As a restauranteur your menu is a critical piece of brand collateral. Your menu is both a necessary requirement and a piece of marketing material. Unlike the majority of your marketing efforts, your menu will be seen by all of your customers and visitors. This is a unique advantage that few other businesses have. For other businesses it is rare that there would ever be an occasion where this kind of marketing opportunity is available. And while all businesses have branding and advertising opportunities at the point of sale, few are quite so pivotal to the customer experience. It is very important therefore that you make a good first impression by presenting your customers with a good menu. So when is it time for an update?
To keep things fresh and your customers interested it is always a good idea to revisit your menu and consider updates. By updating the choices that you give you can show that you are a restaurant that is regularly looking to improve and move things forward.
As a restauranteur you will know the importance of giving your customers what they want. Any menu update therefore should be careful not to remove any firm favourites. At the same time however, it is also important to take some calculated risks every now and then. While it is impossible to please everyone all of the time, by giving your customers new choices you can help to keep things new and exciting. If you notice any trends in customer choices this can inform the kind of new additions you choose to add to your menu.
If you notice that your customers are choosing one menu choice over another regularly, then it may be time to update your menu design. Your menu should reflect what the majority of your customers are interested in. If you notice a firm favourite emerging, then you may want to consider making this option one of the focal points of the menu. This can be achieved by adding a photograph of the meal or by naming it as a favourite of regulars.
While your menu design should fulfil the needs of the majority, it should also offer variety. You don’t want to ostracise customers with allergies or with alternative dietary requirements. These options may not always be your top sellers, but they are essential for providing overall customer satisfaction.
Sometimes when designing a menu (especially for the first time) it can be easy to forget one or two important elements. While, as a restauranteur, you know your menu like the palm of your hand, sometimes this can actually be a disadvantage. As with many design projects, the closer you are, the more likely you are to miss out certain elements. If you are designing a menu for the first time we’d recommend asking an unbiased party with no connection to your restaurant to have a look over it. If you already have a menu, then ask your waiting staff to make a note of any element of your menu that regularly causes confusion. By making a note of these points of confusion you can make sure that they are addressed in any new menu design you have planned.
The experience of your customers does not begin and end with the food. There are a number of important factors that will determine whether or not your customers leave satisfied with their experience. If your menus are looking old and frayed, or the design looks outdated, then your customers will pick up on this. They will immediately be framing their experience and expectations by this initial contact with your restaurant.
There are a number of ways you can spruce up your menus. A great looking menu design will immediately put your customers at ease. They will know straight away that they are in for a good meal. At Kaizen Brand Evolution our amazing team of designers have worked on thousands of menu design projects. To find out how our dedicated team can help you, visit our menu design page, or get in touch via our contact form or by calling 02895072007.