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Menu Design - is there a science behind it?

100% Yes! Trust the experts, there's a very specific science to a good menu...

There really is such a thing as a menu expert ( they're called Menu Engineers in some places) and they are the science boffins behind a really good menu. These are the guys who will strategically position dishes, ensure the layout is right and most importantly that it's profitable! But how do they do this?

We've pulled together just four of the ways that you can help your menu be more profitable. There are many more but this is a good start!

1. Use the 'Paradox Of Choice' to your advantage
There's a psychological theory known as the paradox of choice, which basically means the more choice we have the more anxious we feel. By limiting choice to the golden number of seven (seven starters, seven mains, seven sides) people are more likely to try something new (and a bit more expensive).

2. Add Pictures But Be Selective
Including a delicious looking picture alongside an item can increase sales by up to 30%, according to Menu Engineer Greg Rapp, however make sure you have an accurate representation that will stimulate a positive response to the dish. Too many photos will crowd the menu and make it look cheap, poor quality photos will do the same. So only include the photos if you're positive they will enhance your offering!

3. Be Aware Of Pricing Pain Points
What's a pain point? Pound signs are a pain point as they remind people they're spending money, by simply removing the pound sign you make it a little easier to spend. The difference between £15.00 and 15.00 or even 15 is significant in peoples brains!  One University study found that writing out the prices, such as fifteen pounds, encouraged guests to spend more too. 

4. Use Perspective
Perspective is everything, if you include an expensive dish near the top of the menu everything else will look more cost efficient in comparison.  Slightly more expensive items will suggest the food is of higher quality, one study gave people a £4 buffet and an £8 buffet... the latter was rated tastier despite containing exactly the same food! It's all about perspective. 

There are so many more ways that the Menu Engineers create your menu using space, boxes, specific areas, price anchoring, colour choices, tempting language and so much more. If you're interested in thE science it's worth exploring more as there are many simple hacks that will drive a more profitable menu!

Good luck and let us know how you get on! 
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