Restaurant Menu Design Tips

With a well designed menu you can enhance a dinning experience by making it easy to make choices and stimulate appetite. It is more than just a list of what you have available in your restaurant. A menu design is an advertising tool that communicates the restaurant's identity.

Next, we will show a list of tips for restaurant menu design.

Organize your menu

Many restaurants design their menus assuming that higher profit items should be placed near the top right hand corner. A new study finds that customers read a menu just like a book, starting at the top left corner.

Items should be placed in an order that makes sense. Don't make your customers perform a hard search when they are hungry. It should be easy for them to find what they want. Placing your items in a way that makes sense is the way to go - appetizers first and desserts last. Organizing your menu should be the first step of the design process.

Use photos sparingly

If you use photos in your menu, they have to be extremely professional. Using poor quality photos will ruin the overall look and design of your menu, plus not all food photography will appeal to design

Use Boxes

Boxes draw attention to specific group of items. Usually restaurants place the highest profit items and best selling dishes in these boxes.


Use two or three fonts at the most. Just because you can choose from a vast library of fonts doesn't mean you have to. Be careful of selecting a typeface that will be hard to read. Selecting a typeface may depend on a number of factors such as the amount of text in your menu.

  • Size - Not all typefaces are created the same. Some are thick and wide and some are thin and narrow. This means that a paragraph will take a different amount of space in a page depending on the font.
  • Leading - Leading is the distance between the baselines of successive lines of type. It's called this because they used thin strips of lead to increase the vertical distance between lines of type in the days of hand-typesetting.
  • Tracking and kerning - Kerning is the act of adjusting the space between characters. Tracking allows the user to apply a form of universal spacing between all characters.

Serif fonts have little lines at the ends of their letters. Those are generally thought to look more serious or traditional. It's commonly said that serifs are easier to navigate visually, helping move your eyes along the lines of text.

Sans-Serif fonts are the fonts without the extra lines at the ends of the letters. These fonts are thought to look more modern.

Use Appropriate Colors

Select the colors based on the theme of the restaurant. You should have in mind the effect that your brand's color will have in the mood and appetite of your guests.  Some menus use illustrations to engage guests visually.

Consider avoiding currency signs

Researchers found that even spelling out a price leads to spend more, because we connect dollar signs to real money. If you remove the currency symbols from the menu you are removing the association between prices and actual money. Customers are more likely to spend more when you omit currency signs.


Don't just rely on your computer's spell-check. Make sure to have a good number of people help you read it and look for errors. You don't want your customers to notice more your mistakes than your food. So read it multiple times, not just double check!

There are some menu design tools that can help you make a professional looking menu without having any experience. If you are looking to make a new menu for your restaurant and you are having trouble design it, Mullally Print Studio can help.

MPSKC offers a FREE online designer tool that lets you personalize any of our pre-loaded menu design templates and upload your own photos. It is very simple to use and even has some video tutorials in case you get stuck with something.

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