Putting Together a Restaurant Menu
Now that your restaurant is about to launch, you will need to create a menu. Here are some tips to help get you started.
Gather Your Information. This should go without saying, but before you start putting your menu together you will have to do a little bit of planning. In a Word document, start to compile a list of all the dishes your restaurant will be serving. Start with appetizers, then move on to breakfasts, lunches and dinners (you don’t have to stick to this exact formula, just make sure that you start to organize by course). You may not need to decide right now what you will be charging for each item, but if you have done your research and are ready to include that information in your notes, then go ahead and do so. Even if you don’t know the exact prices, you will probably be able to arrange them by listing the least inexpensive dishes first, increasing by price to the most expensive.
Writing and Design. If you feel that you are adept at describing your dishes to the best effect, then go ahead and tackle this job yourself. If not, you may need to hire a professional writer or editor. Do not take this step lightly, as the way your dishes are described in your menu can make all the difference in the world when it comes to sales of these items.
You will also want to take some time and decide whether your menu will include photos or not, and to make sure that you can get a copy of your logo in a digital form that can be used on the cover of the menu. These are things that a professional designer can help you with, or if you are adept at such software programs as Adobe InDesign, you can do it yourself. If your establishment is the kind that will be changing its menu on a regular basis, you may want to look into finding a copy of InDesign, or a similar typesetting and layout program and taking a class or two to learn how to operate it. This can save you time and money in the long run, and make it so you can make quick changes to your menu on a daily basis if need be.
A designer can also help you in choosing a font that you feel represents your establishment. If you are an upscale, white-linen restaurant, you can choose a curvy, elegant font. If you cater to a younger crowd, you can choose a more quirky style.
Printing and Binding. If you are creating a menu that you intend to be used for a long time, one tried and true method would be to laminate your pages and use a spiral coil binding style. This will ensure that your menu is rugged and can stand up to being handled by a large amount of people. If your menu will change on a daily basis, you will want to have a printer on site, as well as a paper style that fits the personality of your restaurant. Parchment paper will work well for a more elegant establishment, and you can purchase plastic covers for the sheets to ensure some durability as well.