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Art of Menu Design: Tips and Ideas for Restaurant Owners

Last Updated: July 2, 2024

In the art of menu design, a well-crafted restaurant menu should combine creativity and functionality. 

The menu should not only look attractive but also user-friendly so it would be easy for customers to explore and find what they're looking for.

And guess what? This process will be as easy as pie with the smart digital menu software at your fingertips.

A QR code menu software can offer the convenience of customizability, enabling you to design a menu that perfectly aligns with your brand and resonates with your customers. 

Let's explore menu design and discover tips and ideas to help create an enticing and functional menu for your restaurant.

Elements of an effective menu design

A well-rounded QR code menu should be visually appealing, easy to read, and informative. It should reflect the style and personality of your restaurant while effectively communicating your offerings. 

Art of menu design
Sample layout of digital menu

Here are a few key elements to consider when designing your menu:

Layout and organization

Your menu layout plays a crucial role in guiding customers through the dining experience.

Use clear headings, sections, and spacing to make it easy for customers to find what they want. 

Consider organizing your food items into categories such as appetizers, entrees, desserts, and drink menu for a seamless ordering process.


Conceptualizing the art of the menu wouldn’t be complete without typefaces. But before you play with different fonts, you must remember that your menu font should provide convenience to diners.

Choose fonts that are legible and reflect your brand's identity. Opt for a font size that is easy to read, avoiding too small or too large text. 

Experiment with font styles to add a touch of personality to your menu, but be sure to maintain readability.

Colors and visuals

Colors can evoke emotions and influence customer choices. Use colors that align with your restaurant's theme and brand, and consider the psychology behind different colors. 

Additionally, incorporate enticing visuals such as high-quality food images or illustrations to showcase your dishes and enhance the overall appeal of your menu.

Tips and ideas for an effective restaurant menu

Interactive restaurant menu software
Customer using an interactive menu to order

We have compiled a list of tips and ideas to help you make a great menu that stands out and captivates your customers:

Keep it simple and easy to read

Readability is a top priority in menu design. After all, how can customers order from your menu if they can’t read it?

Avoid cluttering your menu with too much information, as it can overwhelm your customers. Make sure to include only the most important details.

Use clear and readable fonts, and organize your menu logically and intuitively. Categorize your dishes into sections and use headings to guide your customers through the menu effortlessly.

Highlight your signature dishes

Do you have a dish your restaurant is famous for? Make sure to give it the attention it deserves. 

Highlighting your signature dishes on the menu can create a sense of pride and intrigue among your customers. 

Use eye-catching design elements like borders, icons, or illustrations to draw attention to these standout dishes, enticing your customers to try them.

Incorporate mouth-watering visuals

A picture is worth a thousand words, especially when it comes to food. 

Add high-quality images of your dishes to your menu to give your customers a visual representation of what they can expect. This will help them make better choices as they order.

Professional food photography can make your menu come alive and leave your customers craving your dishes even before they take their first bite.

Use descriptive and tempting language

Curating creative menu design items involves using words since these have the power to evoke emotions and stimulate appetites. Craft enticing descriptions for each dish on your menu. 

Use vivid language highlighting your dishes' flavors, textures, and unique qualities. Incorporate sensory words that can transport your customers to the culinary experience they will have at your restaurant.

Embrace seasonal ingredients

To keep your menu fresh and exciting, consider incorporating seasonal ingredients. 

Not only will this ensure that your dishes use the freshest ingredients, but it will also give your menu a sense of variety and change. 

Highlighting seasonal specialties can create a sense of anticipation and encourage customers to visit your restaurant regularly to experience new offerings.

4 creative menu design ideas to revitalize your menu

Restaurant menu design
Engaging QR code menu design

From minimalistic to whimsical, there's something for every type of cuisine. So, let's dive in and discover the best menu design ideas to make your establishment stand out!

Clean and simple

Sometimes less is more. Embrace a minimalistic approach with a clean and simple restaurant menu design. 

Use plenty of white space to highlight your dishes and let the menu items speak for themselves. Opt for a sleek font and incorporate your restaurant's branding in a subtle yet effective way.

Retro revival

Give your menu a nostalgic twist by adopting a retro theme. Play with vintage-inspired fonts, colors, and graphics to capture that classic diner vibe. 

This design idea works particularly well for casual dining establishments and encourages customers to indulge in comfort food favorites.

Whimsical illustrations

Unleash your creativity with whimsical illustrations that bring your menu to life. 

