20+ Event Menu Designs and Examples – PSD


We all know that a good menu design is one of the vital components of a successful marketing plan. But what happens when these menus are simply meant to relay information to an audience as opposed to increasing sales? Event menus are a popular informative and decorative tool for different types of occasions. Thus, taking the time to fully concentrate on every aspect of the menu can be beneficial in a number of ways.

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Menu Design: Why Is it Important?

What goes through your mind when you look at a menu?

To the average diner, a menu is used as a reference to know what the restaurant or food joint has to offer. This makes it easier to decide what to order, as everything a business has in store for its customers is listed in an orderly fashion.

As for the business itself, an attractive menu is a communication device that allows the company to relay information to its desired audience in a way that may easily be grasped. The menu is basically your means of representation—it says exactly who you are, along with the personality you wish to convey. This plays a huge marketing by drawing a customer’s attention toward special menu items.

Given how a menu is one of the first things encountered by a customer, this usually leaves an impression that stays even when the server walks off with it. It communicates your restaurant’s brand in a manner that builds a sense of excitement among diners whenever they are there. This also makes them want to come back for more and tell their friends and family about your business. You may also see sumptuous seafood menu examples.

Think about it this way: if a restaurant didn’t have a menu, how would you know what to order? Although a waiter or waitress could easily tell customers what’s available, this is neither appropriate nor practical when running a business.

Not only is this a time-consuming strategy, but how do you expect diners to remember every single item mentioned? They might remember some significant dishes, but with the wide selection of offers, it can be pretty hard to make a decision. If anything, a menu promotes excellence in delivering quality customer service. So while you’re too busy having an inner debate about what to order, staff members could spend this extra time servicing other customers. You may also like food menu designs & examples.

Beyond this common sense, a menu can also provide additional information about each meal item to customers. This includes the food description, pricing, and serving size. Other than that, the menu can also relay details about terms of payment, policies, disclaimers, and even a brief history about the restaurant. This develops a level of intimacy that adds to the whole dining experience. You may also check out cafe menu designs.

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The Different Types of Event Menus

Event planning can be a daunting task, especially when you’re in charge of catering the event. Imagine having to serve over a hundred guests who are starving from all the laughter and tears that have been shed throughout the event. But an event menu is entirely different from a regular restaurant menu, as the tasty food and drinks served have already been picked out and guests aren’t required to pay for what they consume.

Instead, the menu is merely there to inform guests about what’s available and what these items are made of.

Let’s look into the various types of event menus and how they are used during these special occasions:

1. Wedding Menu

A wedding menu comes in many forms, from the average table menu cards to the popular table tent designs. Unlike the food menus we see at restaurants, wedding menus are typically used as a decorative ornament. These are placed at every table to complement the rest of the table’s layout. Most event organizers prepare menus for the sake of the wedding guests as well. This is done to inform them about dishes that are served to their respective tables through item descriptions listed on the menu.

As for weddings with a buffet-style catering, the wedding menu is usually placed along the entrance of the reception, or even at designated stations for guests who are waiting in line to see.

2. Corporate Meeting Menu

Many big-shot companies hold official meetings at fancy restaurants for business executives and stakeholders to enjoy. Though the meals served are often pre-ordered, creating a menu might be necessary for them to be aware about what they’re eating. Say for example, perhaps some of your employees are vegetarian. From the moment they take a good look at the menu, they immediately voice out their concerns. This way, you can order a special meal for them in advance to prevent any delays later on.

3. Tea Party Menu

Tea parties might a sound a bit too sophisticated and lavish for your own liking, but it’s a common theme for many bridal showers and other small get-togethers. But when it comes to creating a menu for this type of event, don’t be fooled. Tea parties serve more than just afternoon tea to its guests, as this may also include cookies, cakes, and other pastries, as well as soups and salads in certain cases. And like a wedding menu, a tea party menu is used to inform guests about what’s available.

4. Birthday Party Menu

Creating a birthday party menu can be a lot of fun. Unlike tea parties, weddings, and other formal events, you can be as silly as you want with your menu design. You can showcase menu items on imaginative and unique layouts that people of any age are sure to love!

5. Dinner Party Menu

Dinner parties are usually more polished in nature, which is why most of these events are held at actual restaurants. Creating a dinner party menu might not be that important, but it’s a still a significant medium that adds to the formality of the said event. Similar to a wedding, the dinner menu can be used as one of the centerpieces for each table setting.

6. Cocktail Party Menu

If it’s a cocktail party, then there must be an open bar somewhere around the venue. A cocktail menu is usually printed on an average-sized menu card or chalkboard for guests to see. The event menu features different types of alcoholic beverages that guests might be interested in. This includes a variety of wines, beers, whiskeys, and other types of liquor that would keep guests occupied throughout the party.

