MustHaveMenus Blog

Category: ‘Design’

3 Tips for Delicious Do-It-Yourself Food Photography

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Taking delicious food photography is fairly easy if you set time aside and follow these three steps. Start with some simple dishes and work your way to the more complex. Promote them on social media, on your website or takeout ordering.

USE A SINGLE LIGHT SOURCE

Using a single light source will help you control where the highlights and shadows fall. Natural light from a window is best. You want to avoid direct sunlight, as that will cast very hard shadows and blow out the highlight areas or, what is referred to in the industry, hot spots. An overcast day provides optimum light, as it is filtered by the clouds. So don’t be afraid of shooting when the sun is hidden.

Place your surface within a couple of feet of the light source. Start putting your props (plate, napkin, etc.) onto the surface to begin to create the composition of your shot. This is your “set.” Do not put any food on the plate yet. You are going to make sure you have everything the way you intend before adding the food. There are two reasons for this: first, you do not want the food to look spoiled, wilted or dried out. Second, you will not be able to see how the light is being affected.

Use a 20" x 30" foam core fill card to bounce light into the shadow areas.

Use a 20″ x 30″ foam core fill card to bounce light into the shadow areas.

USE A FILL CARD

Though you are using a single light source, you will want to fill in the shadows. The best way to accomplish this is not with another light but with a fill card to “bounce” light from your single light source onto your subject matter. This will provide an overall balance. Your fill card should be about the length of your surface. Start with featuring one dish at a time before tackling a buffet. A good size fill card to begin with should measure 20” x 30.” The best material is foam core. It is lightweight and can be purchased at a local craft or stationery store (Staples or Office Depot).

Depending upon the time of day and the angle of the light coming in from the window, you may need to adjust the angle of your fill card from (for example) 90 degrees to 45 degrees. Put something heavy enough to lean the fill card against so it remains in place. You may need a second pair of hands to hold the card a bit higher or at a precarious angle, while you shoot the photo.

Start with stand-ins before switching out with your “hero” dish.

Start with stand-ins before switching out with your “hero” dish.

USE A STAND-IN, NOT THE “HERO”

Be sure you have two matching plates or at least two of similar color. You will be putting your “stand-in” food on one plate to set your lighting. Put a sampling of the various types of food that will be on the plate so you will be able to adjust accordingly. (For example, cauliflower is a very light color compared to kale, which is very dark.) Have an idea of just how much food will be on the plate. Too little can make your portions look small for the price, too much can make it unappealing. That is why a stand-in is a good idea.

Once you have everything in place: distance from the light source, fill card angle and height, and how close up or far away you want to be from your subject, go ahead and prepare your hero plate. Do not prepare your hero plate on the set. Don’t be afraid to rearrange the food once you bring it back to the set. Any sauces or garnish should be added on the set seconds before you take your final shot so they will look fresh. Focus directly on the subject for crisp images. Take a few versions so you can choose the best. Try rotating the plate in case it offers a better perspective. And voila! 

Stand-in without a fill card.

Stand-in without a fill card.

Final hero shot.

Final hero shot.

Custom Menu Design Peaks Traffic and Revenue for County Seat Restaurant

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Tracey Cifers, owner of County Seat Restaurant & Gathering Place, has been a MustHaveMenus customer since 2007. And she’s been delighting her clientele with custom menu designs ever since. With Powhatan County’s population just over 28,000, being the local go-to gathering place for three generations is a brand to be proud of. Tracey makes the time to “revel in her brand” through frequent menu creations. The result? Increase in the frequency of regular customers, new customer acquisition, and a boost in revenue.


MHM: You’ve been a customer since 2007. How did you come to find MHM?
Tracey: I think I just stumbled across it searching the internet for easy do-it-yourself menu creation. It’s a great option for people who like to be creative but aren’t graphic designers. I used to just scrap and piece together menus in the past. It not only took forever but they also didn’t look very professional. I love to reinvent our restaurant from time to time. It freshens our brand, re-engages our customers and attracts people visiting the area. You can always recognize a newcomer by the way the mispronounce Powhatan
(a dead giveaway that they’re not from Virginia). 

