Nail Your Takeaway Menu Design with These 6 Irresistible Tips

Nail Your Takeaway Menu Design with These 6 Irresistible Tips

Read Time: 4 Minutes


08 Aug 2018

Whatever kind of takeaway restaurant you own, 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 your takeaway food, and upon seeing these images there are dramatic responses in our brains. 

Just remember to get any photos of your food taken professionally to make your dishes look as appealing as possible.

(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 – so make it as easy as possible by adding your contact information.

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!  

chinese restaurant menu

(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. By segmenting your menu into categories, it makes it that much easier to digest.

indian 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 . A3 is the optimum size for your menu, and with the four pages you get with the roll fold, there’s plenty of room to show off. 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. 


chinese menu with quad fold

(Source: Dragon Inn Winton) 


Consider Your Colour Scheme

High quality colour menus are always the most tempting! Here’s how to pick the right colour for a good menu.


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.  

vegan menu

(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. 

blue fish and chips menu

(Source: Canterbury Takeaway Menu)



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. This is essential for takeaway ordering as it can warn customers who otherwise might get ill from eating at your restaurant.

  • 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
  • fish
  • crustaceans (includes crabs, lobsters, shrimps and prawns)
  • molluscs (includes mussels, cockles, oysters, scallops, squid and octopus)
  • sesame seeds>
  • eggs
  • milk and milk products (including lactose)
  • soy beans
  • celery>
  • lupin
  • mustard
  • 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:

  • Halal
  • Organic
  • Local Products


With these great tips and tricks, you’re sure to really make your takeaway menu design and printing easy and effective. Why not apply some of this advice to one of our free design templates? Since takeaway menus regularly update, you’ll be able to save your designs to your account and just print as many as you need as and when you need them!



About the Author

Hi! I’m James, the Graphic Designer at instantprint. I like helping customers by creating helpful print and designs tips and guides to make sure their artwork looks the best that it can.