A restaurant's menu is it's single best marketing tool. It's the one marketing piece every customer sees. Here are 10 common mistakes you'll want to avoid.

No. 10: The price list line up!

Nice neat rows of right hand justified pricing takes the focus off of the menu item and gives your guest the ability to price shop. The best place for the price is at the end of the menu item description. Menu item name first. Description next. Price last. No "$". No bold font.

No. 9: "Homestyle"

If your guests wanted it "homestyle" that's where they would have stayed.

No. 8: No.! No! No!

No sharing. No Checks. No separate checks. Don't turn your menu into a policy and procedures manual for your guests.

No. 7: Percentage Pricing

Goofy pricing strategies make guests wonder what the heck you were thinking when you wrote your menu. Yes know what your food cost is, but know what the market will bare. Prices should have some continuity like ending in 0 (good), or 5 (better) or 9 (best). The retail industry has done a great job of training consumers that everything ends in 9.

No. 6: Clip art crazy

Today's software is not only affordable but it's easy to use. And abuse. Be careful you don't use too many steaming mugs of coffee or dancing cows.

No. 5: Beware of Photos!

The expression "A picture is worth 1000 words" is very true. When using pictures on the menu you are making a real commitment that the food will look exactly like the picture. Every time. Pictures of pre-made desserts and adult beverages are great. They sell more and it is hard to mess up a bottle of beer.

No. 4: "Fried to Perfection"

Today consumers are more conscious about what they eat. At least that's what they say. Descriptive words like gooey, slathered, and dripping lack the market appeal they once had. Time to get a thesaurus.

No. 3: Too much!

Too many pages. Too many choices. Too many pictures. Too many options. Studies show the average consumer spends 107 seconds looking at a menu. In the menu game less is more.

No. 2: "Greasy-Sticky Icky!

Don't let your menus become a "Scratch and Sniff" marketing tool. If a menu looks bad (or smells bad) it is time to pull it from service.

And the number 1 menu mess-up....

No. 1: White-Out or Correcto-Tape price changes!

When ever I see this I can't help but feel the restaurant is near its end.

Views: 2

Tags: design, engineering, layout, marketing, menu, profit, restaurant


You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh

Comment by Keith Bernhardt on September 2, 2008 at 11:53am
I was at a place one time and one of the prices had changed so many times, it was almost another page !!
Comment by John Dumbrille on September 2, 2008 at 7:58am
Great list, and very funny. "Fried to Perfection" actually made me laugh-out-loud.
Comment by David Mark on August 30, 2008 at 12:23pm
Right on the money!
10 - I do price shop and too often the restaurant makes it too easy for me.
9 - When I do choose homestyle, it's never like grandma used to make.
8 - Enough said...
7 - Seems like shady practice.
6 - Too much art is not good and I'm an artist! Just give me the food!
5 - Chinese restaurants seem to do this often and it rarely looks like the meal.
4 - Enough said...
3 - Have you ever been to The Cheescake Factory - they give you a menu the size of the Old Testament. Really? Seriously? Who has that kind of time? Besides, isn't that expensive to manage, train, stock, inventory and provide enough menu items to start 3 more chain concepts off of your superfluous items?
2 - Besides bad service, nothing is more annoying when getting a first impression. Tip: Restaurants should provide mini-antibacterial wipes for customers when they FIRST enter.
1 - Simply tacky. If people would realize that EVERYTHING you do is the marketing (menus, checks, acknowledgements, tonality, how you poor the drinks....), then you would be more successful/profitable. Your customers may not voice their opinions all of the time, but they do care about the details more and more.




Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries


Fast-casual growth comes from new openings as market matures

Sales at fast-casual eateries are growing at a pace similar to that of quickservice and sit-down restaurants as young, high-i -More

Taylor® Grills. Cooking made Easier, Faster, and Smarter.
With efficiency and food safety top of mind, the Taylor® L810 two-sided grill is a foodservice industry favorite. Optimize profits and cooking efficiency with three separately controlled cooking zones, programmable cook times, pre-set temperature and automatic gap settings. To learn more click here.

In the swim: Gulf state seafood catch safe for now

Businesses fighting to preserve commercial access to seafood fished in the Gulf states scored a big win this month when the G -More

Ruby Tuesday revitalization prompts sales growth

Maryville, Tenn.-based Ruby Tuesday posted gains in same-store sales in the fourth quarter, with a 5% rise at franchised rest -More


Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $50 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Main Event Entertainment to Open First Center in the Rio Grande Valley

Main Event Entertainment, the fastest-growing family entertainment center in America, is celebrating its new center opening in Pharr, Texas, a suburb near McAllen in the Rio Grande Valley. Doors will open to the public at 9 a.m. on August 6.

Darden Announces Leadership Succession Plan

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI) announced that Clarence Otis is stepping down as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. Darden's Board of Directors has appointed the Company's current Independent Lead Director, Charles A. Ledsinger, Jr., as Independent Non-Executive Chairman of the Board, effective immediately. The Company also announced that it has amended its corporate governance policies to provide for the separation of the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer roles.

National Restaurant Association Statement on NLRB Joint Employer Decision

Today the National Restaurant Association issued the following statement regarding the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) decision asserting McDonald’s Corporation is a joint employer of its franchisees:

National Restaurant Association Issues Support for Clearer ACA Definition of Seasonal Employment

The bipartisan legislation will align the definitions of seasonal employment in the Affordable Care Act and streamline the applicable large employer determination process.

Rising India, Inc. Announces Acquisition Strategy Toward a Sizable Slice of the QSR Pizza Pie

Rising India, Inc. (OTC: RSII), announces today it will immediately begin work toward the acquisition of up to 5 profitable stores in the popular Quick Serve Pizza Restaurant segment. Current targets are currently earning about $450,000 in revenues per year, per store. Acquisition of targets would provide immediate cash flow identified from profitable longstanding, absentee owner operations with proven model success.


If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.


TED: Ze Frank: Are you human? - Ze Frank (2014)

Have you ever wondered: Am I a human being? Ze Frank suggests a series of simple questions that will determine this. Please relax and follow the prompts. Let's begin …

TED: Heather Barnett: What humans can learn from semi-intelligent slime - Heather Barnett (2014)

Inspired by biological design and self-organizing systems, artist Heather Barnett co-creates with physarum polycephalum, a eukaryotic microorganism that lives in cool, moist areas. What can people learn from the semi-intelligent slime mold? Watch this talk to find out.

TED: Shih Chieh Huang: Sculptures that’d be at home in the deep sea - Shih Chieh Huang (2014)

When he was young, artist Shih Chieh Huang loved taking toys apart and perusing the aisles of night markets in Taiwan for unexpected objects. Today, this TED Fellow creates madcap sculptures that seem to have a life of their own—with eyes that blink, tentacles that unfurl and parts that light up like bioluminescent sea creatures.

TED: Nikolai Begg: A tool to fix one of the most dangerous moments in surgery - Nikolai Begg (2013)

Surgeons are required every day to puncture human skin before procedures — with the risk of damaging what's on the other side. In a fascinating talk, find out how mechanical engineer Nikolai Begg is using physics to update an important medical device, called the trocar, and improve one of the most dangerous moments in many common surgeries.

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service