MHM: What do you like the most about using MHM?
Tracey: I love how I can enter all my information once and then switch between design themes to see which I like best. It’s so easy to do. I have done our main menu over about six or seven times, moving menu items around, experimenting using borders and highlighting certain specials. I also like the fact that all of my graphics and files are in one place. I can grab a menu I’ve previously designed, change the theme and I’m done. Simple and cost effective.

MHM: What enticed you to change your menus so frequently?
Tracey: I think it really speaks to showing our customers our sense of pride of place. My mother started this restaurant 23 years ago with one cook, a cashier, and a waitress. Now, we have 30 employees and do over $1 million in sales. That comes from loyal customers. We want to show our appreciation by continuing to be the gathering place they’ve come to expect. We know half of our customers by their first name. They love that!   

MHM: How have your customers responded to your menu designs?
Tracey: Whenever I create a new menu I put it on our website and post it on Facebook. Our customers get really excited when I introduce a new menu. What’s really interesting is how frequently a customer will order something they’ve never ordered before simply because it’s in a different spot or I’ve put a box around it.They think we have all new menu selections but it’s the same items we always have. We’ve even seen a rise in the orders of some of our more pricey dishes by calling them out with graphics.

MHM: How has changing up your menus impacted your business?
Tracey:
Every time I introduce a new menu there is a two-week spike in our restaurant traffic and revenue. We’ve noticed that our regular customers (50% of our clientele) come in more frequently and we also attract between 5% to 10% of new customers.

MHM: What other features do you use on MHM?
Tracey: I create a lot of flyers on MHM. I can design a flyer in just 30 minutes. It brings in a lot of additional business. I’ve used flyers to promote our happy hour, maybe a theme night or holiday. It creates an immediate “wow” factor. I created my first takeout menu just last week. I can’t wait to see the results.

MHM: Why did you decide to use MHM’s Design Services for your latest menu?
Tracey: We decided to update three menus at the same time, breakfast, luncheon and dinner menu. I was really pressed for time. They were able to do in a few hours what would have taken me days to accomplish, with all the changes happening at once. The MHM Design Services team was very helpful and fast. But honestly, I really enjoy carving out the time to create menus myself.

 

6 Tips for Creating a Profitable Menu

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Marylise Tauzia, VP of Marketing of Revel Systems, offers six strategies for creating a tasty, profitable menu. Revel Systems offers a full-featured point of sale system that is cloud-based and made specifically for the iPad.

With spring and summer fast approaching it’s important to have ideas for an enticing menu on deck. If you are in the midst of opening a new restaurant or quick-service eatery, you’ll definitely want to be able to appeal to anyone who walks in for a bite. And your menu is a primary revenue driver.  

Even if you’ve been operating successfully for years, keep things fresh with new menu items or modifications to favorites to reflect seasonal options. MustHaveMenus has hundreds of menu designs with tons of features to help you enhance menu choices, specials and favorites. We see LOTS of menus, of course, so here are a few guidelines to get you going.

1. Strategically Selecting Menu Items

Striking a balance between offering the most tasty dishes and drinks and maximizing profit should be your top priority when creating your menu. You’ll want to identify which items are the most profitable and make sure that you have a strategy for promoting them. You might want to spice up your beloved, fancy grilled-cheese sandwich by adding goat horn peppers, but you’ll need to be sure that you’re tracking cost-effectiveness and the portion for each sandwich. There’s a lot that goes into the backend of menu creation, and an intelligent point-of-sale system with reporting and ingredient tracking can step in and help you measure profitability.

2. Highlight Menu Categories or Specialty Items  

Layout of your menu can have a huge influence over what customers order. Now that you’ve created a strategy for your menu items, you’ll want to design your menu to draw attention to certain items. Thoughtful menu design is imperative not only to your business’s branding, but also to the bottom-line. It may be that you don’t want people to miss the entrees or even a “dinner for two” special. Or perhaps you want to create a box for designated seasonal specialty options so that you can simply rotate them easily throughout the year. Regardless of your intention, highlighted boxes around a category or option will ensure that attention is directed to that point on the menu.

