Some specialty restaurants have a separate dinner menu. This is because there are some items that are only available for order during dinner time or a particular time period at night. This can be one of the processes that can set a business apart from its competitors. With this, a dinner menu that stands out is necessary to be created.
Aside from restaurants, event hosts and organizers also use themed and modern menu design to solidify the usage of the dinner menu and the theme of an event or a specific gathering. No matter what purpose it is where the usage of a dinner menu will be deemed beneficial, you need to ensure that you can make one that truly works. Refer to the samples, tips, and guidelines that we have listed in this post so you can easily identify the steps to follow when creating your own dinner menu.
Importance of a Dinner Menu
A dinner menu can be used in various processes and operations. There are a lot of advantages that entities can experience if they will use a dinner menu accordingly. Some of the reasons why a dinner menu is important, may it be for events or businesses, include the following:
A dinner menu can provide a great initial impression to the meals that people can eat during an event or in a restaurant.
A dinner menu can help create a lasting perception about the event or the restaurant.
A dinner menu can specify the dinner selection which can make it easier for people to identify what food to eat.
A dinner menu can actually help in increasing sales, if it is created in an outstanding manner, as it can promote active ordering.
A dinner menu can serve as a branding tool that a business can use for its operations.
As mentioned above, a dinner menu can be used by restaurant owners and event hosts and/or organizers. Some of the reasons why a dinner menu is needed in the operations of a restaurant include the following:
Just like catering menu examples and other kinds of menus, a dinner menu can help customers to be more familiar with the establishment and its food offers.
Especially for well-established restaurants, dinner menus are already expected to be present.
Dinner menus can easily provide the details of the dinner items that a restaurant can provide which is a very effective marketing activity.
On the other hand, a few of the reasons why it will be helpful for event organizers and/or hosts to create a dinner menu are as follows:
An event can be more cohesive in terms of the materials that it will present to guests if there will be a dinner menu that is themed in relevance to the actual theme of the event.
A dinner menu can reflect the purpose of the event may it be for announcing a milestone or for celebrating success.
A dinner menu used for events and gatherings can reflect the personality and/or characteristics of the host.
The format of a dinner menu should go well with the template that you will use and the content that you would like to put in the dinner menu. Some of the common formats that are used in the development of a dinner menu are listed below:
Serviced dinner menu, which typically includes a wine menu
Open buffet and organized buffet dinner menu, where a seafood menu or any kinds of specialized or themed menu can be incorporated
Plated or per-serving dinner menu
Course dinner menu, which commonly starts with a salad menu or a starter listing
Here are some of the things that you should remember when formatting the dinner menu that you will use:
Use a comprehensive and user-friendly dinner menu format. The arrangement of the items placed in the dinner menu should be able to create a cohesive design that is both visually pleasing and informative.
Be keen with the spaces that you will use within the entire layout of the dinner menu.Your dinner menu format should be created in a way that it can organize the menu listing. It is not only on the content formatting that you can achieve a great dinner menu design. Always be keen with how far items and design materials are from one another so you can minimize design inconsistency.
When formatting the dinner menu, make sure that you will specify the kind of serving that the restaurant or the event organizer will implement. Guests need to be aware of the processes that are involved in the dinner menu usage. This will help them have an easier time to properly use the dinner menu as a reference.
If you are a restaurant owner, make sure to regularly develop, improve and update the dinner menu format that you use. This will vary on the following factors:
The trends that can help your dinner menu look more marketable
The development of the theme of your restaurant through time
The items that you will add to your dinner menu listing
Other things that have changed within your operations
Updating your dinner menu is essential as outdated dinner menus can actually lead to misunderstanding, misleading information and customer confusion. With these items, it is most likely that your restaurant business may experience decrease in sales, lack of customer satisfaction and loss of patrons and loyal consumers.
The design process that you will incorporate in the dinner menu creation is very important as it can affect the entirety of the dinner menu’s aesthetics and visuals. When developing the design of a dinner menu, some of the things that you need to always remember are as follows:
Think of the design that you would like to have so you can easily implement it. A dinner menu design that is already on mind can help you create relevant and reasonable design decisions. If you already know what it is that you would like to achieve in terms of designing your dinner menu, then you can maximize your time to do design activities that can help you successfully realize the dinner menu that you want to have as an output.
If a dinner menu will be used for a special occasion, make sure to consider the theme of the party or the event.Incorporate the theme of the party to the dinner menu so you can make all the materials used in the event more cohesive. This is just the same with how a lunch menu is developed for picnics, family lunch events and the like.
