8 Creative Menu Ideas and the Other Menu Tips For Modern Restaurants

An excellent and broad menu is among the essential components a restaurant uses to attract, maintain, and establish a loyal customer base. Still, one must do thorough research and utilize effective marketing strategies to sell their menu.

During the 2020 pandemic, most restaurants are faced with various challenges due to the restrictions set to curb the virus. Most eateries relied on takeaway and food order options.

To be on par with competitors, such businesses should upgrade to the next normal, refine their restaurant menu ideas, and increase food delivery convenience to ensure higher prospect conversion and customer retention.

8 Easy & Great Menu Ideas to Use in Your Restaurant

A restaurant is a lucrative yet challenging business endeavor. You must play the cards right. In the face of stiff competition, you want to figure out unique ways to provide the very best service for customers.

Developing a reasonable, intuitive menu that accommodates various customer groups is one of the first steps to run a thriving business. Your restaurant menu should be durable, readable, and fit with the establishment’s ambiance.

Here are eight easy restaurant menu ideas to help your business snowball.

1. Make Use of Meal Kits

As a restaurant business owner, you should accept that not all customers prefer eating from an eatery; some prefer the food they prepare alone. To maintain such consumers, you can include meal kits as part of your online restaurant menu.

Meal kits refer to the food packaged by a food company with either prepared meals or all ingredients necessary to prepare the meal. Suck kits are delivered to a customer’s doorsteps.

Thanks to such convenience, this meal option is widespread, especially among clients with tight schedules. With meal kits, you can deliver to a wide range of customers, including those who don’t have time or are unwilling to visit your restaurant physically.

 2. Use Meals Cooked in Family-Style

Some of the customers’ best meals today are those prepared in family-style, more so if they are buying for families or groups. This meal option is excellent for individuals who are used to eating together in one setting or table.

restaurant menu ideas

Family-style meals can either be sit-in or takeaway, depending on the customer’s preference. Most people love this food option because of its wide dish varieties, convenience, and the experience of enjoying meals together.

When using this meal option, communicate to consumers how it works, especially for large group meals—for example, informing them that large orders should be made earlier, like a day or two before the dining date.

3. Leverage Plant-Based Restaurant Menu Ideas

Most people are health-sensitive today. If your menu is full of animal-based and fried foods, you might lose a reasonable amount of customers who prefer plant-based meals. Some people don’t eat meat at all, others maybe once or twice a month, while for others, meat is their daily bread.

Therefore, it would best to balance your menu content accordingly to fit all these customer groups. You can offer an array of plant-based substitutes for all your meals, for example, plant-based burgers and other meatless meals.

Incorporating plant-based foods will present you as the business owner who cares about all customer needs. This can encourage referrals and increase customer loyalty.

4. Include Comfort Food

Everyone has a comfort food they love the most. These foods console or give us a sense of well-being triggered by their taste or smell. Such foods should be sweet or salty, but not bitter.

Comfort foods are associated with a childhood experience or home food that someone misses so much. With the stresses and hurdles many encountered during this pandemic season, people need comfort foods more than ever.

Clients who find such food in your eatery are likely to become repeat customers. You can also include comfort foods in other restaurant menu ideas such as family-style dining or meal kits.

5. Include Local Foods in Your Menu

When Covid-19 emerged, most families came together as most people started working remotely, and most schools were closed. For restaurants, this was an excellent opportunity to research the local foods people love in that community and include them in their menu list.

You can work with local food producers and farms to develop the best menu content that covers all the local people’s favorite meals. Doing this will motivate consumers to visit your restaurant not only because of the sumptuous local meals but also because you’re supporting their local farmers.

6. Make More Mocktails

Not all consumers love to take alcohol, and non-alcoholic bars are positively trending lately. Some people can’t drink even if they want to, for example, pregnant moms or individuals on medication, highly religious, going for a meeting, or athletes.

Mocktails are pretty easy to prepare, especially if you have a bartender who is good at making cocktails. To make them more interesting, you can add some seasonal fruits or herbs like berries, basil, hibiscus, rosemary, and more.

Such an improvement will make your restaurant more popular and accommodative in terms of drinks and other services, thus creating a higher customer flow.

7. Salad Bowls Are Great Too

Salad bowls are another restaurant menu ideas that can capture customer attention. There are several types of salads, and different customers have varying preferences. Therefore, it would be best to provide them with an array of salads that satisfy everyone’s needs.

Try to make the salads more exciting and enjoyable by using various lettuces, vegetable add-ins, dressings, preparation methods, toppings, and cheese. Don’t forget to include proteins in your salad; it’s one great way to make salads filling.

While adding proteins, remember to keep in mind both vegetarians and non-vegies. Examples of protein options for non-veggies are bacon, smoked salmon, grilled chicken, and sliced turkey. For vegetarians, you can add beans, tofu, nuts, or edamame.

