Designing and implementing a cafe's menu is one of the major parts responsible for its success. If menus were not important, there would have been an MS Word screen for all the categories!
But, a menu makes the cafe different and affects the sales significantly. So, you must pay attention to some key steps while designing a menu. So, sway all your dilemmas away as here is the best step by step guide to creating a menu for your cafe in the UK. Let's dive in!
STEP 1: Layout a Plan (Start From Scratch)
The most important step is to assess your budget, forte, and style. Copying menu dishes from other cafes is a big NO! One can start with a pen and paper or try Google Sheets to design the MENU.
Include all the items which you can afford and have skilled chefs for. Keeping the item's minimum as overloading the menu with dishes that have no value is a fail in the long run. You can gradually add new things in the process.
Step 2: How to Display Cafe's Menu
Before designing the perfect menu, you have to decide its display medium. These days, the cafes have a menu on a large attractive chalkboard that looks inviting. Another way is to mention the cafe's specialities and add ons on the chalkboards with gorgeous colours and styles.
Moreover, they are very economical as you can write and edit the dishes. Also, you can use printed menus and keep them on tables. So, you can move to the next step after choosing the display of menu cards, which can be physical copies, chalkboard menus, digital screens or all (Buy chalkboard for menus).
STEP 3: Designing the Menu
So, move on to the most exciting work, designing the menu. So, start with:
Explore Five Types of Popular Menus for cafe
There are generally five types of menus for any place. It's not a hard and fast rule to follow these, but the idea of each can give you a clear vision. The types of menu styles are:
i. A La Carte Menu
This high-end menu style originates from the French word meaning "by the card". In this style, each item is listed separately with the price. There are no sections or groups. The customers can choose any dish and pair it with any item they prefer.
ii. Du Jour Menu
Du Jour means "of the day", which signifies what the chef has prepared for the day. It can be soup and chicken also, but it implements today's speciality. You can try the special dish which is perfectly made for the day.
One of the most successful techniques for cafe owners is placing welcoming pavement boards outside the cafe with chef's special dishes. The customers come flocking in, and it's a good strategy for bringing in the customers.
iii. Static Menu
A static menu is the most common style of presenting and designing a menu. The menu has categories like appetisers, drinks, salads, snacks etc. The menu is displayed on digital monitors, printed menus or any means. But, the items are static and have a very common layout.
iv. Cyclic Menu
The cyclic menu has fixed dishes that repeat on cycles. So, for example, Monday can have special sandwiches, and one can have some exciting dishes on weekends. It's generally good for a low budget cafe to have a fixed menu for all days on the weekend.
v. Fixed Menu
These are interesting menu styles that let you choose from an appetiser drink, snack and dessert. You can pick one and create a fulfilling meal. The price is fixed. Many cafes modify it a bit and give flexible options.
Give Thoughtful Names to the Items
Who likes to have boring names for their dishes? Repeating these monotonous names is a big no. So, you can give pretty adjectives to dishes with their highlighting ingredients. For example, Chef's Special Bolognese Pasta with Fresh Herbs. In addition, mention the elements in small font so that the customer gets an insight into the dish.
Check for Smart layout Rule - the Golden Triangle
There's a smart way to design your menu according to human psychology. The thumb rule is to place the Special Offer and dishes at the CENTRE as the customers look directly there.
THE RIGHT UPPER CORNER is for the main dishes.
Also, the UPPER LEFT CORNER iS for the Starters and quick bites. This is the GOLDEN TRIANGLE RULE which has proven benefits to sales. The rule goes for printed menus or even stylish wall chalkboards.
Use of Fonts and Colours
The colours of the menu must match the name of your cafe and its colours. The classic menus have white and black colours, but you can make it fun with attractive colours. For example, make a child-friendly menu with vibrant colours and drawing of food. Please don't overdo it, but a little creativity looks good.
Also, always and always write in large fonts. The pricing can have smaller fonts, but the items must be visible clearly. Some cafes install chalkboards and pavement menu styles. Therefore, use attractive chalk colours for writing on chalkboards.
Things to Consider When Making a Menu
Some of the smart and additional things you can incorporate into your menu are:
Don't Include Currency Signs
Do you know cafes generally avoid using too many Pound or Dollar signs? Well, it makes your menu look shabby and very money minded. Your menu should be simple, creative and very fair. It gives an impression of your dedication. So, avoid any currency signs.
Too many Pages is a NO!
Especially while designing a cafe menu never includes multiple pages, it's simply a deal-breaker as a cafe has limited items. Also, many people come to hang out and have some quality food.
Surely, no one wants to go through a 20-page menu. So, please keep it simple with a minimum of one to three pages. Create boxes and partitions very well to offer transition. Also, choose attractive colours and caricatures.
Include Smart Signs in Your Menu
Signs are a very good way to make your menu minimal and smart. For example, the signs of veg and non-veg, a chilli or fire sign for extra spicy dishes, etc., are good ways to communicate the specifications. Also, it saves you from the trouble of explaining to the customers.
Display Desserts on the Counter
Display pretty desserts on the counter with gorgeous tabletop menus having all the details. You can draw cupcakes, pies etc and mention quick details. While ordering or billing the customers will surely get tempted to have those delicacies.
Creating a menu for your cafe is an overwhelming journey. Personalise it with your specialities, skills and lots of love! So, catch all the steps mentioned above and have a happy cafe time!