Marketing combined with psychology are your friends when operating a restaurant. Restaurateurs are constantly looking for ways to cook up new ideas to make customers order more and even dine more often just to get a taste of your food. Known as menu engineering there is a psychology behind people placing certain orders over others. You have to design your menu to maximize restaurant profits.
Customers do not read menus from front to back. It is all about glancing, skimming and flipping through. It just takes a few minutes for customers to look at a menu and place their order. This means your menu needs to make a big impact in this short time. Make your menu easy to read by using clear headings, titles of menu dishes and visual techniques accompanying the dishes.
Which parts of your menu are prime estate? This is where most customers glance through first. Did you know customers generally look at the first few items and again at the last few items? You need to vertically arrange your dishes in this order. Including the most profitable menus in these sections make the most sense. Menu items in these spots tend to be the big sellers.
Experts claim that customers look at the upper right hand corner, which is commonly referred to as the sweet spot. Many restaurateurs place their signature dish in this section. For instance, you can place a highly priced deviled chicken dish and use a tasteful illustration to highlight it.
Bold typography is another attraction for customers flipping through your menu. It helps draw their attention to the right place. You can include one of the most expensive dishes along with medium priced dishes in this section.
A hospitality consultant will show you how to emphasize certain dishes. Just like magazines use quotes to highlight important stuff, restaurateurs need to highlight certain dishes you want your customers to order. These are referred to as eye magnets which mean it is eye catching and attracts the attention of diners.
However, it is important to note you shouldn’t be highlighting everything just because you feel it is important. By trying to make an impact on a few dishes you might lose the allure of the menu altogether. Highlighting or emphasizing one item per category should be sufficient.