A menu card is technically a tool that contains information about a list of food. It can also be used to inform people about the selection of beverages and other food items that are available for order. A menu designs can be used in different manners, and it is not only limited to the food and service industry. With the variety of menu cards available out there, different designs and formats can be expected to be seen when browsing through these food service tools.
Have you ever thought why a simple menu card needs to be designed and formatted accordingly? One reason for this is that this tool is not only used to list down food options. It can also provide a glimpse of a food establishment’s restaurant branding. More so, it can be used to develop and strengthen the theme of an event where it will be used. If you want to know how to create the design, layout and content format of a basic menu card, browse through the downloadable samples listed in this article.
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Factors Affecting the Content and Format of a Menu Card
Before starting the processes of creating the menu card that your business will use, you first need to be knowledgeable and aware of the factors that can affect both the content and format of the specified tool. May it be a lunch menu or even a catering menu, there are a few things that you need to consider and look into when developing a menu card and a few of these are as follows:
- The business brand. Your menu card can affect the impressions of your customers regarding your restaurant operations, corporate image, service quality, and business aesthetic. Hence, you have to make sure that the branding of your restaurant business should be one of the items that you should incorporate in the development of your menu card.
- The nature of the restaurant or food establishment. Use a menu card that can reflect the operations of the business. How would you like to be known by your customers? What deliverable can you provide them with? The kind of restaurant that your business it should also be one of the first things that should come to mind in this undertaking. Always remember that your menu card plays a big part when it comes to how your business delivers and promotes the image of the restaurant to the public.
- The food selection. The content of your menu card can fully affect the overall visuals of the tool. The more food items that you offer, the bigger your menu card should be or the smaller the texts of your content should be. List down all the items that you can provide your customers with first so you can have an idea of how you will place them in the layout of your menu card.
- The desired menu card aesthetic. Be objective when selecting the design materials, images, and other items that you will include in the menu card design. All of these can greatly affect the format that you will use. If you want to create a menu card that works, you should make sure that there is balance with the presentation of content and design.
- The spacing of the content. When creating a menu card, it is imperative to not forget about the food listing that you would like to present. Your menu description and presentation are very important for your food items to be highlighted when people look at your food menu. Make sure that the entity who is tasked to create the menu card layout will be able to incorporate enough and proper space for the entire menu list to be easily understood and appreciated by the customers.
The variables listed above can help you prioritize certain things that can affect the development of the menu card. You can easily create a printable menu if you are already knowledgeable of the factors that you need to consider. Properly and cohesively incorporate these factors into what another so you can achieve your desired results.
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What to Include in a Menu Card?
When used within the operations of the business, your menu card should also act as one of your business branding and marketing materials. With this, you can include the following items in the header or footer of the menu card:
- The name of the business
- The logo of the restaurant
- The tagline or any other branding statements that the restaurant is known for
- A brief history of the restaurant and its operations
- An overview of the specific kinds of food that the restaurant offers
- The location of the restaurant
- The contact details that customers may reach if they would like to inquire about things related to the restaurant
- The branding and identity design used by the restaurant
The body of the menu card, on the other hand, should have the following information:
- The specific food items that the restaurant can provide to its customers
- The description of the menu selection
- The main ingredients used to create the food items present on the menu card
- Specific allergens that are used in the cooking process per food item
- The images of the food items available for order
- The corresponding prices of each food items
- A list of group meals or other food deals, if applicable
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The Design Process Used in Menu Card Creation
If you are already aware of the content and other factors that are needed to be placed in the layout of a menu card, then you should already be confident that you can effectively design a menu card for your business. Your ability to identify the specific factors that are essential to be looked into will not make sense if you cannot place them accordingly in the printable menu. You need to consider the design elements that you will incorporate into the menu card content so you can achieve a highly-usable menu card.
