In the past few years, customers in the catering industry had various requirements have been put: “I want the menu look good”, “I want to be special”, “I want to be creative”, “Breaking the traditional”… Otherwise, it is drowned by the “style examples” that various customers find themselves. Very few customers will go to think about designing the menu from the needs of their own restaurants or bars.
Personally, although it is important that a menu design is “good-looking” or “popular” design, it should be a design that fits your own branding. It’s more important to know how to think about finding a design direction, finding a balance between brand tonality and consumer utility, etc. to satisfy as many people as possible, and also, a menu that easy to use.
I had a few menu designs recently, In terms of vision and practicality, both the clients and restaurant consumers are quite satisfied. Let me use this as an example here.
Brand: Ratinaud French Cuisine
Design Brief: Ratinaud French Cuisine is a local restaurant located downtown waterfront. The client is now using a menu with a black background, large white fonts and large pictures. In the owner’s opinion, he said: “I went to various high-end restaurants and found that the menus of them are all without pictures. It looks very advanced, and I want a menu without pictures.”
Results: Thinking about as the restaurant mainly provides French food, it is good for the client to want to change the original design of their menu. As downtown is an old English town, I suggested a soft brown color, it makes the menu fits the environment of elegance, French food, and aged feeling. These are the most basic information.
In this design, I also adding UI in the menu. Thinking about a menu without pictures, it may very confused for consumers find what they want on the menu. UI is a good solution for people to find what they want in an easy and simple way. In another hand, even it is an old French restaurant, a lot their customers are younger generation, for these customers, they would like to see UI for each section of the menu.
Brand: Moxie’s Grill & Bar
Design Brief: Moxie’s is a restaurant chain, and get the order to help this one design it’s new dessert menu. Moxie’s has its own branding guide, a designer can add something fits it by themselves.
Results: Moxie’s is providing clients with an upscale experience by providing a sophisticated dining experience. The menu focuses on house-made ingredients with global inspiration.
I’m using a black background and fonts following by their branding guide. the improvement is to using their color to make small illustrations of their snacks and desserts, in this case, to make the menu interesting and casual.
A good restaurant menu, not only needs to look good but also thinks from the perspective of target consumers. A Menu design also needs to find the balance between the production process, cultural background, and consumers’ reading habits, etc.
The examples here are only a reference for thinking logically. It is not the best design, nor the most creative design. It is from my individual to balance various factors and use them well.