3. Organize Your Menu By Popularity

It’s always a good idea to sort your menu by your most popular items. Your repeat customers are looking for their favorites, and your word-of-mouth, new customers are going to be curious about those items. Like highlighting specials or seasonal items, sorting each category according to best sellers, and then organizing your menu visually so that most popular categories are easy to find. Most people tend to scan menus and land at the top-right corner, which is where you’ll want to place the items you don’t want customers to miss.

4. Use Relative Pricing

We won’t call this a “trick”…. But one way to give your customers more perspective in comparing menu items that seem more expensive than others is to put items more similarly prices in proximity to one another. For example, a halibut entree for $26 doesn’t seem so expensive when followed by a more comparatively priced $30 T-Bone steak, rather than a $15 pot-pie. Relative pricing may seem manipulative but everything has a context so it’s a good idea to establish the context of your menu.

5. Make specialty menu items available only certain days of the week

This is a great way to drive traffic to your restaurant on some of the slower nights. Maybe Wednesdays are the only nights the chef makes his great-grandmother’s secret puff pastry beef stew. For example, Georgetown Cupcakes in Washington, D.C. only offers their Red Velvet cupcake on Wednesdays. They have a line down the block just for that flavor. Other flavors are limited to certain days, as well. It keeps the customers coming back.

6. Highlight an area of the menu just for food sensitivities

With dietary restrictions or preferences on the rise, it’s important to give special diets a place on your menu. Just a decade ago, gluten-intolerance levels were at 1 in 2500 worldwide. Today, it’s at 1 in 133. That’s a significant jump and indicator that food sensitivities shouldn’t be ignored on your menu. Offering items that are dairy or gluten free will ensure that everyone who walks into your establishment has options. Even if your theme is old fashioned barbecue, you can still offer sides that will accommodate certain diets and even a meat or gluten alternative entree.


If you want a design specialist to handle the creative side of your menu our MHM Design Services team can highlight profitable specialty items and other menu features starting at $199.

7 Ways to Guarantee A Great Restaurant Brand Experience

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These are the seven variables by which your restaurant brand is accessed. It’s important to keep in mind that your brand is not what you think it is but what your customers think it is—from the moment they walk in the door, the welcoming they receive, the choices on the menu and the food they ingest to the surrounding ambiance. The ultimate goal is to earn loyal customers who can trust that their experience is a repeatable one.

Revel in your unique identity. 
Before you decide to base the theme of your restaurant on food alone, ask yourself, “What story are we trying to tell?” People love to get behind passion about one’s heritage or fulfilling a lifelong dream. Do you want to share your mother’s Italian cooking? Are you a celebrity (even if just in your small community)? Or maybe you want to be the best little Sandwich Cafe in town. Whatever you decided, leverage it every way you can—the name of your restaurant, the interior decor, and the theme of your menu design. Engage customers by telling your story on social media and providing a link to your online menu. Check out some additional helpful tips on boosting your brand on Menu Shoppe’s blog. 

Greet customers quickly and courteously.
Immediate acknowledgement is important. If your host/hostess is on the phone taking a reservation, preventing them from making a proper introduction and greeting, they can still make eye contact and smile or cover the phone to say a quick,
“I’ll be right with you.” As soon as they can, they should thank the customer for coming to your establishment, Thank you for coming to Sendar’s Restaurant, I’m Rebecca. Will you be joining us for dinner? Customers appreciate being greeted, especially when it is sincere. Besides, both you and the customer are aware they could’ve selected that other restaurant.  

Train staff on image.
93% of how we are perceived—and how we perceive others—is based on body language. This involuntary, nonverbal assessment occurs every time we enter a new situation. Because the spoken word accounts for only 7% towards influencing their perception, you’ll want the first person your customer comes in contact with to pass the initial non-verbal scrutiny filter: appearance and body language.