Whether hand-drawn artwork or quirky cartoons, these visual elements can add a touch of personality and charm to your menu. 

This design works wonders for family-friendly restaurants or establishments with a playful atmosphere.

Interactive menus

Engage your customers with interactive menu designs that showcase your dishes while taking diners on a visual and virtual journey. 

Incorporate QR codes or augmented reality elements that provide additional information, promotions, or even interactive digital promotions and commercials.

This design idea is perfect for tech-savvy establishments looking to enhance the dining experience.

How can smart menus revolutionize the art of the menu?

Digital QR code menu idea
Customers using a digital menu to order

QR-code-driven menus use digital platforms and devices to improve the dining experience and benefit customers and restaurant owners. 

Let's explore the fascinating world of smart menus and how they transform menu design:

Interactive experience

Smart menus stimulate an interactive experience by allowing customers to browse through an engaging digital interface.

With just a few taps, customers can access detailed descriptions, high-resolution images, and videos of their desired dishes.

These menus' interactive nature captivates customers and gives them a full understanding of the available options.

Personalization at its finest

These menus can track customer preferences and past orders by integrating data collection and analytics tools.

With this information, smart menus can tailor recommendations, suggest customized meal options, and highlight special deals or promotions that align with individual preferences.

Additionally, this helps customers to easily customize their orders according to their preferences with the help of recommendations and suggestions. 

Real-time updates

A QR code menu lets restaurants easily make changes, create new dishes, or remove items as needed, resulting in a seamless dining experience.

Whether it's seasonal additions, daily specials, or out-of-stock items, the digital nature of these menus allows for real-time updates. 

Streamlined ordering process

Customers can simply select their desired items, customize their meals per their preferences, and place orders directly through the digital menu

This not only improves the speed and accuracy of the order but also reduces the time spent waiting for a server to take the order.

By streamlining the ordering process, smart menus enable restaurants to serve more customers efficiently, increasing revenue and customer satisfaction.

Opportunities to cross-sell and upsell

Smart menus create opportunities for upselling and cross-selling. 

By displaying visually appealing images and descriptions of dishes, smart menus entice customers to explore additional options, thereby increasing the average order value.

Furthermore, integrating this intuitive technology enables menus to suggest complementary food and beverage pairings, enhancing the overall dining experience while boosting revenue.

Language accessibility

Language barriers often challenge customers who speak a foreign tongue. But smart menus can bridge this gap by offering multilingual options and menu translation features. 

Customers can easily switch between languages, ensuring that they understand the menu and can make informed choices. 

This language accessibility feature caters to tourists and creates a more inclusive environment, leaving a positive impression on all customers.

Contactless and hygienic dining

The pandemic has made people extra conscious and careful about hygiene. They avoid touching surfaces to lower the risk of getting germs and microbes.

Smart menus enable contactless dining experiences, reducing physical contact between customers and staff. 

By scanning a QR code and accessing the menu on their own devices, customers can view the menu without the need to handle physical menus. 

This minimizes the risk of potential cross-contamination and enhances the overall dining experience by providing a sense of safety and comfort.

MENU TIGER: A great QR code menu for your restaurant menu

A well-designed menu is not just about how it looks but also how it works. MENU TIGER understands this and offers a range of smart features that make menu creation a breeze. 

Unlike other digital menu software, MENU TIGER doesn't limit you to pre-designed templates. It allows you to create a customized menu that reflects your establishment's unique personality and branding. 

Its user-friendly interface allows you to experiment, tailor, and fine-tune every menu aspect, making it as visually stunning and captivating as possible.

Features like grouping modifiers and highlighting featured and top-selling dishes make it possible for you to create a menu that is easier for users and customers.

Whether you're running a restaurant, a cafe, or a bar, this advanced technology can provide you with the benefits of QR code menu that no other software could.

Crafting an efficient menu using a smart digital menu

Mastering the art of menu design can help create a well-crafted menu that expresses your restaurant's personality and enhances the overall dining experience.

By following the tips and ideas mentioned, it should be easy to create a satisfying restaurant menu that will help you stand out from the competition. 

Furthermore, embracing smart menu technology can revolutionize how you design and manage your menu, enhancing the overall restaurant experience.

Get creative, think outside the box, and let your menu dazzle and impress your customers like never before!



Riza is a versatile author for MENU TIGER. She draws inspiration from her passion for food, travel, and KPop. As a reader, writer, teacher, and food enthusiast, her stories reflect her restaurant adventures and spontaneous travels.