It’s 2018 and menu boards are decidedly more interesting now than they used to be. Many restaurants you enter today have some type of menu board ranging from digital to chalk. What many in the restaurant industry may not know is that the menu is more than just a list of dishes they have to offer. A menu is a pretty important part of a restaurant’s in-house advertising. With a well-planned and constructed menu board, a restaurant can begin to convert a newbie to a regular pretty quickly.
Structuring a menu board correctly is important. Carefully planning and crafting a menu board is key. One big box with all a restaurant has to offer is hard to read and understand. Categories and an orderly lay-out help the customer know where to look for the options they want. It can be a form of arrangement that is differentiated based on courses such as appetizers, entrees, desserts, and drinks; or it could be arranged by categories such as vegan, gluten-free, and meat-lover. It is also important to have a menu board that lists the price to help the customer pick the options they want without having to ask for help before they are ready to order.
Another aspect of structuring the menu board that restaurant owners want to pay attention to is balance. Having all sections of the different boards the same font, size, and color is key. Restaurant owners don’t want one board to get overlooked just because it is out of balance from another board. Of course there are exceptions to this rule. For example if an owner is running a promotion, a certain board could be used to draw the customer’s eye to this specific board to promote an item for sale.
The orientation of the board is important also. Sometimes space dictates the direction boards must be positioned. If space is not an issue, careful consideration and planning on whether a board should be oriented landscape or portrait needs to be considered. Sometimes the amount of information included on a menu board helps dictate which way the board should be oriented.
Images can also be an important aspect of a menu board if used sparingly and professionally. If pictures are used, what is shown in the picture needs to be what the restaurant really has to offer. The pictures used on the menu board will set a standard that the restaurant needs to live up to. Photos taken and used of the food need to be professional and appetizing. Other types of images other than an actual photo of the food need to entice the customer to try the product.
The theme of a restaurant should be considered when choosing a font type and color for the menu board. Different fonts and colors evoke different emotions and feelings from people. These aspects of the menu board help set the mood of the restaurant. A restaurant owner wants to pick a font and color that not only appeals to the customer but also follows the overall ambiance of the restaurant.
Overall, the goal of a menu board is to inform the customer of what a restaurant has to offer. The in-house advertising this tool adds can’t be overlooked though. A sign company that not only knows how to make menu boards but also how to help a restaurant market their brand is essential. James River Signs would love to help restaurant owners with this type of signage.