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Menu Engineering 101: The Art and Science of Designing Menus

Everything that goes on inside a restaurant is booming with creativity. From the murals on the walls to the centerpieces of each table, every single aspect that a business can employ to maximize its branding efforts is essential to the restaurant’s success. So when it comes to creating something as simple as a menu, you need to be reminded about how this may influence a customer’s perception toward your business. You may also see barbecue menu examples.

Menu engineering is a lot more complicated than you think. Too much creativity on a menu design can have negative consequences for a business. Sure, colors, typefaces, and images can easily make a difference, but it’s so much more than that. In menu engineering, you need to know which colors, typeface, and photo options could be incorporated into the design to meet its desired objectives.

Having the knowledge to create a menu that could increase profits is incredibly important for the business to thrive in the competitive industry. For this reason, understanding how menu engineering works can be beneficial in a lot of ways.

1. Strategic Designing

If there’s one thing you should be aware of when creating your menu design, it’s the reading patterns that a majority of consumers possess. Take for instance the tri-fold menu. When diners open the menu, the first thing they set their eyes on is the center panel of the menu. If they aren’t satisfied with what they see, their eyes would then travel toward the upper left corner of the menu. You may also see restaurant menu designs & examples.

From there, their attention would then focus on the items listed across the entire top section of the menu card. Take note that reading patterns may also vary depending on how the menu is structured. Using lines and boxes to highlight special dishes is an effective strategy to direct the eyes toward these menu items. You may also like salad menu samples.

Apart from where these items are located on your menu, there are many more considerations in menu engineering that must be understood. Some of these include the following:

  • Item Names – If you had to choose between a “Cheese Pizza” and a “Mozzarella Supreme Pizza,” which would you prefer? Naturally, the latter would be a more obvious choice thanks to its alluring name. The goal here is to entice customers by making a dish sound more interesting than it actually is. Adding fancy dish names for each item on your menu is the perfect way to attract attention and develop curiosity among diners. You may also check out Chinese food menu designs & examples.
  • Menu Descriptions – Keep in mind that there’s always the possibility of somebody being allergic to an ingredient used to prepare a particular dish. Ordering something that you’re not familiar with can be risky business. You might end up devouring a whole plate of pasta with peanut bits in it, only to leave the restaurant with a swollen face. Other than that, an enticing item description is sure to leave the mouth watering for a taste. You might be interested in examples of lunch menu designs.
  • Negative Space – There’s nothing worse than scanning through a cluttered menu. Not only is this distracting to look at, but this will also force a person to settle with an order that he or she never wanted to have in the first place. By applying the right spacing throughout your design, you can maintain a clean and readable layout that will emphasize certain menu items.
  • Nested Pricing – When running a food business, your primary objective is to convince customers to order more than they originally planned. But people can be very conscious about how much they’re spending in one sitting, which is why you need to make it difficult for diners to compare meal prices. So instead of implementing a right-justified arrangement for the menu prices, it’s best to place them at the end of each description. This way, customers would start placing orders based on the description of each item, and not on its cost. You may also see pizza menu samples and examples.
  • Currency Symbols – One thing that menu psychology has taught us is how the concept of “spending money” can greatly impact our decisions. Studies have shown that dollar signs and currency symbols can generate a negative physiological response of pain, almost like a small pinch forcing us to reevaluate our choices. This is why many restaurants have made the smart move to remove any signs and symbols that could potentially be associated with money. You may also like takeaway menu designs and examples.

2. Hiring Professional Writers

Hiring a skilled graphic artist to design your menu is highly recommended, but an artist can only do so much for your menu design, which is why you’d also need a professional copywriter to construct your content.

You must have an experienced writer who could compose the content of your menu (specifically the item descriptions) and proofread it for further review. Misspelled words and poor grammar are bound to get noticed, and this could negatively affect one’s notion toward your business. Besides proper sentence construction, you also need a writer who could actively engross readers with compelling content that could convey your brand message with clarity. You may also see coffee menu examples.

Bear in mind that a detailed description could easily paint a mental picture of how a dish would look and taste, so having a way with words will definitely be an advantage.

3. Branding

Too many businesses have failed to recognize the importance of building brand personality. Equating your brand to your name, logo design, and products or services offered is just the surface of the entire branding image, as successful branding goes much deeper than that. You may also like salon menu designs and examples.

A brand’s personality and a human being’s personality is very much alike. If it were a person, how do you imagine your brand to behave? You need to develop a story that effectively communicates what your business is all about. Storytelling allows you to create a visual image of your brand: what it’s meant to do and why it functions the way it does. You may also check out pasta menu designs and examples.

