A menu is your opportunity to present the food names and photos in the most appealing way. Menus reflect the quality of the food you serve and your brand in general. But, it should not only focus on the looks. The overall presentation of the menu is essential, including navigation and ease of use.
This article will make it easy for any new restaurant to decide on the right menu template, with helpful tips and fun trends. Let’s dive in!
Popular Types of Menu Templates
If you’re not comfortable designing a menu from scratch, a menu template is a convenient way to create a new menu on a budget. These are the most common menu template trends you can find online:
1. Simple text menus
These menus are focused on being sweet and simple. The dish names are written in a neat list so customers can easily read through them.
2. Photography-centered menus
These menu designs are perfect for pleasing the customers who are part of the younger generation. They refer to the photos of the dishes as “Instagram-worthy” and are more likely to share photos of the menu online.
3. Vintage-style menus
These menus evoke nostalgic feelings by using vintage and retro design elements. These designs have unique color schemes that are slightly faded to capture the era of choice.
4. Holiday menus
A lot of food business owners love to surprise their customers by presenting them with a menu that matches the holiday that is coming up or happening. For example, they can add spooky elements to the menu on Halloween or Christmas decor illustrations when it is Christmas time.
5. Full page menu
These menus get rid of margins and the border designs you usually find on classic menus. Dish photos creatively go around the layout with their respective names to maximize the available space.
2021 Restaurant Menu Trends
In 2021, the food and beverage service industry faced a lot of changes. But with the challenges, new trends evolve that push big and small businesses to rise again. Here are the common menu trends that many people found interesting and valuable. Check them out, and maybe you can incorporate them when you are updating your menu layout:
Healthy Movement Menus
In recent years, food industry consumers expect to have healthier food choices when they go to restaurants. That’s because Gen Z and the millennial generations aged 18 to 34 are more conscious about health and nutrition.
A lot of the younger generation is also willing to pay higher for healthy meals that are vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, organic, or GMO-free. This is a food trend we can expect to last as people become more conscious of their health and the environment. That means it is the perfect time to add more healthy choices to your food business menu.
- Disposable or one-time use menus
The COVID-19 pandemic changed a lot in the food industry, and one of the biggest changes is the strict health safety precautions. Menus can accumulate viruses and bacteria since it can go from one person to another. A solution to this is the disposable or one-time-use menu.
Many food and beverage business owners figured disposable menus are better when restaurants reopen after weeks or months of lockdown. This way, diners do not have to share menus and pass them around.
These are usually made of thin or small pieces of paper where the diner will have to write down or mark their order. This is excellent since it doesn’t take a lot of time for the customers and the servers to interact.
- Laminated menus
Laminated menus have been around for quite some time. However, it became a big trend this year because of the pandemic. Sanitation is a lot easier to achieve when the menus are laminated. And it doesn’t support single-use material, which is also better for the environment.
Moreover, with this style, you can still boost the appetite of your customers. This is because you can display photos of your dishes, unlike a disposable menu where it is just a list of the dishes’ names.
- QR code menus
Restaurants have found great use for digitalized menus in 2021. Many business owners want to get rid of using paper since they get easily crumpled and water-damaged. The handling and passing of physical menus can be troublesome in the middle of a pandemic. But that’s all good, thanks to the integration of QR codes in the restaurant industry.
This menu style is extremely convenient and practical. Use a QR code generator to give you a QR code for your menu layout. Then, you have to print out many copies and paste them on tables or counters. Your diners can quickly scan the code and see your restaurant’s menu using their smartphones or tablets.
- Tablet menus
Tablet menus are fantastic tools for your business. It increases the productivity flow of your restaurant. Also, they offer a unique customer experience because it allows your customers to order at their convenience. The efficiency and accuracy of orders will improve. Plus, you can still go all out for your menu layout design.
Tips for Designing Trendy Menus
Trendy menus are not only made to hook the attention of your customers. They should also serve something important. So, here are some valuable menu creation tips you can follow regardless of the kind of food or beverage business you have:
1. Make it easy to scan
Many people like to read a menu like a book. Customers would start from the top left corner then go down. Try to put your higher profit items on that spot where they are more prominent.
2. Use eye-catching visuals
The photo of your dishes should not be compromised. Try your best to display Instagram-worthy images that will grab your customers’ attention from different age groups. The best thing to do is hire a professional photographer to have the most delicious photo dishes on your menu.
3. Harmonize it with your branding
People will never forget you when you match menu design with your business’s aesthetic. Match it from the color scheme to the typography that you use in your logo.
4. Add a storytelling element
Captivating your audience is much easier with a story. It will drive customer engagement. There are tons of ways to tell a story. You can do it by evoking emotions in your menu through illustrations that send out nostalgic and fascinating feelings.
Trendy menus are undeniably fun to look at. And, the best thing about them is that there are lots of stylish menu templates available online that are all set to use. Menu templates will be like the building blocks that will help you achieve the menu design of your dreams.