Have you ever wondered why certain menu items catch your eye more than others? You may have thought it was just the way the dish sounded or looked, but it’s likely that the menu’s design played a role as well.
Menu design is no small feat, and those in the restaurant industry recognise the importance of strategic menu formatting and font choices – whether it’s a global chain like McDonald’s, a small independent café or MAHA Restaurant in Melbourne. In this blog post, we dive into the psychology behind menu design and how certain formats and fonts can impact consumer choices.
The Power of Colours
Colour plays a significant role in a menu’s psychology. Traditionally, red has been used for items that entice immediate consumption, such as desserts or drinks. Earthy tones, such as brown or green, are used to describe dishes rich in protein or vegetables, while blue is avoided due to its suppressant qualities. When choosing colours for your menu, you want to use colours that complement the atmosphere or branding of your restaurant while still promoting the items you want to sell.
The Importance of Fonts
Just like colours, fonts can also be used to influence customer choices. Sans-serif fonts tend to be easiest to read and can encourage customers to select items quickly. Meanwhile, script or cursive fonts can enhance the image of higher-end restaurants or accentuate specific menu items that require a more delicate approach. It’s also important to ensure that the font size is appropriate and legible, especially for those with visual impairments.
The Strategic Placement of Items
Believe it or not, the placement of items on a menu can impact consumer choices. Many restaurants place their most profitable items in the middle or upper right-hand corner of the menu, as customers tend to look there first. Similarly, using boxes or highlight colours around certain items draws attention to them and can increase their popularity. Additionally, grouping items together under different sections or headings allows for ease of reading and organisation.
The Effect of Pricing
Pricing is a crucial aspect of menu design, as it can impact the perceived value of an item. When items are priced without a dollar sign or with rounded numbers, customers are more likely to spend more. Additionally, a strategy called decoy pricing, in which an expensive item is placed alongside a similar item at a more reasonable price, can make the latter appear like a better deal. However, it’s important not to overprice menu items, as customers will catch on quickly and may not return – retention is key!
As technology advances, digital menus are becoming an increasingly popular option in restaurants. These menus offer many benefits, such as allowing for quick changes or updates and the ability to display photos of dishes. However, the psychology behind menu design is just as crucial in the digital realm – in this format, animations or eye-catching graphics can replace boxes or colours, making certain items stand out even more.
Menu design is a crucial aspect of the restaurant industry, and its psychology should not be overlooked
Remember, your menu is your primary marketing tool, and taking the time to design it strategically can pay off in big ways. Good luck!