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10 Steps to a More Profitable Takeaway Menu

By working closely with our clients we have identified that re-designing your takeaway menu using the simple methods listed below can increase takeaway sales from between 3% and 10%. This can be achieved without any major design alterations or price increases! Make sure to mention these simple ways to your designer and make your takeaway menu more profitable.

1. Maximise product placement.

Customers often remember and consequently buy the first two or the last product in each product category. Place the highest value gross profit products of each category in these spots. For example the first, second or last product in “Our Specialities” category should have the three highest profit specialities in them.

2.Category page positioning.

On a roll fold or Z fold menu (one which has two folds and creates 3 panels on each side) most customers will look at the centre panel first then move to view the right then left hand panel. On a half fold or tabbed fold menu (one which is folded creating two panels on each side) most customers will look at the top right hand page first. It is important to put the highest value gross profit product category in these positions.

3.Avoid customers “Price shopping”.

To avoid price shopping it is important to focus the customer’s attention on the products and not the prices. To do this move the product prices into the descriptions and use the same or slightly smaller typeface. Removing the Pound sign will also help the customer focus on the product, not the price.


4.Highlight using boxing.

Boxes around products draw attention and usually get orders, so use them on highest value gross profit products. Be careful not to box too many products as this will create clutter and defeats their 'attention getting' purpose. You can impact between 10% and 15% of the products on your menu by boxing. As a general rule box one out of every 8 to 10 products.

5.Highlight using symbols and icons.

Stars, bullets or food symbol icons can draw attention to menu items that you would prefer to sell. Graphics can set items apart and increase sales on those items as much as 15%. Just like boxing it is best not to clutter the menu with Stars so not to de-value them.  Again these should be used on high value gross profit products.

6.Minimise food descriptions.

Minimise food description and keep them short, on average only one third of the menu will be read. If possible use descriptive 'word pictures' rather than lengthy ingredient lists. Never fear white space on a menu, it allows the customers eyes to pause and rest.

7.Avoid generic terms.

Avoid generic terms like “Entrees” instead use food category headings such as “The Freshest Pasta” or “Our Specialities”. Try to make your food categories appear unique and uncommon, stand apart from your competition.

8.Know your customers.

If your customers are mostly elderly keep the text size large enough to read in dim lighting, also keep the design simple and uncluttered. If your customers are more family orientated the make sure the menu is appealing to children, use a colourful design, unusual text and use lots of boxed items.

9.Specials and special offer flyers.

By offering a specials section on your menu you create a brand for your restaurant with a sense of "You can only get this here". These can also be promoted using A5 flyers separate to your existing menu and can be altered regularly “this month only”. Create unique food for these, try to see which are the most popular to include in your regular menu.


10. Keep your shop frontage and counter menus clean.

It is easy for customers to associate a dirty counter menu or shop frontage with a dirty kitchen. It may not make them walk out on this occasion, but they are less likely to return or order in future. So keep your front of house spotless and keep internal and counter menus clean and sharp by using protective menu covers that can be wiped down. Replace them if they start to look dog eared, torn or sun damaged.


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About the Author

Kevin Moyse

With over 19 years creative marketing experience Kevin has a wonderful knowledge of takeaway restaurant industry and specialises in creative takeaway menu design and printing.

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