Your restaurant’s menu is more than just a list of the food and drinks you have to offer. It’s your “silent salesman” that itself can help increase guest orders. Here’s a few simple tips to turn your menu into a star seller.

Less is more

More options doesn’t translate into increased sales. Often guests feel more satisfied when there are fewer options on the menu rather than pages and pages of choices? It’s simply easier to make a decision.

And with too many options, guests tend to make their choices based on price. Instead, aim for no more than six options per menu category. You will also get the added benefit of it being easier for your kitchen staff to maintain a higher level of consistent quality with fewer different dishes to prepare.

Pricing and the power of 9

Believe it or not, some prices will sell better than others. While it may seem counterintuitive, it’s entirely likely you will sell more of a hamburger priced for 199 kr than an identical one for 190 kr. A study conducted by MIT and the University of Chicago found that people were more likely to buy a product for $39 than the exact same product for $34. The number 9 undeniably seems to hit home with people.

Drop the currency

When you write prices, consider NOT including SEK, kr or :- after the sums. By just listing the number, the guest thinks less about the money that the price represents.

Write mouth-watering names and descriptions

Flowery language actually can serve a purpose. A study by the University of Illinois showed that menu items with descriptive names increased sales by 27% and that guests were willing to pay 10% more for them. So instead of simply writing ”Caesar salad”, try writing ”Caesar salad with fresh parmesan and homemade croutons”. And then prepare to sell more caesar salads.

Discourage price comparisons

An important rule of thumb is never to list your menu items in order from lowest to highest priced. Also try to avoid linear columns that end up with all of the prices listed over each other. Why? Because otherwise you are putting emphasis on prices and inviting price comparisons —the enemy of a top-selling menu.

Design matters

As shallow as it may sound, at the end of the day, looks matter. How your menu looks and is presented is as important as what you’re listing and how it’s presented. A well-designed menu not only helps with the branding and setting a tone and feel for your restaurant, it can also affect how well the menu sells. Hire a graphic designer to do a professional job for you. It’s worth the investment to make sure your menu looks as good as your good tastes.

Moving beyond the printed menu

When we’ve been talking about menus here, you’ve probably been thinking of a traditional, printed menu. But more and more, people are ordering digital. That can be on the phone, through your web site or an ordering app or in-restaurant through a self-service kiosk. Instead of spending thousands on printed menus, you can invest in a system that can be managed and updated at any time, from virtually anywhere. Plus self-service kiosks increase sales. When the guest orders a standard hamburger, the kiosk can suggest extra cheese or bacon (and who can say no to that?) Learn more about the next generation of self-service ordering systems.

Learn more about the next generation of self-service ordering systems.