1. Use menu engineering to identify the most popular and most profitable dishes
The Cash Cow menu analysis tool is a quick way to review your menu, looking at what dishes are your stars and what you might benefit from changing.
Download the free menu engineering pdf & star dog menu analysis tool
2. Draw attention to your most profitable menu items
Studies have shown that on average it takes customers less than 2 minutes to decide what they want to eat. Because of this, drawing attention to your most profitable dishes will increase the likelihood that dish gets ordered within this short decision-making time frame.
TIP for the best menu design: Highlight dishes by using coloured boxes, pictures or graphics, or by making the text coloured or bold.
3. Change your menu layout to show the most profitable and popular dishes in the Golden Triangle
The Golden Triangle refers to the areas of a menu that draw our eyes’ attention first
- Our eyes start in the middle of the page
- Then move to the top right hand corner
- Then move to the top left hand corner
Because of this, you’ll want to make sure your menu design has the most profitable, best tasting, or least complex dishes land in this section of the menu.
4. Re-order your menu items
Studies have found that a guest’s attention is drawn to the first 2 and last 2 dishes within each section of the menu design. Give your best and most profitable dishes these prime spots in your restaurant menu design.
5. The Rule of 7
Research indicates that decision fatigue begins to occur in a menu category when there are more than 7 items. Use this principle to create the best menu design by determining which dishes should be grouped together into a category to help streamline the decision making process.
Download a free sample menu pdf
6. Get the price right on your menu layout
While menu pricing tends to be the driving factor for determining value perception, there are a few things you can do to increase value perception without changing pricing through simple changes on your menu design:
- Use whole numbers without decimals eg 18.
- List pricing discreetly: Make prices the same font, colour, and alignment as the dish description to that the reader’s eyes can glaze over it as quickly as possible
- Use descriptive language: Studies have found that customers are willing to pay significantly more for dishes with value add menu descriptors. These can be location based (e.g. locally sourced), artisanal (e.g. hand tossed) or quality certified (e.g. DOP Mozzarella)
- Avoid pricing ending in .99. This gives of the perception of cheap or low quality
- Remove the money symbols from your prices: these remind customers that they are spending money and may make them more reluctant to order pricier items or cross sells like starters and desserts.
7. Separate the dessert menu on your menu layout
If a customer sees an appealing dessert at the beginning of the meal, they will plan to order that dessert at the end. Because they already have this additional expense in mind, they are less likely to also order an appetiser or other add on.