Sorry — Your browser is not supported by MustHaveMenus. Please select a new browser.

Meet your match.

We've got your perfect menus right here.

Restaurant Menu Design Tips

7 Tips a Professional Designer Would Use For Your Menu

Browse 1000's of gorgeous menu templates.

Show me

Running a successful restaurant requires constant attention to food, customers, and ambience. And the menu ties it all together. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your menu is at the top of its game. Here are 7 tips that a professional designer would use in creating your menu.

How do you want your guests to feel when they walk into your restaurant? As they take their first bite? When they search for you online? Since your menu is often the first impression your business will make, you want to create menus that will act as an ambassador for your brand and a long-term investment in your success.

There’s a lot of speculation about the subject of menu psychology but there are sure-fire ways to ensure design success. Here are 7 tried-and-true design approaches that will make your menu, and your restaurant, a customer hit.

Get Organized

If there's too much text, or too many images, your customers could become overloaded by data. However, If there's too little content, your customers might lose interest, or worse, miss critical information like your phone number, website or social media profiles. Organize and edit your information before you begin the design process to cut down on revision time and ensure you don’t overwhelm your patrons or yourself.

restaurant menu design tips - organize
Use Descriptive Text

Your menu is so much more than a list of ingredients. Maximize your wait staff’s time and engage your guests with descriptions that are clear and straightforward but never boring. Do your menu items justice and use expressive language to appeal to your customers senses and excite their appetites. Instead of “Bread Pudding with Apples and Butterscotch,” consider a description like, “Warm Apple Bread Pudding with Butterscotch Glaze.”

Use High Contrast Colors

When your menu meets the 'legible' and 'organized' criteria, the next step is to choose your color scheme - and be sure to pick a few high contrast colors to make your menu pop! Consider light levels throughout service times as well as the interior design of your business when selecting menu hues. While the colors don’t have to be exactly the same, making sure your menu complements its environment will help to solidify and promote your brand.

Logo is Key

Your logo is the captain of your brand. Make sure it steers the menu design by matching it to your menu fonts, colors and imagery.

restaurant menu design tips - logo
Handle Photos With Care

Professional, high-resolution photos can spark a craving from a distracted customer or show off your signature plating to its best advantage. However, a low-quality photo will do the opposite - so no grainy snapshots, please!

restaurant menu design tips - photos
Spotlight Your Specials

Call out premium or special dishes by drawing attention with eye-catching design accents like arrows or decorative boxes. On average, restaurant goers gaze at a menu for just over 100 seconds. Spotlighting provides interesting visual breaks to your customers, minimizes reader fatigue and cuts down on price scanning.

restaurant menu design tips - specials
Create Multiple Menus

Boost your sales by thinking big picture. Beverage Table Tents, Half Page “Daily Specials” and digital menu boards are all proven ways to promote upselling. Standalone dessert menus are a great way not only to raise check totals but also to pace the meal and keep tables turning.

restaurant menu design tips - menus

With these professional restaurant menu design tips, you’re 7 steps closer to creating a successful, easy-to-read menu that will keep your customers coming back for more. Start building now with the click of a button or use our friendly Design Services to make your perfect menus.

Written by: MustHaveMenus Staff

Open Your Free Account

back button make my free account
Already have an account? Sign in here.

Want a designer to do your menu? Starts at only $199

tell me more no, I got this

Design Services?

Starting at $199, have our design team build your menu. We'll get your brand just right and boost your restaurant marketing at the same time.

Fast, effective, ready to print and publish online.

yes, boost my marketing no thanks, I'll do it myself