Train your staff to be aware of not only their own body language, but also how to interpret non-verbal cues from customers; are they pausing too long when the host/hostess informs them there are no window tables available? Do they look away or purse their lips? Being quick to suggest enjoying a glass of wine at the bar, if they’re not in a hurry, will often quell their disappointment. Be willing to make it a complimentary glass of wine if it will help make the rest of their evening a positive experience.

Be consistent from the door to the dining table.
The customer will notice the details you attend to as equally as those you missed. What ambiance are you creating? If it’s quiet and intimate then you want to be sure that when your server pulls out a chair, the legs won’t scrape on the floor, disrupting the very atmosphere you aim to provide. Is the music in line with the setting you are trying to create? Is it too loud? Err on the side of too soft. Are your menus inviting to pick up and peruse? Are they inside a genuine leather menu cover or a café style menu cover? Whether your customers are coming to engage in social interaction at a pub or looking for an intimate dining experience, you want to deliver better than they expected.

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Menu Shoppe’s genuine leather menu covers.

Accommodate your customers.
Let’s face it, we all have our likes and dislikes. Add to the mix food allergies, dietary restrictions, vegan diets, and the latest food trends, it can seem like a lot to address. Providing easy replacements for sides and sauces will let your customers know you are flexible and willing. Be open to their suggestions for future substitutions and tell them you will gladly pass them on to the chef. You might even consider highlighting a “special substitutions” section on your menu. Most people committed to their health and dietary regime don’t mind paying a premium for quality choices. They may also feel embarrassed calling attention to their food issues by asking a litany of questions.

Provide intuitive service.
Naturally, your servers’ mannerisms might be more familiar with regulars than with new customers. And the degree of server interaction will vary between serving a couple having a romantic dinner as opposed to a table of conference colleagues. From the pacing of the meal, how frequently your server checks in, down to filling the water glasses before the customer asks, timing is key. It’ll make the difference between an exceptional experience and a satisfactory one.

Show your gratitude.
Gratuity goes both ways. Encourage your servers to ask questions before putting the check on the table. When the customer looks at the total it represents the dollar value of their dining experience. And that is the best time to show your gratitude by thanking them for choosing your restaurant and that you hope to see them again. Include a comment card that won’t require too much time to fill out. Make sure other staff acknowledge customers with a smile or a “thank you” on their way out. Gratitude is golden. 

Take the first step towards creating a brand identity that you can revel in, your menu. Our Design Services can help customize one you’ll absolutely love!

Relaunch of New York Restaurant Chooses MHM for Custom Menu Design

Blog-CASE-STUDY-image-Spillane'sAfter 25 years in the food and beverage industry, General Manager Carey Chaney has seen a lot of change. That experience translates to an invaluable business savvy along with an in-depth understanding of a restaurant’s need to keep up with changing customer desires and sophistication. More importantly, she knows when it’s time to refresh. When Molly Spillane’s decided to re-launch their brand, Carey embraced the expertise of MHM’s Design Services team.


MHM: What was the main motivator in re-launching Molly’s brand?
Carey: Customers are more informed and concerned about their diet now. Their expectations are higher—better quality food, greater value, and superb service. When I started at Molly’s the menu didn’t reflect those standards. There was no menu accommodation for gluten-free, dairy-free or organic choices. People are much more discerning, now. They know the difference in quality, freshness, etc. and what is healthiest for them. If we don’t provide those choices, there are plenty of other restaurants that do. If a customer doesn’t see that we are willing to take care of their needs, they’ll go someplace else. And they won’t come back.

MHM: What criteria do you think is important when creating a menu based on customers higher standards? 
Carey: Menus now have to have a fresh look coupled with an eclectic offering in order to serve everyone’s needs. And that has to extend through the brand at all touch points. When we decided to refresh the menu we realized we needed to revisit the entire restaurant experience from the minute they walk in the door to dessert.

