Startup: The importance of visual options in your menu

Over the years, menus have continued to evolve from our parents’ Supper Club to a very dynamic breathing part of the restaurant.  Menus are no longer simply a list of what food you are offering.   Welcome to 2015 where menus may very well change seasonally, daily or even according to the shift!

There are many things to consider when creating your menu.  Here is a list of items you should consider, in no certain order, when creating your menu:

  • photos of your menu item that translates to best profit margin (ie- you want to sell a ton of these to make the most money!)
  • photos of your menu items that may be confusing or better understood visually
  • photos of your menu items with optional ingredients (ie- Chipotle charges more for avocado!)

Photos may also be used to distinguish dietary needs, age groups, portioning or to showcase a certain specialty.  For example you will find major chains like Wendy’s having a Berry-centric menu with several items from salads to ice teas featuring Berries somehow in the ingredients.

Photos are also an exceptional way to serve a multilingual market.  Orlando FL is a travel destination for many different nationalities and languages.  It’s not uncommon to wait in line behind Portuguese, Arabic, German and Spanish speakers.  Oh wait, let’s not forget the Asian tongues and the Indian dialects!  Driving by, a tourist may not know what “Ice Cream” means but a large ice cream cone is international!  A tourist may not know the words milkshake in English but when it’s pictured they may know they want to try it.  Visual menus also help tourists avoid potentially awkward moments where they fear mispronouncing words.

Beyond the tourist market, are you in a high senior market?  Senior Citizens may be dealing with cataracts or even glasses.  They may get overwhelmed with a lot of reading.

The simplicity of a well done visual menu will show in the daily sales.

How many of you love to look at cooking shows on tv or follow hashtags across instagram #chefporn is a popular one that will fill your eyes for a long time.  Unless you’re an English major or a crazed yelper, no one sits around salivating over “variety of fresh vegetables” whereas the right picture can definitely make you salivate!

Our next startup tip article needs to be “about the photography”… it’s all about that picture!