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Your Guide to Mouth-Watering Menu Design

Great restaurant menu design can assist customers with choosing the best option for their tastes, enhance the overall dining experience, and get those appetites roaring. A menu can be so much more than just a list of dishes. It can be a powerful branding tool that communicates your restaurant style and personality, driving up profits.

In fact, the power of a good menu is actually recorded throughout the dining and hospitality industries. According to a recent survey from Vista, 83% of small business leaders in hospitality say branding has a significant impact on their revenue. What’s more, 87% said it helps attract new customers, and 93% stated that it helps build trust.

So what are the top factors to keep in mind when you’re in need of a menu design for your restaurant? 

Let’s check out the best ways to increase profit margins with mouth-watering custom menus.

Remember Eye-Scanning Patterns

Restaurant Chilling Out Classy Lifestyle Reserved Concept

As menu design came up in the graphic design world, thanks to increased demand, restaurants started trying to find out what the best layout was. In the past, many eateries designed their menus under the belief that customers’ eyes would always go to the same “sweet spot” in the upper right-hand corner. That’s where they would put their higher profit items and dishes they wanted to push the hardest. 

However, more recent research suggests that diners actually tend to read through menus the same way they would a book, from left to right and top to bottom.

Use Logical Sections

Italian restaurant menu with special offer for business lunch design elements on black background isolated vector illustration

Diners are also likely to want to see similar items grouped together. You want to make it easy for them to find dishes by arranging your menu in groups that make sense and then sequentially. Think of it like this, you’d go from appetizers grouped together to breakfast to lunch to dinner, and then finally dessert.

Don’t Go Overboard On Photos

Restaurant menu on table for guests black and white

Using photos in your menu will come down to balance and the type of restaurant you’re representing. Lots of photos are more common in chains and diner-style restaurants, while little to no pictures are typical for high-end, luxury dining. 

When you do use photos, they should be the highest quality possible, which can be expensive when you consider not just taking them but printing them as well. Not all photos appeal to everyone either, so using a photo might actually deter someone from trying that dish. What’s more, photos eat up valuable space in your menu, and you don’t want to be giving someone a book when they’re just trying to pick an entree.

Try Out Illustrations

Italian pizza restaurant - menu/ flyer template - pizzas, pastas, desserts, drinks - 3 x DL (99x210 mm)

Illustrations can also be a great way to showcase some images in your menu. They can be universally appealing and communicate the restaurant’s personality even better than just a photo.

Play Down Currency Signs

Details of a classic French menu in a luxury restaurant

Drawing attention to how much a dish costs can actually hurt your chances of getting someone to order it. Studies show that diners are more likely to have a higher total bill when currency signs are eliminated from the design.

Utilize Boxes

A full vector template Chalkboard menu

When you want to draw attention to a group of menu items, a box around them can do just the trick. They’re often used by restaurants when they want to direct people toward the highest profit margin dishes.

Remember Typography

Restaurant Menu Card Design template.

Effective typography blends the brand style and personality of your establishment with legibility. The typeface selection you use can depend on several practical factors, including how much text you’ll need to fit on the page and even who’ll be reading it. To help to guide customers through the menu and distinguish between a dish’s name and the description, you can pair two fonts that work well together.

Consider Color Carefully

Your target audience and the restaurant’s theme should guide your color choices. Different colors are said to have varying psychological effects on people, so you want your color scheme to set the correct mood and draw attention to particular food items you’d like to sell most. It can be a good idea to research the typical color schemes associated with your type of restaurant so that you have a starting point.

How To Get Menus Designed For Your Restaurant

Restaurant menu design.

Not everyone has a professional graphic designer on the roster who can design a menu for their restaurant in both print and digital formats. What’s more, creating one yourself can be difficult to master, and a menu is vitally important to any dining establishment. Good menu design is all about marrying creativity with the necessary formatting and legibility so that your diners are excited about the meal and ready to try your high-ticket items. 

When you need a menu, it needs to be executed in the best resolution, format, and layout for your unique needs.

With all that in mind, hiring someone with all the necessary qualifications can be expensive for a small eatery, family-owned restaurant, or startup. You could go to a freelance marketplace and hunt for a designer you like. However, vetting quality is challenging, and knowing when exactly you’ll get your menu design back is often unclear. What if you need several versions to present to investors? What if you need revisions? Will the freelancer limit how many times you can ask for a design update?

So, what do you do? Are freelance marketplaces or DIY options your only choices?


There’s another option that can serve all your graphic design and content creation needs, including menu design. A monthly subscription from Flocksy. When we’re your creative services provider, your company can not only get a beautiful menu but also be able to produce consistent, high-quality marketing assets, including posters, web design, social media ads, landing pages, videos, illustrations, and even copywriting – all on one flat-rate platform.

A Flocksy no-contract subscription provides the high-quality work you need for a monthly fee that doesn’t change. You can focus on all the additional aspects of running your business while we whip up menu magic and anything you might need.

And you won’t have to juggle a bunch of freelancers who are difficult to communicate with because your entire team will all be available through the Flocksy dashboard and just a message away. You’ll also have a project manager there to guide you through everything.

Getting Your Custom Menus At Flocksy

Burger restaurant vafe menu template on yellow background. Grill BBQ menu, Sketch cover template, american kitchen.

With Flocksy graphic design services, starting a “menu design” project is simple. From the intuitive dashboard, click on the “Create new project” button. This will take you to the project request page. From there, choose the “graphic design project” option with the subcategory option for “menu design.” In the brief, provide all the details about your project, and you’ll see results in as little as 24 to 48 hours.

What kind of information should you provide in the brief? Well, think about the stuff we talked about above. You’ll want to be detailed and provide a thorough guide for your artist, including any references they should use, all the text you want to be displayed and in what types of chunks, and your brand style guide or the fonts and colors you want the designer to use.

Your graphic artist will produce a professional menu design that entices dinners to try out your incredible array of food with appealing visuals and typography that makes them fall in love with your restaurant’s style and flair. 

You’ll also be able to work with the same designer over and over again. That way, whenever you need an updated menu or additional design assets, you’ll have a consistent style and faster turnaround, thanks to the relationship you’ll build with the artist.

So, sit back and relax as your gorgeous menu leads to great sales and happy customers.

Start your menu design project today!


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