It will be very helpful if you will refer to a guide list that can make you be better when it comes to the development of the modern menu design that you would like to have for your business. In relation to this, we have put together a few steps that you may follow during the design process applied in menu card creation. Here are some of the procedures that you can easily incorporate into your design activity when developing your restaurant business’ menu card:
- Always create a rough draft. Do not forget the importance of creating a solid foundation. List down the things that you would like to achieve so you can incorporate these items into the content and design development of the menu card. We highly recommend you to create and use a rough draft or a menu card plan first so you can be organized within the entirety of your menu card creation.
- Use a color scheme to follow. Once your draft is already done, make sure to develop a color scheme or a palette which contains complementing color combinations. This will help you brand the restaurant even more. More so, the usage of a color palette to properly identify colors that blend well together can help the format and design of your menu card look more put together. There is nothing more visually pleasing in the part of customers than a menu card design and format that are cohesive and impressive to look at.
- Organize the design that you will apply in the information that you want to present. The information that you would like to specify should not look boring. Incorporate design items that are fit and relevant to the content of your menu card. Always use interesting and readable font styles. More so, ensure that text sizes of the content can make your menu list look more striking. Select font features that will suit your restaurant business’ menu selection, dinner menu card design, and theme.
- Be keen when formatting all the design items of the entire document. The format of your document is essential to be highly considered as it serves as the base of the details of your food listing. Hence, a menu card format plays a very vital role regarding the placement of each design materials. How will you provide the details of your food items and restaurant without losing the brand that you would like to have? Always answer this question in all the phases of your menu card formatting.
- As much as possible, use high-quality and vibrant images. There are restaurants who put images first when formatting their menu card. However, we think that it will be best if you will leave blank spaces first and put the images on these spaces on the last portion of your menu card formatting. It will be the best option for you as you can select the striking and high-quality images that can complement that design and layout that you have developed. Make sure to use well-composed and vibrant images of the food items that you have so you can make them more marketable to your customers.
- Seek the recommendations and comments of stakeholders before finally using the menu card design that you have created. Make the processes of menu card development a team effort. You can maximize the span of time that you have in planning what menu card to use if you will seek comments from the employees, the management and the other stakeholders of the restaurant business.
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Essential Things to Remember When Creating a Menu Card
As mentioned above, a menu card is not just a tool that is used for food service. It is one of the main touch points of restaurant operations or event execution which can influence the perception and impression of customers or guests. If you think that a menu card is only a simple and basic tool, then you better think again as it can do a lot of positive things with regards the branding of a restaurant business or an event.
If you are in the process of creating a menu card, may it be for fast food branding; luxurious restaurant imaging; or just for the sake of creating or developing your business’ food list, here are some of the essential things that you should always remember:
- Keep in mind that people, may they be customers or guests, always look at the menu card first before identifying the meal or any food item that they would like to order. Creating their menu card browsing experience memorable by ensuring that you will provide a comprehensive, well-designed and updated menu card.
- You have to ensure that the theme of the restaurant is reflected on the menu card. Most of the best menu cards used by restaurants help in a lot of ways when it comes to assuring the customers that they are well taken cared of and that it is for sure that they will receive excellent food service.
- Make sure that you will benefit from the maximum usage of a menu card. It is important for your business to provide details about the image aspirations and branding of the restaurant. Again, do not just focus on making the menu card appropriate for food ordering. You should use it in a lot of ways that can help your business retain your customers and attract possible markets.
- Develop a complete list of the food items that you offer. Curating a complete and informative menu card can make your customers more interested to order. It can also help the order process to be more organized and efficient.
- Create a comprehensive menu card so you can influence your customers to familiarize themselves with the menu of your business. This way, they can easily remember your food items which can also be the way for them to spread the word about your restaurant to a wider and bigger crowd.
The menu cards that you will come up with can affect the operations of your business. The procedures of ordering can change a lot if you will use an effective and impressive menu card within the processes of food service. There are a lot of benefits and advantages that your restaurant business can experience if you will be serious and observant within the development of the menu card that you will use.
The positive effects of using menu card will not only be felt by the customers of the restaurants but also by your workforce. With this, you need to make sure that you can create a menu card that can help your food business stand out in a fast phased industry. Make your presence and image branding be more known in the market through the help of an appealing menu card.