8. Have An Online Menu

Lately, most people now prefer ordered food over sit-ins and takeaways. If you don’t have an online delivery system, now is be the best time to invest in one. Restaurant owners who’ve already implemented it should consider enhancing it to increase accessibility and convenience.

Developing online restaurant menu ideas will attract more customers who wish to order and receive foodstuffs from their homes or offices.

Optimize your restaurant’s website to facilitate easy navigation, add clear pictures, creative descriptions, price listings, and appealing headlines. For improved services, you can offer suggestions to consumers, for example, the best salad or vegies that can combine well with their order.

Another practical restaurant menu idea is continually updating your online menu. Ensure you inform your consumers of any changes or additions in the menu, delivery service, or other relevant food delivery info.

Eight Restaurant Menu Mistakes You Should Avoid

Menus have a significant effect on the popularity and growth of a restaurant business. A well-thought-out menu not only attracts more customers and showcases your food options. It also enhances your restaurant’s personality and model.

As simple as it might look, creating a successful menu can be daunting. Most people commit grave mistakes, oblivious of the dangers.

Below are eight common restaurant menu mistakes you must evade for a profitable, organized, and appealing restaurant business;

1. Including Too Many Items

Most restaurant owners usually assume that filling their menu with everything is good for business, but really, it can affect sales negatively. Including too many options on your menu makes it even harder for consumers to choose what to eat.

When customers take too long to make decisions, it eats into the time a waiter would spend serving the next client. At the day’s end, you attend to only a few of your many guests.

When people find it challenging to select the dishes they want, they might choose food that’s not the best on the menu. Such choices can disappoint them and discourage repeat buying from your eatery.

One way to ensure your restaurant receives repeat customers and provides consumers with the best meals is by specializing in unique and well-liked foods.

2. Categorizing Food Items Inappropriately

Poor classification of menu content is among the most common grave restaurant menu mistakes. Be sure to list food items properly by categorizing them in the right groups with a comprehensible serving order.

For instance, it’s wrong to feature appetizers and soups after entrées because it might tempt the guests to ignore the appetizers and go straight to order the main dish. Another tip is to arrange non-veggies and vegies meals on different pages.

3. Overlooking Upselling Opportunities

Upselling is when service providers encourage their consumers to purchase a similar higher-quality product than the one he/she is buying. This approach not only boosts revenues it also expose buyers to other options they didn’t consider.

If you have an online restaurant menu, you can suggest to customers various add-ons or side dishes better than they’ve ordered. If you choose to upsell, do so in your online and physical store.

4. Failing to Pay Close Attention to Small Details

Failure to analyze your menu for minor mistakes can affect your restaurant business significantly. All restaurant owners should employ qualified graphic designers to develop an appealing menu.

Ensuring menus are clear, comprehendible, and in the right font color, size, and style are some of the most outstanding restaurant menu ideas for eateries. Not including all these elements can give customers a difficult time scanning through the menu booklet.

Other important considerations are spellchecking the menu for any typos, avoiding dark backgrounds to draft menus, and overcrowded menu pages. The table, plates, and other serving elements should always compliment the menu.

5. Failing to Update the Menu

Customers don’t like to eat the same meal over a long period; they love to try something new and enjoyable once in a while. Therefore, it’s best to upgrade your menu frequently to increase consumer flow and repeat buyers.

When introducing fresh meals to your menu, it’s not necessary to print out a new booklet. You can easily add another page on the menu booklet highlighting what’s new and other related info.

It’s advisable not to include food items that are still under development to avoid disappointing clients by giving them unrealistic expectations.

6. Overemphasizing on Foodstuffs Price

Putting more emphasis on food prices can discourage a customer from going for individual meals even before he/she takes a good look at what’s being offered. For example, developing a menu with price fonts bigger than texts can cause consumers to go for food items with lower price tags.

Therefore, a menu’s primary focus should be more about the dish types and what they offer rather than their corresponding prices. If possible, they should all have similar fonts throughout the menu template.

7. Failing to Provide Description of Food Items

Failure to describe food items pushes customers away and eats up more of the waiters’ time as consumers try to explain to them what they need. Therefore, it would be appropriate to include a concise description of the food items you’re offering to ease the client’s selection process.

For example, indicate if the food is spicy, cold, non-vegetarian, hot, gluten-free, or contains allergic ingredients. Such information is critical, particularly for servings that aren’t popular in the area.

8. Lacking an Online Menu

Today, most individuals shop online or check what restaurants have to offer online before visiting them physically. For this reason, you should ensure to include your restaurant’s menu online.

It’s best if you have a website for your eatery with complete and clear descriptions/listings of what you’re offering, or you can partner with meal delivery apps and reservation services for an improved, convenient, and comprehensive marketing service.

