Menu Design Tips Part II
1. Descriptive menu labels
Descriptive menu labels have the power to influence a consumer’s attitude and desire towards that food item. According to a study by Food and Brand Lab, they found that descriptive menu labels had a higher percentage (27%) of being chosen by consumers compared to a simple and non descriptive label. In this case, if a dish came along with a description such as “Hong Kong Style Cheesy Fried Rice – comes with crispy chunks of roasted pork and juicy garlic shrimps topped off with a melted goodness of parmesan cheese” as compared to the usual “Fried Rice”. A descriptive menu label will definitely help to improve a consumer's willingness and desire to order a certain dish.
2. Hidden Menu/Secret Menu
Restaurant owners should be aware of the increasing popularity of hidden menus that their competitors might be offering. Hidden menu or Secret menu as some would call, have become a growing trend because it provides a dining experience unlike any other. Consumers don’t know what they are in for. But are keen to try the hidden creations that might turn out to suit their taste and preferences better. A secret menu can just be an unusual or unconventional combination of ingredients that consumers have never come across.
McDonalds, Starbucks, In N Out just to name a few, all have their own share of secret menus that people are increasingly taking an interest in. In a way, the demands for their secret menus have helped create a renewed interest in the restaurant as a whole. As such, it positively impacts the restaurant with regards to sales, demand and volume of traffic. One thing for sure, as seen by this success (hidden menus) is that it is especially important to come up with unique variations of your food to appeal to the ever changing demands of consumers.
Furthermore, this hidden menu isn’t and shouldn't be limited to your physical store only. Do consider offering it online as well. If you intend to drive more online sales, you can create an exclusive hidden restaurant online menu so as to get your consumers to head to your online store to make their orders. Adventurous consumers will find this secret food option a fun game to play. Not only are you providing them with an unforgettable "dining" experience, you are catering to the needs (curiosity & customization) of these consumers.
3. Shorten your menu
Most restaurants tend to commonly commit the mistake of overcrowding their menu with a long list of food items that might not even be in consumers’ demand. If the demand for certain items is low, then it's time to consider removing it and focusing on what consumers want. Having an extensive list of food items might not always be a good thing for restaurant owners. The quantity of items on your menu don’t necessarily mean customers are going to order more, but rather they might miss out on the restaurant’s signature dish or hot favourite and go for a dish (out of curiosity) that might not even suit their preferences.
4. Absolute values without dollar signs
You might not be aware but your consumers could have been spending lesser because of how your prices are made to look like on your menu. If your price is in the form of a decimal point, then it should be time to get rid of that and use an absolute value. That way it would appear friendlier to your consumers. Also, don’t forget to leave out the dollar signs. Your consumers might be deterred to make additional orders because of constant reminder that they are spending this amount of money.
5. Make your menu easily accessible
Always place a sufficient amount of menus around your consumers so that they are easily within reach. This acts as a subtle call to action because it triggers your customers to feel that they might want to make additional orders. The same applies to your restaurant online menu as well, make it easily accessible for your customers who might be using their mobile phones and or tablets. When it's easily accessible, or if it works as a mobile ordering system there is a greater chance that your customers will feel the urge to make an online order.