MHM: What happened as a result of the menu redesign?
Carey: Once we started looking at redesigning the menu and realized how the change would reflect on Molly’s brand, we began reviewing the entire dining experience, striking five points: 1) Greet quickly. 2) Accommodate discerning palates. 3) Deliver good quality. 4) Provide the best value. 5) Offer seamless service.

MHM: How familiar were you with MHM when you embarked on the re-launch?
Carey: 
When I joined Molly’s, the owner already had an account set up. They had been utilizing the MHM platform for all Spillane’s menus—at Molly’s alone, we revise our menus one to two times per week, including our beer and dessert menus. Spillane’s also has three other locations that use MHM to design their menus: Mickey’s, Maggie’s and Nellie’s. Each restaurant has its own select menu items at that location. Spillane’s restaurants have been around for nine years. Molly’s is the newest at six years.

MHM: How did your previous menu-making method differ from MHM’s online platform?
Carey:
 At the last restaurant I managed, someone did the menu design in-house and then shipped it out to get printed. It took a week and a half. We had to be really good at planning ahead but it didn’t allow for any changes unless we did the whole process again. Our menu is five pages, including the cover. We create them as single, one-sided copies.

With MHM, I can bang out a customized menu in just 30 minutes. It’s pretty easy. At first, I spent a couple of weeks getting comfortable with spacing, margins, mixing a variety of fonts, and feeling more confident playing with backgrounds, borders, coloring and graphics. There are a lot of options to explore! I tried three or four themes I liked. Now I can make changes immediately, print it out and it’s done. We don’t use MHM’s printing feature only because it’s easier for us to print them in-house simply because of the frequency of menu updates.

MHM: Why did you decide to have Design Services create the menu instead of doing it yourself? 
Carey: With the Molly relaunch, we had just a three-day window to create an upscale menu with more offerings. Not only were we changing the menu in three days, we were changing our serving sizes, retraining our servers, and familiarizing everyone with the new menu offers, all in an effort to take our service and standards to next level. I felt my attention should be on the staff and servicing and trust the menu design to MHM.

MHM: How happy were you with MHM’s redesign? How did your customers respond?
Carey: 
Well, what I loved the most was working with Samantha in Design Services. She was great! And she made it fun. Our customers loved the new menu design. It was a masterpiece! They were very receptive to the new menu items, too. We make sure to touch base with every table in the dining room to get their feedback. It’s really important for customers to feel heard.

MHM: What other MHM features do you see exploring in the future?
Carey: 
Eventually, we will offer weekly specials and will need to create a menu for that. We also will need tri-fold menus. All the MHM benefits are great. We’re definitely getting our money’s worth out of the program.

Spanky’s Pub House Already Has Three MustHaveMenus (and A Kids’ Menu On the Way)

Blog-CASE-STUDY-Spanky-2Despite Spanky’s three-year success as a favorite Myrtle Beach destination for locals and resort visitors alike, owners Carrie and Bob Ross thought it was time to upgrade their menu. They wanted a fresh look to compliment their reputation for serving only freshly cooked pub food (no frozen-to-fryer fare like other pub establishments). Carrie admits she’s a numbers person, not a creative person. While she was happy to let go of the creative process she did not want to compromise her vision. Within a few hours of speaking with MHM’s Design Services she had exactly what she wanted…and more.


MHM: What drove your decision to use our Design Services?
Carrie: Friends of ours that own a restaurant in the area referred us to MHM. I was able to touch and feel their menu so I knew the quality was good. I had absolutely no reservations about the quality. But our friend’s menu is pretty complicated, with multiple columns, and I was a bit intimidated to attempt it myself, especially since I was looking to do more customization. The end result was beyond my skills. You have to understand, we ran a residential building business so I’m a numbers person, not a creative person. Additionally, I needed something “yesterday” and wasn’t able to give it the time needed. When I emailed Design Services they could see that I had started a couple of menus and got stuck. I signed up with membership so I could benefit from their member discounts and additional services.