Kindly ensure your website is easy to navigate and can offer an optimal experience on both mobile phone and computer users. Hence, you should avoid posting menus and other documents in PDF format.

9 Ways Digital Menus Market Your Restaurant

The urban food culture has been revolutionized over recent years. Restaurants and eateries have noticed an increase in the number of people eating and ordering out.

Statistics show that many young individuals prefer to order and eat out rather than buy groceries and cook at home. And while more people eat out, it doesn’t mean they will walk into any restaurant and order anything.

restaurant menu ideas

Clients are not only after good food that meets their health and taste standards; the service quality also matters.

With all the available restaurant alternatives, you may need additional tactics to attract and maintain customers. Today’s tech-driven food market requires restaurants and eateries to use modern digital tools to exploit existing opportunities to the fullest.

One of the ways to revamp your restaurant in the internet era is to modernize the traditional menu. What was just a piece of paper in the past can be transformed into a digital marketing strategy.

Digitizing a menu also allows you to provide customers with tasty food images, search filters, and informative nutritional data. All this information is critical in attracting and enticing clients to visit your restaurant through their smartphones and PCs.

Below are nine ways an online menu can serve as a marketing tool for your restaurant.

1.It Gives Priority to the Food

As a restaurant owner, your first marketing option should be the food you plan to serve clients. Digitizing your menu allows your business to attract new consumers by exhibiting its best foodstuff to the general public. When you entice customers with mouth-watering dishes, they are more likely to visit your restaurant or order food online.

2.It Captures and Entices the Customer’s Senses

It’s no secret that humans react primarily to what we see, feel, hear, and smell. Sight plays a critical role in stimulating other senses when it comes to eating. Delicious-looking food can increase appetite, and restaurants can use images and videos to market dishes that capture their customers’ senses.

Digital menus allow consumers to visually experience what your restaurant offers without necessarily asking them to buy anything.

3. It Improves Your Restaurant’s Visibility

Online restaurant visibility refers to the level and quality of your business’s presence on the internet. Since the food industry is one of the most searched sectors on the internet, creating an online presence is critical for marketing a restaurant business.

Moving your menus online helps ensure the eatery has online content that customers can search and find before visiting its physical location.

4. It provides an endless stream of information

Nowadays, people are quite self-conscious when it comes to their diet. People don’t eat everything on the market and prefer to know the ingredients, cooking techniques, and nutritional benefits of their food.

By moving your menu online, you can include FAQs to handle recurrent queries relating to your menu. Informative online menus help consumers find food that they want more quickly.

5. Online Menus Can Be Applied Across Several Platforms

Although your online menu may show up on popular search engines, you can also decide to share it across other platforms that are guaranteed to improve traffic to your business. You can share your menu on consumer sites such as TripAdvisor and others.

When your menu is available across several platforms, more consumers will find and like what you have to offer.

6. It’s Easy To Collect Consumers’ Data

One of the most competitive sectors globally in the hospitality industry is the restaurant business. Hence, it highlights the need to gather clients’ data to track their needs, pain points, preferences, experience, and solve uprising issues.

Having an online menu allows you to revamp customers’ experience by asking them to enroll on the menu and enjoy discounts, special offers, and loyalties. Another way is to register for special events or circulars that you can use to conduct surveys or collect feedback.

7. It’s Environmentally Friendly

Many people are environmentally conscious today, and if you show them that your business cares too, they’ll support you. Using an online menu eliminates the need to print out menus, thus minimizing the use of paper.

Some places, such as Dubai, aim at going paperless through Smart City Initiatives. Online menus can give your competitive edge by boosting your business’ discoverability, awareness, and marketing power.

8. It’s Easy To Upsell

Upselling is relatively easy and faster when using an online menu. You can directly link the food items you’re promoting while marketing and have higher website traffic. For instance, you can connect your Facebook dish adverts directly to the food items you’re promoting, eventually revealing the whole menu.

9. It’s Easy to Share on Social Media

Sharing information and image online is very easy today. When consumers enjoy your restaurant’s meals, they’ll be excited to share their experiences with others.

Having an online restaurant menu allows easy sharing of food images, descriptions, and menus on online communities. This aspect eases your eatery’s accessibility, awareness, and exposure to many people.

Winding Up

A restaurant is a lucrative yet challenging business endeavor. You must play the cards right. In the face of stiff competition, you want to figure out unique ways to provide the very best service for customers.

An excellent and broad menu is among the essential components a restaurant can use to attract, maintain, and establish a loyal customer base. Still, one must do thorough research and utilize effective marketing strategies to sell their menu.

Employing the best restaurant menu ideas can help you maintain a steady and organized business while meeting consumers’ needs and keeping them happy. The above tips can help you upgrade your restaurant and thrive amid a pandemic

Providing customers with quality updated menus can increase customer flow and boost your revenues.