Restaurant Menus

March 31, 2014 in Daily Bulletin

Megan Garber looked at the design of restaurant menus:

  • A restaurant’s menu, says the head of menu design at IHOP, is “the single most important representation of the brand in the restaurant, other than the building itself”.
  • The first menu appeared in France during the 1700s.
  • Before then restaurants would serve whatever food they wanted to serve and people would play a flat price to eat at communal tables.
  • In recent times there has been criticism of menus that are too long. Simple chains that focus on a few items such as Chipotle’s have been successful.
  • Menu designers have to consider things such as lighting in the restaurant and how things might get darker towards the evening.
  • Colours also change by season. Applebee’s menu has brighter colours in spring.
  • Menus are living documents. They’re usually updated every few months with some experimental dishes. If those dishes are successful they make it onto the permanent menu.

Read about how menu design is like web design, the menu’s Chinese origins, and how IHOP’s menu redesign helped boost sales over here.

Source: The Atlantic