Restaurants that offer breakfast, lunch and dinner face unique challenges when developing their menu designs. Some may opt to have separate menus for each meal while other businesses find it more effective to have only one menu. This can simplify management of items and also be important if customers can order from any part of the menu regardless of the time of day.

If the breakfast-lunch-dinner combination is the choice for your restaurant, you can use the following tips to help you get the most out of your menu.

1. Make it Logical

People do not think lunch before breakfast and your menu should not force them to. A standard three-panel menu works well for the tri-meal option. Use the inner left panel for breakfast, the center for lunch and the right for dinner. The back panel can list beverage and dessert items.

2. Get Colorful

Full color menus whet the appetite and help to sell your food. Use bold, inviting photos wherever possible through your menu to adjunct your on-page word descriptions.

3. Be Descriptive

Make sure that your menu design allows enough room for you to write descriptions of your dishes—at least your most important ones. The power of the word cannot be under-estimated in swaying customers’ ordering decisions.

4. Box it Up

The use of boxes around certain food group items, like sandwiches or sides, is a great way to help readers navigate your menu and call attention where you want it most.

5. Leverage the Icon

Icons can be used to delineate foods that meet special dietary needs, making it easy for customers looking for such foods to find what they want right away. You can also use icons to highlight customer favorites or new items.

Whether you are using boxes, photos, icons or other design elements, make sure that you do so in moderation. Too many of these items can clutter your menu and make it harder to read.

Another consideration when creating your menu is the quality of the menu itself. Budgets are important but do not be too shortsighted and order the cheapest products you can find or you may end up needing to reorder menus far too soon—costing you more money in the end. At KNG, we offer a selection of menu products that combine both quality and value to meet your budget and functional  needs.

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Your restaurant is unique and has its own special feel that can range from casual and fun to elegant and romantic. No matter where your restaurant falls on that continuum, your menu can help to not only create the ambiance you are looking for but also reflect it to help provide a cohesive experience to your diners.

The following six things can all help your menu communicate what your restaurant is all about to your customers:

1. General Menu Style

There are multiple types of menus that you can select from. The café menu, for example, is ideal for many family restaurants and immediately says “value” to those who enter. Upscale steak restaurants, however, are generally better served with a bonded leather menu that exudes the level of elegance their customers are looking for.

2. Menu Accessories

The right accessories can adjunct your menu style choice nicely. A chip board in the back of a café menu upgrades your menu—and your restaurant—by letting people know that you offer both value and quality.

3. Custom Elements

Personalizing your menu with things like logos or foil stamping is a great way to confirm your identity to the world. Full color photos on the front cover can help exude an overall theme and feeling, such as a tropical island scene.

4. Font Choice

Some type fonts are whimsical while others are more traditional. Make the choice that best fits your restaurant and patrons.

5. Menu Descriptions

The power of words cannot be underestimated. Just like adding adjectives such as “gourmet” or “handmade” to your item descriptions can help sell dishes, so too can your choice of words reflect and match your restaurant’s theme or ambiance.

6. Menu Color

The primary color of your menu can be chosen to match your restaurant’s primary color or to complement an overall color scheme and be a great addition to interior design and uniform selections in creating your special feel.

These are just some of the ways that you can put your menu to work for you every day and help to provide your patrons with the experience they want.

The right menu can make a big difference in the ultimate dining experience. When shopping for menus, feel free to let us help you understand your options and which one can be right for your restaurant.

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