How to Design a Restaurant Menu That Will Boost Sales

Ensure your restaurant’s success by learning how to design a restaurant menu that appeals to customers. Use these easy tips & tricks to turn every visitor into a loyal customer.


How to Design a Restaurant Menu

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How to Design a Restaurant Menu That Will Boost Sales

When you run a business in a competitive field like the restaurant industry, you must do everything in your power to stand out from the competition. That includes creating a restaurant menu design that will attract customers and persuade them to order more.


The first step most people take before visiting or ordering from a restaurant is to check the online menu. There are many factors that can influence them in choosing your place: 

  • Is your restaurant menu easy to find?
  • Are your prices aligned with the competition?
  • Is the menu easy to read and browse?
  • Are the ingredients clearly listed?
  • Are there pictures to illustrate the food they will receive?


In this article, you will learn how to design a restaurant menu that will increase your sales:

Your restaurant branding should be visible in the menu layout

Before opening your restaurant’s doors or launching your website, you must clearly define your business with branding. On top of deciding on a tone of voice and a Unique Selling Proposition, you need graphic items that will be used on all platforms to create a unified look.

For starters, you should have a logo, a color palette, and one to three fonts. When you use the same element on your website, menu, and social media, you create an unforgettable image that clients will soon start to recognize.


When choosing the desired colors for your restaurant menu, you must consider their psychological effect on people and match them to your cuisine. For example, red is known to induce hunger and would go well with a pizza place. On the other hand, if your restaurant serves seafood, blue would be more appropriate. 

One of the most important restaurant menu design principles is simplicity. A busy menu with unnecessary graphics will distract clients and make it hard for them to concentrate on the actual food items. 


So, while it is important to incorporate the branding elements, don’t overdo it. Limit yourself to three colors and a legible font that makes every name and description easy to read. 

Size matters when you want to make a profit

You may be tempted to devise a very long menu with many food options to make everyone happy. But it will have the opposite effect on clients. A menu with lots of different dishes will leave customers wondering about the quality: are the ingredients fresh? Are the dishes pre-prepared?

Furthermore, clients don’t want to spend the better part of their time out browsing through the menu. They would prefer to grasp all the relevant dishes at a glance so they can choose fast and focus on enjoying your delicious food.


A small menu will also help you prevent food waste, increase the table turnover and skyrocket your profit by featuring more items with a higher profit margin. You can create your online restaurant menu with a free intuitive builder that allows for quick and instant menu updates. 

Learn how to arrange dishes on a restaurant menu

When searching for how to design a restaurant menu, the secret is logic with some added psychological tricks. Here are a few pointers that will turn a basic menu into a best-selling one:

  • Group items into categories: humans are used to structuring and looking for it in a restaurant menu. Imagine browsing a menu where the items are listed in no particular order, first the main dish, then a dessert, and after an entrée. Frustrating, right? Instead, group your menu items and present them in the order you would typically eat: appetizers, main dishes, sides, and desserts.
  • Add the dishes you want to promote at the top: people tend to order the menu items listed at the begging, either for lack of time or because they trust the restaurant to present the best things first. A good strategy would be to add an expensive dish first and follow it up with more affordable options with a high-profit margin.
  • Include promotions at the very top: what client doesn’t like a good food deal? If you implement restaurant promotions, you can attract more new and repeat customers and increase your revenue. Ensure you add them at the top so they will be the first thing everybody sees when opening your menu.

Go for long menu item descriptions

Everybody knows pictures are the backbone of an online restaurant menu as they can make clients instantly hungry. But did you know the way you write your dishes description is equally important?


For example, let’s say you have two Margherita pizzas. For one, the description is simple “mozzarella, tomato sauce, basil” and for the other one, you give more details “mozzarella di bufala D.O.P Campania, fresh tomato sauce, basil pesto on a sourdough crust.” Which one would you choose?

Descriptions are an opportunity to gain visitors’ attention and determine them to click “Add to cart.” Depending on your cuisine and branding, there are two main ways to write your menu item descriptions:


  • Focus on the ingredient’s origin or mode of preparation: if you are a farm-to-table restaurant or use high-quality ingredients, you should highlight this in the description. Furthermore, if you cook your pizza in a wood oven or experiment with molecular gastronomy, ensure you mention it.
  • Go for a funny approach: humor is a great way to relate to customers. Here is an example to inspire you to be creative with your menu descriptions: Cheeky decadence – the cheekiest pork cheeks mixed with caramelized onions and foraged truffles to give you an indulgent burger you will never forget.

Don’t forget about mobile optimization

Due to the constant evolution of technology and the pandemic conditions, paper menus are becoming more of an accessory to the main online restaurant menus. A digital menu has the advantage of being available to anyone, cost-free with the right menu creator, and easy to modify when needed.

Online, the currency is often visible. To impress clients with your restaurant menu design, you first have to reach them. Therefore, it is essential to have a sales-optimized restaurant website that will rank you high in searches, complete with a visible menu button that converts.


Moreover, remember that hunger can strike anywhere, not only when you have access to a desktop. Clients should be able to browse your menu on every type of device and enjoy a fast-loading experience. 

You can take everything a step further with online ordering. Why allow clients to just see your listed dishes when they could order them in a few clicks directly from your online menu? This way, you transform your restaurant menu into a conversion tool.


Learning how to design a restaurant menu is essential to running a business. A beautifully crafted menu that is full of creative descriptions and mouth-watering pictures will lead your restaurant to success by convincing clients to order more.


Don’t forget to give customers the experience they deserve by ensuring the menu is optimized for every device and intuitive to use.