Is your menu designed to drive the sales of your high profit items? Pick your current menu and consider the psychology of the design and what items you are drawn towards – are these items that you want your customers to buy or you missing a trick? While designing the menu ensure the items are carefully constructed to persuade customers into making certain decisions that will drive profitability across your business. Some of the main techniques to implement in the psychology of menu design such as positioning, colours, buzz words to capture attention, controlled costing and much more.
Colours across your menu
If you are using colours within your menu design then, for an example Green implies the food is fresh whereas orange stimulates our appetite. The use of yellow colour in your menu makes us happy and draws our attention towards these items whereas the colour Red encourages action and used to persuade customers to select these items.
Menu Eye Flow
It is important for you to understand how customers read your menu so you can ensure your high profit items are in the right place. When a customer picks up menu their eyes typically first move to the middle before moving to the top right and then across top left. This is also called as Golden Triangle, and design menu using this technique where you will find dishes with the highest Gross Profit. Take a look at your menu and arrange items in these positions.
If you look at the menu in most cases you can find the dish descriptions all of a similar size and they fit with the layout of the page. A menu that has been designed to boost sales, you can find some items with a longer description standing out from the others. Guess where will your attention be drawn to, and also profitability of these may be? You may have guessed these are the high profit items that the restaurant wants you to buy.
Feeding the Imagination
Think of what the customers tell you while continuing with the theme of descriptions. Use enticing adjectives such as “locally sourced”, “homemade” or “line-caught” or are you using superlative claims such as “the world’s greatest steak” in your descriptions.
A lot of research has been carried out a by restaurant owners to understand how customers order items which has shown a tendency to order either the top two items or the bottom item of a section. As a result, put the items with highest profit margins in this order.
Placing and displaying the price on your menu. Tucking price in a paragraph will make customers read the menu and think less about the price. In some menus, a dotted line is drawn from description to price but think what is does? It will draw attention to the price and if you use £ then it resonates more heavily on the minds of your customers. In some menus prices are written out in letters encouraging customers to spend more money.
Make sure how big is your menu and do you use any sections to split out items? Large menus having a lot of choices can stress out customers and lead them to make panicked choices. Splitting menu into simple sections with not more than seven items in each section allow customers to feel relaxed about ordering.
If your are filling your menu with text then take a look at it and think where you are drawn to – your eyes will be drawn generally towards the open spaces. The menu with savvy restaurants filling these spaces with their high profit menu items.
Material used in your menu tells customer about your brand. If a leather folder with thick paper is used then it suggests the food is of a high quality used in high-end restaurants whereas a locally sourced organic café may use recycled paper. Consider the quality of your menu materials to tell your customers.
Defining your “Big Ticket” Items
By putting the above into practice look what works for you and understand what your high profit items are. It can be further broken down and allow to understand the ingredient cost, labour cost and ancillary costs and giving you a modelling tool to update rising wage and ingredient costs using epos system. This means to your menu profitability.