Good menu engineering centers around this idea to allow designers to create menus that an audience can personally connect with. Each design element is added not just to impress customers, but for them to associate it with the brand and what it stands for as well. Thus, this adds to the whole dining experience that customers will remember even after they have left.

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Tips for Designing the Perfect Menu

As an ordinary customer, you probably haven’t noticed how food items are presented to you through a menu. A single glance at a menu and you would think that they’d all look the same: a mere list of food and drinks available at a particular restaurant. But little do people realize how much time and effort a business puts into developing a strategic menu design that could potentially boost sales. You may also see spa menu designs and examples.

While there are no right or wrongs when it comes to creating a menu, there are a number of design techniques that could offer you a tremendous favor.

1. Placement matters

As mentioned before, the location of each item on a menu can greatly impact its sales. For instance, people generally read from left to right. So if something from the center panel of the menu card catches their eye, this would mean anything found directly to its right would be focused on next.

Following a logical arrangement for menu items and their specified categories will also make it easier for customers to find what they’re looking for. With that being said, you must consider the natural progression of courses that people are likely to follow. You can begin with appetizers, followed by the main course, and finally, the desserts. You may also like finest wine menu examples.

2. Use images sparingly

Always use images with care. Although these images can easily wake our natural senses, these could also make or break your menu design. You could either add photographs of your products or use illustrations to complement its theme. If you wish to carry out the former, it’s best to invest on professional photography. You may also check out breakfast menu examples.

Hiring a professional photographer to produce exceptional quality pictures for your menu will help certain menu items appear a lot more appetizing. Vibrant-colored images are sure to attract attention, prompting the dish to sell in the market.

3. Be careful with typography

A cursive typeface might look good, but this can also be extremely hard to read. Remember, people will need to the words printed on your menu card, but if your typeface makes it nearly impossible to do so, customers could be wasting a sufficient amount of time and energy trying to figure out what it says.

Using an average of two different typefaces at a time can help you develop consistency throughout the menu. This will make it appear polished and organized for customers to quickly scan through. You can also employ bolding and italic typographic techniques to draw people to specific menu items. Be wary of your font size as well. Small fonts allow you to list more items on a single page, but they may be difficult to read even from a relatively close distance. You might be interested in price menu designs and examples.

Large fonts, on the other hand, pose no issues in terms of readability, but they can appear too loud and annoying when viewed.

4. Add a “special” element

Some restaurants like to add a special selection of offers to their menu. For example, people could choose from three stages of spicy for their buffalo wings, or perhaps different levels of sweetness for their milk shakes.

Inserting a set of special elements to your menu can help diners decide exactly what they want their orders to taste like. This also makes a dish sound exciting enough for people to choose. When adding these elements to your menu, you can design custom icons that indicate serving sizes or taste levels. The weight and placement of these special elements must also be taken into account to prevent them from being scattered all over your layout. You may also see Italian menu designs & examples.

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5. Color psychology is a thing

Choosing hues that match your entire branding personality and style is vital in a menu design. Aside from this, you also need to consider how color psychology can play a part in your menu design. Certain colors are often incorporated into various food marketing strategies due to how it can influence the human senses.

Red is known to stimulate appetite, while green is often associated with healthier food option. Knowing the meaning of these colors will help you settle on the right hues for your menu design.

6. Keep it organized

Some restaurants tend to have a wider selection of goods as opposed to other food joints. Stacks of information can be a challenge to manage, hence, keeping it organized must be a priority. You may also see typography menu examples.

Using broken lines and boxes to group items together is an excellent way to let customers choose items from specific categories. So if they’re only coming in for a drink, they could immediately skip to the beverage section of your menu.

7. Write descriptive copies

There are times when the name of a dish fails to say much about what it actually is. People who aren’t familiar with a Crème Brûlée (which literally means burned cream) are likely to ask a series of questions to the waiting staff. Thus, creating a descriptive is necessary to help diners understand their orders, save time for staff members to cater other customers, and provide a little entertainment to amuse diners. You may also like burger menu designs and examples.

The tone of these menu descriptions must complement that of the given establishment. A lighthearted business (like a fast-food outlet) can have fun with their choice of words, while an upscale restaurant should stick to a more formal approach.

8. Create multiple menus

Sometimes, having just one menu won’t be enough for your restaurant to establish its brand. Aside from your physical menu cards, you might also need a digital menu for your website, a billboard menu right above the counter, and chalkboard menu outside the establishment. Observe consistency when creating a menu design across different platforms, as this may help broadcast your brand to recurring and potential customers.

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Designing a menu can be pretty challenging for most individuals. Whether the menu is designed to drive profit or complement the essence of an event, it’s important to consider the different factors that may affect the readability of items and the appetizing nature of its visuals. So if you’re creating a menu design for an upcoming event, remember to keep these strategic techniques and design tips in mind!

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