MHM: What happened during your conversation with Design Services?
Carrie: They completely got me. I had tried explaining what I wanted via email but it just wasn’t translating. Once we had a chance to connect over the phone I was amazed at how quickly they were able to take my chosen template, customize it, and email me a rendition that represented exactly what I envisioned. And within hours!

MHM: How did your MHM experience differ from past menu creations using traditional resources?
Carrie: In the past, a friend of one of our bartenders would create our menus in her spare time. Timeliness was not an option. She did two menus for us. We told ourselves they were just temporary menus. The last “temporary” menu lasted 18 months. While it was free the trade off was a long drawn-out process. In contrast, after talking with MustHaveMenu’s team for just 30 minutes one Friday afternoon and providing menu information they needed to get started, we had a design layout to review by the following Tuesday. The final draft was complete within a week as compared to two and a half months with the previous scenario. The Design Services team was great to work with—friendly, responsive, and talented!

MHM: From a cost perspective, how did your MHM membership investment compare? 
Carrie: 
Our design development investment was only $100. We then decided to have a take out menu created, too. At $561 for 100 full-color 8 1/2″ x 14″ menus with lamination, plus 2,500 trifold, full-color glossy take out menus, it was far less expensive than the cost of printing at our local Staples. What we learned was by paying a higher premium for printing and losing valuable time, we ended up spending more money in the past. Our investment in MHM was well worth every penny spent, hands down.

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MHM: What other MustHaveMenus products and benefits have you utilized with your membership?
Carrie:
 Once we got the printed versions taken care of we didn’t hesitate to convert the menu for use on our Facebook page and website. In fact, the menu is our website (except for an illustration of Spanky, their 14-year old Boston Terrier mascot and the subject of their $8,000 merchandising revenue).

MHM: How were the new menus received?
Carrie: We introduced them at the beginning of November and our customers absolutely love them! We’ve gotten huge amounts of compliments. We used to have a 4-page menu in a plastic folder. It looked weathered and beaten. Our customers love how the thicker stock laminated menus look and feel—all snappy and new. It’s very exciting.

MHM: What’s next up for menus?
Carrie: 
We’re definitely going to want to create a kids’ menu. We have a lot of families that are regulars and their children are our customers by default. We realize that those children are potential customers, as they become young adults. This time I am going to try to do the kids’ menu creation myself. Since MHM has so many fun templates to choose from and they make it super easy to do, even I can be creative!

 

Make Your Takeout Menu in 5 Minutes

 

Once you’ve created your tabletop menu in Menu Builder 2.0, it’s a snap to make a takeout version. Simply open your menu, make a copy (with the Copy Menu button), and the new version will be your takeout menu. Change the paper size to Trifold or Quadfold, and your content will autoflow into the takeout template. Adjust the headers and spacing, and you’re ready to print!

Don’t have a menu yet? It’s easy to create your takeout menu from scratch, too. Pick a design, select a takeout size, and enter your content. You can customize the cover panel, change font colors, add your logo and icons, and more.

When you order prints, we’ll trim and fold them for you; they will arrive at your door ready for your customers.

New Look And New Themes

This month we’ve launched a new look for the Menu Builder 2.0. Here’s a quick overview of what’s new & improved:

1. The workspace is simplified.
The navigation has moved to the top, making it easier to view your content and the menu preview side-by-side. And instead of toolbars and buttons spread around the workspace, now they are all contained on the left.

The new & improved workspace has tools on the left, preview on the right.

The new & improved workspace has tools on the left, preview on the right.

Controls are now easier to find.

Controls are now easier to find.

2. Tools are more discoverable.
Some of the tools have been reorganized to make them easier to find. For example, you’ll now find Fonts, Spacing, and Columns settings under Styles. The control for “hide background” now lives under Graphics. If you have any trouble finding the tool you need, our service team will be happy to help (1-800-452-2234).

No more delays for auto-refresh.

No more delays for auto-refresh.

