For many pizzerias, takeout and delivery are their bread and butter. A significant portion of pizzeria patrons might never even set foot in a restaurant’s brick and mortar location. This places these restaurants in an interesting position — with only one chance to make a good first impression, how do you impress a customer you might never actually see? Menus are not only important for dine-in patrons, but they’re also absolutely vital for enticing delivery customers. Here are some key things to consider when it comes to setting up attractive, profitable menus.
Offer signature items, and get rid of the slow sellers.
Before anything else, look at what your restaurant has to offer. What do you do differently from every other pizzeria out there? Are you creating new, fresh, interesting dishes, or are you trying to promote things that aren’t selling? Make a list of your restaurant’s offerings. Signature dishes should get pride of place, while slow sellers should be eliminated.
By keeping things neat and well-organized, and avoiding placing emphasis on prices, you can create menus that draw customers in and keep them coming back for more.
Move left to right, and top to bottom.
It used to be common knowledge that people look at the upper right corners of menus first, but new research says this isn’t so. Customers actually read them like books, from left to right, so place your most unique offerings in the upper left. This is a great spot to emphasize what sets you apart from other restaurants — place your signature pizzas or special deals here. This will catch customers’ attention and make them more likely to choose you over your competition.
Split things up sensibly.
Most restaurants offer foods that span a few key categories — appetizers, entrees, sides, desserts, beverages, and so forth. Look at the dishes you sell and organize them in the way that makes the most sense. If you can divide your menu up into logical categories, it will make it much easier for your customers to navigate.
Keep things clean.
Choose one or two simple fonts, and don’t go overboard with design elements. Boxes can help differentiate different areas from each other, but avoid using a lot of ostentatious borders, clip art, or other graphics. Cartoonish designs are typically associated with low-end fast food and chain restaurants, and should definitely be avoided if you’re shooting for a higher-end, grown-up look and feel.
Use photos sparingly.
It can be tempting to fill every inch of empty space with pictures of food. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words — what’s a better draw than a fresh-baked pizza? As with the other graphic elements mentioned above, restraint and quality are key here. Posting too many photos can even have the effect of setting customers up for disappointment when their order doesn’t exactly match the pictures! Choose a few high-quality, professionally done images, and avoid going overboard. Heavily illustrated menus are typically associated with lower-end restaurants, so go easy on pictures if you want to cultivate a higher-end look and greater customer satisfaction.
Pick the right colors.
Some colors are better at stimulating appetites than others. Warm color schemes, with reds, yellows, and oranges are all “foody” colors that put people in mind of their favorite dishes. Gray, black, purple, blue, and cool colors are not usually associated with food and are less likely to put menu readers in a hungry frame of mind. If you’re promoting healthy options, green is the way to go — it’s the color of abundance and associated with salads, fresh vegetables, and other light, healthy fare.
Keep prices minimal.
This doesn’t mean that you should charge less for your dishes. Rather, it refers to posting prices with a minimalist look. Use small, sleek currency signs, or eliminate them entirely. Research shows that customers won’t have any trouble understanding how much things cost, but they are more likely to spend more when they aren’t made acutely aware of pricing. Post prices clearly, but avoid emphasizing them. Your pizzeria’s menu is often the first experience you will give your customers. By offering unique dishes, keeping things neat and well-organized, selecting appetizing colors, providing a few high-quality pictures, and avoiding placing emphasis on your prices, you can create menus that will draw customers in and keep them coming back for more.