Turn Your Takeout Menu Into A Marketing Tool


Takeout is a great way to expand your business and increase your sales. After all, there are only so many tables in your restaurant, and during peak times, people don’t always want to wait for one to open.

In 2013, 60 percent of Americans said they ordered food for takeout or delivery at least once per week. While the demand is huge, many restaurant owners don’t realize that their takeout menu serves much more than its utilitarian purpose. A well-designed takeout menu is arguably your restaurant’s most valuable marketing tool, even ahead of social media and online advertising.

So, how exactly do you create a pamphlet that catches eyes, communicates your offerings and sparks taste buds? Here are a few tips:

Create a Great Cover

The cover of your takeout menu is your first impression. If you’re using an edge-to-edge photo in the background, be sure that it is in high resolution so there is no distortion or pixelation. If you’re using a design, don’t let it get too overbearing or distracting. Of course be sure to include your address and phone number.

Be a Brand

Customers connect to brands, and become extremely loyal to the brands they love. Your brand should be conveyed through your menu design, not just with your logo and colors, but in the overall style of the menu. A takeout menu for an Italian restaurant should have a much different aesthetic than that of a Mexican restaurant. This is why MustHaveMenus allows you to find restaurant menu templates by category.

Customize Your Template

A template is a wonderful tool that can help you to create a menu relatively quickly. Don’t stop at the first iteration, though. Customize your menu to the best of your abilities so that it stands out from the stack.

Tell Your Story

Surely your restaurant has a story behind it. And believe it or not, customers want to hear that story. Let your entrepreneurial and creative visions shine by offering a brief narrative (2-4 sentences) of how your restaurant started, why you started it, how it has grown, and why it’s unique. Include this narrative in a dedicated space somewhere on your takeout menu so that customers know they are supporting a truly meaningful establishment.

Highlight Best Sellers and Specials

Both for profitability and marketing, your takeout menu should include a few standout items. Bring attention to best sellers and specials by stylizing the text in different colors, bold or italics.

Share the Ingredients

People want to know what’s in a dish before they order it. Beyond minimizing the amount of questions you receive about items, short descriptions highlighting the fresh, quality ingredients you use can help to inspire customers and make their mouths water.

Incorporate Photos

Speaking of making mouths water, what better way to convey deliciousness than with photos? But that doesn’t mean you should try to squeeze in a small, poor-quality cell phone photo of every menu item. Instead, add a few professional, high-resolution images for the perfect dash of visualization.

Work with a Professional Designer

If you’re not fully confident in your design skills and/or don’t have the time to design your own menu, it might be best to hire a designer for the job.

You can incorporate all of the above tips into any MustHaveMenus template, or have one of our designers create a beautiful custom takeout menu for you! Learn more about our menu design service, now available at a special price of just $199.