictures yourself on your smart phone, people will notice.
(Source: Four T's Takeaway)
Clarify Those Crucial Contact Details
You want to make it as easy as possible for people to place an order with you. That’s why you should always feature your contact details (that’s telephone number, address and, if applicable, website address) on the front of your takeaway menu. Clearly emphasise these details by making the font bold and a contrasting colour to the background. It’s also a great idea to pop your opening times on your menu and any info around delivery (e.g. minimum order spend, delivery radius). We particularly like the use of a map in the example below – it’s another fantastic way of clearly letting customers know exactly where to find you, which in turn will make them even more likely to place an order!
(Source: Cleethorpes Chinese)
Nail That Navigation
Smart categorisation is another way of making it easier for customers to take in everything on your menu. Too much text with no order can be really off-putting and the last thing you want is items on your Menu fighting for attention – it’s just not visually appealing. By segmenting your Menu into categories, it makes it that much easier to digest. Feature main headings like ‘Starters’, ‘Mains’ and ‘Desserts’, and then also include subheadings for your different types of dishes like ‘Pizzas’, ‘Burgers’, ‘Wraps’. If you offer any chef’s specials or set meals, highlight these in your design by placing them in a border so they have their own section, like in the example below, rather than muddling them in with the rest of the menu.
(Source: Merstham Tandoori)
Find a Fantastic Fold
When you’re picking what kind of Leaflet you want for you takeaway Menu, you’ve got to consider ease of use, attractiveness and best amount of space for all of your content. We’d recommend an A3 Folded Leaflet with a Roll Fold type. A3 is the optimum size for your Menu, and with the four pages you get with the Roll Fold, this means that its large enough to fit your sections of tasty dishes and all-important contact details on. It also folds into a handy 297 x 140mm size that people will be able to keep in their drawer until the next time they want to order.
(Source: Dragon Inn Winton)
Consider Your Colour Scheme
Red, Yellow and Orange
These warm, inviting colours are great at grabbing attention and making people feel hungry. They work really well for restaurants and takeaways offering hot and spicy cuisine like Indian and Chinese cuisine.
Greens, as well as earthy colours like brown, connote healthy eating. Think salads, fresh sandwiches, wraps – and some of the newer trends like poké bowls. These colours are also great for takeaways catering for eco-friendly diets like veganism.
(Source: Spoilt for Choice Catering)
Black is great for creating a sleek, sophisticated effect for your takeaway menu. However, black on its own isn’t very appealing for a food menu, so consider changing your black menu to a really dark brown one or pairing black with red in your design to make it more attractive.
Blue’s quite tricky since it’s not a colour associated with food – there aren’t that many natural foods that are blue. However, blue does have connotations of seafood, so it’s a great colour for a fish and chip shop takeaway menu.
(Source: Canterbury Takeaway Menus)
Really bright and neon colours connote sweet things like desserts, so if you run a ‘Cakeaway’ service or a bakery that offers delivery, bright colours like yellow and pink are great for your menu. These fun colours are also good if you offer sweets and chocolates in hampers or milkshakes.
Do I Have to Display Allergen Information on My Menu?
If your food contains or may contain any of the following 14 allergens, you must declare this either on the menu, or on a sign in your facilities where customers can see the full list.
- cereals containing gluten, such as wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt, kamut and their hybridised strains
- peanuts (also called groundnuts)
- nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios, macadamias and Queensland nuts
- crustaceans (includes crabs, lobsters, shrimps and prawns)
- molluscs (includes mussels, cockles, oysters, scallops, squid and octopus)
- sesame seeds
- milk and milk products (including lactose)
- soy beans
- sulphur dioxide and sulphites at levels above 10 mg/kg or 10 mg/litre expressed as SO2
It’s also best practice, and extremely commonplace, to include abbreviations on your menu to let customers know if dishes are suitable for specific diets. Here are some of the common abbreviations many restaurants use:
- DF – Dairy free
- LF – Lactose Free
- VG/Ve – Vegan
- V – Vegetarian
- GF – Gluten free
- PL – Paleo
You may also want to alert customers to the following:
- Local Products
With these great tips and tricks, you’re sure to really make your takeaway menu design shine. As long as your photos of food are scrumptious, your contact details are clear and easy to find, the sections in your menu are easy to follow, and the colours you’ve chosen for your design reflect the delicious food you’re offering, your menu will be completely irresistible.