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Spicing Up Your Restaurant Menu: 5 Tips Every Restaurateur Should Know

Saif Alnasur
Saif Alnasur

May 9, 2019 11:12:40 AM

The restaurant menu is both an important marketing instrument and a customer service tool. Not only does it aid in the internal promotion of the establishment’s dishes but also acts as a way to help guests make an informed choice when ordering.

From main dishes and salads to gourmet desserts, the menu contains all the most useful
information about the restaurant’s offerings. Because of this, it is important that restaurateurs maximize this tool by making it catchy, detailed, and customer-oriented.

A good restaurant menu should always take two key factors into consideration: taste and economics.

To achieve this, here are five ideas on how you can create a spiced-up menu that serves both your customers and your establishment:

Add Affordable Options

To maintain a regular flow of profits into the food establishment, customers must keep coming in. And there’s no better way to achieve this than to add one or more reasonably-priced options on your menu.


While having signature dishes that are unique to your restaurant may be effective in attracting customers, a budget-friendly price is one factor that will keep them coming back. You have to make sure that you choose affordable ingredients to make a dish that will still satisfy their taste buds without raising the price too high and scaring them off before they even get a single bite.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you should go for the cheapest ingredients available, of course. The key is to create a balance between quality and cost as well as low- and high-priced dishes on the entire menu. This will help you achieve a reasonable profit margin without the risk of repelling customers with your menu.

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Strategize Your Menu Placement

Consumer studies revealed that there are certain behavioral patterns displayed by restaurant customers that can be used to create an effective menu. This is a key part of menu engineering.

Firstly, the information in it – from the name of the dish to the price – should be strategically placed. Since studies revealed that customers tend to read a menu like they would a book, putting your best-selling dish or the most profitable item on the top left part of the menu is a wise choice.

It is also recommended that dishes are grouped according to the type of liquor or meat they are made from. This will help customers with dietary restrictions and specific preferences decide faster and feel less hassled by the process.

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Choose Versatility Above All

When you’re running a restaurant, one common high-risk decision you make is the number of ingredients you buy.

Since there’s no way to predict the exact number of orders for each dish on your menu, you should come up with an array of meals with ingredients that can be cross-utilized with each other to avoid food waste and control your food costs.

Versatile menu items

Aside from preventing spoilage, this will also help you have enough supply to avoid running out of ingredients on your customers’ favorite dish.

Incorporate Local Taste

Aside from buying from bulk food suppliers, adding dishes made from local ingredients is probably one of the best decisions you can make if you’re looking to make the menu work for your restaurant.

Offering local dishes along with common ones that can be found everywhere
else is an effective way of attracting new customers, especially if you’re located in a tourist spot.

Of course, this also works with locals. Once you’ve established your restaurant as an expert in native dishes and friendly to local suppliers, you’re bound to get reap the benefits with free word-of-mouth advertising from the locals in the area.

Dish Names Should be Memorable and Descriptive

The last – but certainly not the least – idea you should try for your restaurant menu is to choose product names that are catchy and descriptive at the same time. If you’re running a themed or novelty restaurant, make sure that the names of the food and drinks you offer coincide with the establishment’s motif.

This will also help customers remember your restaurant better. However, you should also remember to keep it as descriptive as possible. Your customer should be able to discern the very basic information about a dish or beverage from the very first point
of contact.

One good idea to overcome the challenge of selecting a memorable-but-informative
dish name is to add a description that states the ingredients, how the dish is cooked, and other pertinent information you think your customers would like to know before placing their order.

The Takeaway

Aside from the ambiance and the food itself, the restaurant menu plays a critical role in the success of an establishment. Use this article to get headway on how to create a spiced-up menu that will help you achieve your business goals.

Author Bio

Jad Asaad is the Marketing Manager at Horeca Trade LLC with more than eight years of
experience in digital, online and offline marketing. He started his career in Beirut working in a creative agency and then moved to Dubai to further expand his career. He created and implemented award-winning high-impact digital and offline marketing campaigns that consistently generated revenue streams and improved performance in targeted segments.

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