The restaurant menu as a marketing tool
The letter from restaurant is one of the instruments of marketing most important within the gastronomic business, since it is the piece through which the customer will select what he is going to consume: the menu It is the organ of communication between the restaurant and the client and therefore must promote a meeting between the preferences or customer tastes and the offer of the premises.
The type of letter of the gastronomic establishment It depends on the business logic, since it is not the same to develop a menu for a restaurant that offers highly standardized dishes and that has an expectation of high audience turnover to generate profitability, than to design a piece for a restaurant gourmet whose profitability expectation is given not by a volume of sales in quantitative but qualitative terms.
The menu, therefore, is of utmost importance because it is another of the elements on which the identity of the gastronomic proposal is established, both due to its graphic design and internal order as well as its wording (Names and descriptions).
The internal order of the letter:
The order of the letter, depending on the type of restaurant, responds to the steps of the menu that is offered in the establishment. It is important for the clarity of the diner, that the order responds to a general code: Tickets; Main Dishes (and their subdivisions according to the main product: Pasta; White Meats; Red Meats); Side dishes and Desserts. Drinks are generally placed at the end of the plates.
In certain cases, special sections are included, which must appear on the first page: "dishes of the day" or "chef's suggestions"
As the menu is a means of sale, it is important to rely on the guidelines most used by editorial design to organize the pagination of the letter: the odd pages, and the upper right corner are the places where the view naturally rests in the foreground. . Therefore, it is recommended that these spaces be used to promote dishes that leave a greater margin of greed, those that the client cannot stop seeing.
The design of the letter:
Some elements to take into account when commissioning the design of the letter are the typography, the format and paper that will be used and the balanced combination of text and images.
The size: it has to be according to the size of the tables, so that they are not uncomfortable or cause accidents. Flip-up, triptych-format cards are ideal for places with small tables, and diptych-format cards are ideal for larger tables.
Typography- You must ensure readability, both by size and font. The lighting that will be available at the time of reading is another factor to take into account when designing the letter, since an extraordinary design can fail outright if it is not developed taking this variable into account.
As a general guideline, it is always advisable to have a light background with dark letters. Italic letters, difficult to understand, even if they have style and reflect the personality of the restaurant should be dispensed with if they hinder a quick reading.
Paper: The choice of letter material is important not only for image reasons but also for hygienic and logistical reasons. Washable materials for the exteriors; Interiors that are not too porous to absorb fat, nor too weak to deteriorate quickly are essential aspects to consider.
Another issue to consider is whether the letter will be composed of separable elements or will it be a single body. The former have the virtue of allowing some of its parts to be replaced internally without having to be completely discarded in the event of a change in product offerings or prices. They involve an initial investment greater than the second, but in the long term the investment can be better amortized.
It is important to bear in mind that the cards deteriorate, and therefore it is necessary to control permanently stock, and gradually discard those copies of the menu that, due to being in poor condition, will negatively influence the customer's perception.
The writing of the letter:
To reflect the identity of the gastronomic venture through the menu, the graphic design elements are not enough, it is important that the menu texts express it. There are many variations that the descriptive texts of the dishes can take, precisely because it will depend on the type of proposal. Texts, words, are capable of awakening images, evoking flavors, aromas and textures and even memories.
If these elements are played properly, a world can be built in the customer's mind that will be reflected in better and higher consumption.
One of the issues that must be taken into account when using descriptive texts is the truth. If designations of origin, specific varieties of products, specific cooking methods, etc are described; what is served at the table must strictly respect this description. The same happens with the use of illustrative images: they must accurately reflect what will later be brought to the table.
It is advisable that the design of the letter is the last element that is developed when planning a comprehensive marketing and communication strategy (which includes the name, the brand concept, posters, decoration, setting, web page) since it must crystallize and all of the above be synthesized in it.