Always implement uniqueness and originality when creating your dinner menu.For an event, this can be very helpful as the dinner menu can blend well with the theme of the gathering. On the other hand, restaurants can also benefit from this as it can showcase the design aesthetic that the food establishment would like to promote.
Be simple, but not boring. A lot of people underestimate simplicity as a design. Nowadays, dinner menus are greatly affected by this design which is why a lot of events and restaurants already showcase modern, minimalist and other kinds of simple dinner menus.
Know the occasion or particular process where the dinner menu will be used.Will you use a dinner menu for your restaurant? Are you going to develop a dinner menu for a formal dinner event? Make sure that you are aware of the main reason why your dinner menu is needed to be created. This can help you veer away from using unnecessary design items and materials when developing your dinner menu.
Stick with a single theme. Using a lot of themes in one menu design can make the tool look overwhelming. Keep in mind that a dinner menu should help the customers and/or guests select the food items that they would like to eat in a faster manner. Hence, focus on how you can give focus on the menu selection through the usage of effective dinner menu designs.
Add images to the dinner menu when necessary.Adding images and other icons in your dinner menu can help you create a more defined and direct branding. In the case of events where the dinner menu will be used, it can help the organizers make the tool look more personal and distinctive.
A dinner menu should be complete and well-created for it to be used by entities accordingly. There are different types of dinner menus which is the reason why the organization of a dinner menu’s content many vary. For you to organize a dinner menu’s content, you should first be aware of the information that you will put in the document. Some of the basic details that are seen in most dinner menus used by restaurants include the following:
The name, logo, and/or timeline of the restaurant
The contact details of the restaurant which includes:
The social media accounts and other online pages of the restaurant
The fax, mobile and business numbers of the restaurant
The mailing address and e-mail address of the restaurant
The time when the dinner menu’s food selection can already be ordered by customers
The specific meals or food choices that are included in the dinner menu
The images of the meals available in the dinner menu for better visuals
The list of the main ingredients used to cook each dinner meal offer
The description of the dinner menu as well as that of the meals
The serving proportions of the dinner menu items
The price of the food items listed in the dinner menu
If applicable, the cocktail menu that guests or customers can also look at for meal pairing purposes.
The items listed above are not parts of a strict listing guide. If you want to add or deduct information from the list, you can freely do so. Base the content of your dinner menu in the operations of the business.
Though there are already electronic or digital dinner menus that restaurants show to their guests, using a hard bound dinner menu is still effective. If you plan to use the latter for your restaurant operations or for an event that you will organize, here are some of the guidelines that can help you create a well-formatted and appealing dinner menu:
Use a card stock as the base of your dinner menu. The first thing that you should consider when creating a printed dinner menu is the base of the specified tool. A card stock is a great choice for dinner menus as it is not that thick and not too thin. Select card stocks that are printer-friendly so you can easily use it for the particular activity.
If you want your dinner menu to look more elegant, use specialty papers as your base.Aside from card stocks, you can also use specialty papers as the base of your dinner menu. With the appropriate patterns and textures, specialty papers can make your dinner menu more distinctive, unique and pleasing.
Properly bind the pages of your dinner menu.Even if you will come up with a design that is outstanding and truly visually impressive, it will be senseless if you will not be careful on how you bind the dinner menu pages. This process is only applicable to some kinds of dinner menus as other entities tend to just use a single sheet of paper or a flyer-type dinner menu. However, it is still very important to take note of this tip as we may never know when we will be tasked to create a dinner menu in a brochure or book-type format.
It is advisable to use a waterproof medium when printing a dinner menu. Do not waste a lot of money just because you need to reprint menus. Especially in restaurant operations, make sure that your dinner menus are printed in waterproof papers or boards so that you can still reuse them. Doing this can help the dinner menu have a long life span and usability.
Be precise when cutting the dinner menus. If you will not use an A4 sheet or any pre-determined document size, it will be best to use a paper cutter rather than scissors when cutting your menu cards to your desired size. Being precise and cohesive with the way you cut the edges of your dinner menu cards can showcase your keen eye for details.
Creating a dinner menu should always be based on the function that you would like it to serve. Be guided by the reason of the tool’s creation within the entirety of the dinner menu development so you can ensure that you can use it in the most effective manner. It will be best if you will have design and format guides, like samples and templates, to look into so the processes that you will undergo will be easier and faster.