Top 5 Restaurant Menu Design Mistakes


The restaurant menu is a crucial marketing tool that helps capture prospective customer’s attention. It reflects the brand and identity of the business and creates awareness of the establishment. This, in turn, creates more traffic within a restaurant and therefore brings more profit. In order to create more business for your restaurant and to draw in more customers, you need to have a great looking menu.

We look at the top 5 menu design mistakes so you know what to avoid when creating your next restaurant menu.


Poor presentation

Be creative with the overall menu design whilst keeping in line with your overall branding. Customers spend a very short time looking at the menu so it needs to engage them. Use of colour, fonts, graphics and illustrations can create interest and highlight different sections of the menu, for example promoting the dishes with the highest profit margin.

Placement of menu items 

Where menu items are placed should be carefully considered as it can drastically affect your profit margin. Depending on the design and layout of the menu, there are different prime spots where a customer’s eyes are naturally drawn. For example, on a twofold menu, it is the spot that is on the right-hand page a few lines from the top. On a tri-fold menu, it is positioned in the centre of the layout, just a few lines from the top. Make use of these prime areas and select the most popular menu items to increase revenues.

Placement of the price

Just as badly positioned menu items can affect revenue, so can the placement of prices. Avoid listing prices in one column, as this will encourage customers to select dishes on account of the price. Professional copy-written descriptions that really sell the dishes will ensure customers make their choice based on preference, whilst in-line pricing avoids detracting from those descriptions.   

Worn and stained menus

It’s expected that menus will over time have some wear and tear. However if menus are damaged, worn or stained it reflects badly on the overall image of the restaurant and can put customers off. Make your menus more durable by selecting a matte finish or laminating. Unconventional materials could also be used if it is relevant to the brand.

Unreadable font

Avoid using fonts that are highly decorative and difficult to read. Customers won’t choose that dish if they don’t know what it is. You want to make the menu as easy to read and understand as possible so the choice of font is crucial. Consider using a complementary font for the headings as this will draw attention to the different sections and enhance readability. Avoid using too many different fonts though as this can be confusing and make the menu harder to read.

The menu is one of the most important pieces of marketing collateral that a restaurant can have. Ultimately, the success of the business largely comes down to what you sell so it’s important that you invest time and money into ensuring your menu helps to maximise your profit as much as possible.

If you found this blog post useful, you might also be interested in reading about the psychology behind menu design. An experienced design agency, such as The Global Group can help you produce a well-designed menu that will help you to increase your profit margin and ensure you stand out from the competition.

We regularly work with clients such as Hall and Woodhouse and Podium at Hilton Park Lane, managing their menu updates. Give us a call on 01202 727070 to discuss your requirements.