Restaurant Menu Design – Things to Know

In the food and restaurant industry, a menu is a list displaying the food and beverage offerings along with the prices. 

A great restaurant menu must have a design that is great, well-planned, and executed. Such a menu design provides a sensory and emotional experience through its theme, structure, and presentation making them order instantaneously. Using the menu on a restaurant’s own website increases the benefits multifold.

Functions Of A Well-Designed Restaurant Menu

  1. Communicates the attributes of the restaurant to the customer
  2. Invites the customer to experience the restaurant's ambiance and food

Fine dining restaurants often use their menu as a tool to narrate to customers the source of the food, the preparation process involved and the exotic ingredients used. They may also use foreign language expressions to give the dishes an exotic and sophisticated feel. This convinces the customers that the restaurant uses great skill, specialized equipment and superior quality ingredients.  

Casual restaurants make use of “off-menu” or “secret menu” dishes to attract customers. While doing so they prepare several variations on items that are already available on the menu. Items that become popular then gain word-of-mouth advocacy. 

Fast food joints usually emphasize on value. They offer various combos at affordable prices. They also use attractive pictures and less text to communicate with their audience.   

5 Online Tools For A DIY Restaurant Menu Design

If your budget does not permit you to hire a professional designer for designing or redesigning your restaurant menu, you can make use of online options. These online services will help you to create an easily customizable menu design based on templates. Such online sites also offer restaurant logo designing services. 

Some of the best online tools that assist restaurants in designing menus are:


This online tool is a one-stop shop for restaurant marketing materials. Restaurant owners using this tool can select from its collection of 7,000 restaurant menu template designs. This tool facilitates easy customization and produces online menus that are easy to print and share.

Adobe Spark

The major advantage of Adobe Spark is that one needs no design or programming skills to build an attractive menu that matches one’s brand identity.


This tool and its graphics focus purely on the food industry and have been designed keeping in mind only restaurant owners. 

Poster My Wall

This tool has an ocean of templates, allows free downloads and requires no design skills to operate and design menus.


This tool lays its focus on digital menu designs. If you are a restaurant owner looking to enhance your online restaurant menu, this is a great tool.

Menus differ in length and description depending on the restaurant type. The eight main types of menus are:

A La Carte Menu

This type of menu gives the customers an option to choose for a list of various food items. 

Table D’hote Menu

This is a French term meaning “the host’s table”. This type of menu enables customers to choose from a pre-established sequence of courses.

Du Jour Menu

This French term means “of the day” or special dish of the day. So, this menu undergoes daily changes and is based on seasonal food products.

Cycle Menu 

This menu comprises details of the present menu and also information about upcoming food menu items. A cycle menu is apt for restaurants that offer food on a rotational basis depending on the day of the week, ingredients availability or the chef’s dish of the day.

Prix Fixe Menu

This French term means “fixed price”. Customers are offered multiple options for every course wherein they can choose an appetizer, salad, soup, entree and dessert.

Beverage Menu 

This menu is used by restaurants that offer a wide range of beverage types like beer, wine, cocktails, juices, soda, etc. 

Dessert Menu

Any standard restaurant menu mostly offers many choices in desserts. Certain restaurants might also have a specialty dessert that is very unique to its brand. This menu helps highlight such desserts.

Static Menu

This menu has details of food items that are available throughout the year in the restaurant. This is the most common menu type. This menu has the standard items and is the reason why people keep coming back for more. 

10 Restaurant Menu Examples

Quo Vadis

The simple, yet effective menu of Quo Vadis in London has individual square boxes permitting the restaurant to highlight high-profit margin items and offering easy navigation.

Michi Ramen

The menu of this restaurant in Austin, Texas has simple illustrations that make the food offerings pop up from the page.

Kittyhawk Cocktail Bar

The menu of this bar in Sydney, Australia is based on a concept and helps the customer to understand its backstory.

The Sinclair

The menu of this restaurant in Cambridge proves that images always need not be a part of a menu. Sometimes, a great menu can be created even with minimal text and a clean, elegant, easy-to-navigate design.

The Dead Rabbit 

This restaurant in New York has a menu that gets people talking as it reads like a graphic novel and narrates a story behind every listed drink.

Smoke & Duck Sauce

The menu of this food outlet in Atlanta, Georgia can be folded up into little origami cranes.

Eleven Madison Park

The menu of this restaurant in New York has a minimal design that is placed in a grid. 

The Fat Cow Japanese Steakhouse

The menu of this restaurant in Singapore is a printed one using wooden blocks. It resembles the branding of cows and communicates to the customer that it serves beef as a main ingredient.

Arthur’s Nosh Bar

The food menu of this bar in Montreal, Canada is a simple, one page menu with an easily legible black on white typeface.


The menu of this restaurant in Toronto, Canada resembles a newspaper. The menu has simple text alongside black and white images of food items that are changed seasonally.

Enhance Your Online Restaurant Menu And Increase Profits

The best way to build a perfect menu is to seek feedback from customers and observe the latest trends in the food industry.

High-quality customer service is essential not only for guests visiting the restaurant, but for off-premise customers too. So, incorporate your restaurant menu in your own website and enable people to make online orders. This will help restaurants gain more orders and profitability from its online menu too.

This blog would have helped you understand the basic concepts involved in restaurant menu design. For more assistance in restaurant digital marketing, get in touch.