What’s in a menu?
A menu is more than just a place to list food items and prices. It is a way into your patrons’ mouths, stomachs, (and wallets) and thus it must appeal to their senses. The need for menus may arise if you are opening a new establishment or you have an existing restaurant and need to revamp outdated menus. It is important that your menu is attractive so that your guests will be compelled to order from it. As menu presentation is also a huge part of your customer’s first impression, getting it right is imperative to increase the chances of them becoming repeat customers. There are various aspects to consider when deciding on your menu, including colour, style, and size.

Colour
The colour of your menu not only reflects your restaurant, it can also have an effect on your customers' appetites. Certain colours may suppress their appetite, thus you should avoid using these as your menu as they may result in your customers ordering less. One example of a colour to stay away from is grey, since it is dull and unappetizing. Here are some examples of the colour options that we offer for our menu covers:

• Black - Associated with class, elegance, mystery
• Dark Brown - Considered to be warm and an appetite stimulant
• Olive Green / Hunter Green - Associated with freshness, luxury, peace, money
• Navy Blue - Good choice for a drink menu cover, but avoid using for a food menu as blue is considered an appetite suppressant
• Burgundy / Maroon - Signifies warmth, are also inviting and relaxing

Style
Is your establishment casual or fine dining? If your restaurant is casual then you may want to select a more laid-back looking menu such as a clear café style menu, where you can switch up the page inserts as needed. This is also an ideal choice if your menu changes often. If it is a fine dining atmosphere, you may prefer a classier look such as a bound menu cover with some personalized debossing of your restaurant’s name. You will also need to decide whether you want your menu to have a book-style page flip through or one that folds with a number of different panels. Ultimately, it is important to choose a menu that is coordinated with the style and feel of your restaurant. HOP offers a wide variety of café style covers and bound menu covers.

Size
Are there a lot of items on your menu or is it a simple one? Depending on the amount of menu content you have, you will need to ensure you choose a menu style that has sufficient insert slots or thickness to fit the quantity of pages. You will also need to decide on the overall size of your menu. For lunch or dinner menus, letter size or larger is usually the most common size to use. For drink or dessert menus, smaller or mini sized menus are appropriate. HOP offers menu covers in numerous sizes, and depending on the style, custom sizes may also be available.

Additional Tips
The font you use for your menu should be 12 point minimum, so that your guests don't have to strain themselves to read it. Use graphics when appropriate and to highlight the items you want the most attention drawn to. Make sure your menu is organized, e.g. all appetizers should be on the first page and entrées should follow accordingly. Make sure your menu style doesn't clash, but rather compliments your restaurant.

Sources:
RestaurantOwner.com
Color-Wheel-Pro.com
ChangingMinds.org