Against Menus

October 3, 2013 in Daily Bulletin

We’ve previously outlined a critique of the children’s menu. Turns out that adult ones aren’t that great either, at least according to Geoffrey Gray:

  • Menus don’t provide enough of the information that we need. Most just list the ingredients – not how they’re cooked – which isn’t really enough information for patrons to know what they’re about to get. Instead they usually have to clarify with their server.
  • They also provide a lot of information that we don’t need. Advertizements for the Chef’s new cookbook; information about the locally sourced farms from which the ingredients come from, and other tidbits that don’t help customers make their dining selection.
  • Customers read the menu to find out what they would like to order. Restaurants, however, design it to sell the items with the greatest markup.
  • The menu kills conversations. As soon as one shows up on the table people stop focusing on one another and on the menu instead.

In the full article Gray talks about the history of the menu and provides a five step framework to create a useful menu. Read it here.

Source: New York Magazine