3. Refresh preview is now manual.
Instead of auto-refreshing the preview every few seconds, we’ve turned the control over to you. Now you decide when you are ready to see the latest version of your preview.  No need to slow down for auto-refresh. This change makes the menu-building experience faster and simpler.

4. New Themes to choose from.
Themes are designs created by our professional menu design team. They offer inspiration and a starting point for your custom menu needs. We’re adding new options to the collection every week. If you have a favorite design you’d like to use in Menu Builder 2.0 but you don’t see it in the theme gallery yet, just give us a call.  Click here to see the newest designs.

New themes are added daily.

New themes are added daily.

Branding Your Restaurant with Menu Sets

american bar menu setOne of the most important parts of branding your restaurant has to do with consistency. Keep Reading ›

Four Top Tips for Highlighting Restaurant Menu Specials

Menu specials serve a “special purpose” in your restaurant – they give you an opportunity to introduce new menu items, to sell more of a menu item that needs to move and to give regular customers variety.

Communicating these specials can help you build interest in your daily lunch menu or help you reach new customers. Here are four ways to highlight your specials and grow your sales.

summer specialties menuSpecials Menu

In our recent article, Six Menus Every Restaurant Needs, we highlighted why using a separate specials menu can help you increase sales. It’s a great way to showcase limited time items, holiday offerings and a daily lunch plate.

But there’s another reason to highlight specials on a printed menu – it helps your customers make a decision.  Think about it: a customer sees the special at the door while he/she is waiting. They sit down and can’t remember exactly what the special is. They have to ask the server. No big deal, but wouldn’t it help the customer to have a menu to review the ingredients, price, etc.?

Same goes for the server spouting off the specials. Most customers don’t hear all that and can’t catch the special quickly enough to ask questions.

Bottom Line: A printed specials menu is a simple way to sell more high-profit menu items and a way to help educate your customers on your delicious food.

See our selection of designer specials menus that you can edit and print in a matter of minutes.

flyer for restaurant eventSpecials Flyers

Looking for a way to drum up some Tuesday night business? Or to increase lunch sales on Sunday? Try creating a specials flyer for Tapas Tuesdays or Family Brunch.

Using a flyer to highlight special menu offerings can help you reach a new crowd and fill in a gap in your sales. Here are a few tips for creating a winning specials flyer:

  1. Keep the specials flyer simple. Give customers the highlights, pricing, times/days specials are valid and contact info for your restaurant.
  2. Highlight 3 to 5 menu items or buffet highlights on your flyer. Try to keep the entire flyer to under 50 words. This will help you communicate but not over inform.
  3. Use calls to action. Try leading them somewhere else such as – See our full menu at our website or Facebook page and the link.

hamburger table tent menuTable Tents

An alternative to printing up a specials menu is to give your customers a guide to your weekly specials in the form of a table tent. Keep the text simple with a name, a brief description and pricing as well as the dates/times the specials are available. This is especially appealing for bar food options, dinner specials, desserts or vegetarian options.

Facebook

If you offer daily specials, it’s probably safe to assume your Facebook page has a good number of fans. What better place to see what’s for lunch or dinner? If you do offer daily lunch specials and don’t have them on Facebook, get started today!

Here are a few tips for sharing your specials on Facebook:

  1. Use a picture. Sure, you may have more than one special for the day, but a great graphic will result in more eyeballs seeing your special.
  2. Use a short, detailed description. Make a serving suggestion or describe the flavor of the dish. Use adjectives that will make your customers hungry!
  3. Use a call to action and give a price. It’s not a bad idea to give your customers the price and a simple “come see us.”
  4. Link to your longer specials menu. If you have more than one daily special or a rotating menu, post it to your Facebook page with the Menu app and link your special to it. Here’s a guide on how to do that.

Next Steps

Tell us what you think about highlighting specials on our Facebook page. Did we miss anything? Are you doing something that works great and want to share?

Get access to more than 2500 designer menu templates, online software and publish your menus directly to Facebook for just $29/month.

 

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