Your Menu is everything


In this entry we will cover the article “Trends in Restaurant Menu Design and Marketing” published by the Restaurant Engine blog. We find this article valuable to understand some of the latest trends in menu design and how to adjust your current menu to those in order to maximize its selling potential.

“There are 16 million restaurants in the world. The one thing they all share is a menu.” A powerful statement made by Aaron Allen, a recognized restaurant consultant and menu design engineer in Orlando, Florida for the article “The importance of Menu Design” from Food Republic, one of the most recognized online sources for news on food, drink, travel, design, cooking and more. We wanted to start stating Mr. Allen to put you into context of the great importance your restaurant Menu is.


Trend # 1: Dining Farm to Table

The “Farm to table” concept has been out there since a couple of years ago, and according to experts it will continue rising in popularity among restaurants. We agree with the writers at the Restaurant Engine Blog about the fact that this is a must-follow trend and we will list why:

  • This “Farm to table” concept means the ingredients of each of your dishes are fresh and that they haven’t been sitting in a truck or in a supermarket for days.
  • Americans are very reactive to menus describing that the ingredients are all provided by local farmers. This “Farm Fresh” concept is strong as people feel a need to support local economies calling for a Nationalistic feeling.
  • Also, as the experts at Restaurant Engine state there is a renewed interest in being environmentally conscious as well as health conscious, as this concept allows diners to know where their food comes from while making health conscious food choices.

Do not forget to implement this trend in both, your table and online menu.

Fresh fruit


Trend # 2: Moving from focusing on Millennials to focusing on Generation Z

It’s a fact that all businesses are putting all the efforts to grab the Millennials attention as they are already your customers and they will continue being your customers in the future. For those who are not familiarized with this term, Millenials Generation, or “Y Generation” is the one that includes those born between the 80’s and 90’s decades. Being this generation characterized for their extensive use of social media and their innate connection to technological devices and digital communication.

Well, being this said, it’s also true that there are plenty of restaurants working very hard in their Social Media Channels to keep their attention, also including more relevant elements (for the Millenials) in their webpage in order to make it attractive for them (for the Millenials).

Now, there appears the Generation Z, and this one should also be in your scope. Generation Z, quoting the experts of Restaurant Engine, is the group of American teens beginning to make their decisions about where to go to eat. And, we absolutely agree with them, restaurants should continue to market online menus, as this generation rarely lives disconnected to the technological devices and Google is their bible.

So, in this order of ideas, the experts of Restaurant Engine in their article share some strategic moves that should be implemented by restaurants in order to remain in the market: Provide high-tech service, electronic menus and a unique and creative product offering.

If you want to go in depth about this trend, we invite you to check this article from the National Marketing Association on how to market to the millennial audience.


Group Of Teenage Friends Using Mobile Phone Sitting At Caf

Image source:


Trend # 3: Expanding on Technology

“Today’s world demands efficiency. Trends show that diners want an easily accessible dining experience along with healthier food” quoting the experts at Restaurant Engine, and believing this statement says it all.

Current, and future generations, demand the incorporation of digital technology in your services. We can see this by checking how deliveries are done just by one click from an app. And like this, there will be more activities of your restaurant that will require to be done through a digital device.

As Restaurant engine states there are even some restaurants presenting their menus on in-house tablets or via smartphone apps making customers live a technological experience inside the establishment. And this is a trend that more and more are adopting because as customers are ordering their own food, there are almost no misplaced errors or orders with mistakes.

We know that this is going a little bit far in the future. There still lots of customers that enjoy feeling the texture of the menu in their hands, but what you must implement is running a selling webpage and include the options of booking a table online and your online menu. These ones are a must!


Trend # 4: Incorporating Fanciful Cocktails and Non-Alcoholic Creations

A trend that could be easy to implement as most of the restaurants out there has an alcoholic (and non-alcoholic) selection of drinks in their menus.

As the experts of Restaurant Engine states, restaurant-goers are looking for shareable punches, flavoured whiskey, hybrid drinks and herbal liqueurs. As you can see, the new customer is looking for original and easy on the eye drinks. Being the second one very important as there is a big and old trend walking together with this one: Taking food pics and sharing them throughout the social networks.

Regarding the alcoholic cocktails, as the trend describes, the more colorful they are, the more likeable they will be; sometimes even not giving that much importance to the taste of the cocktail but to the presentation of the same. To keep up with this trend you could explore some creative ways to enhance the presentation of your current drinks or follow some good boards that have tons of ideas about this like: or

Now covering the non-alcoholic creations trend, it is also walking together with the increasing awareness of being and eating healthy. As the article suggests, is a good idea to offer herbal shakes, artisan coffee and cold-pressed juices as options to complement your soft drinks menu.



Trend # 5: Designing Shareable Plates

This is a trend that is being followed worldwide, and it’s modifying the restaurant experience. By offering customers menu dishes designed for 2, 4 or more people you allow your restaurant gather larger groups of customers and let them live a different experience. The real hook here is that by targeting larger groups, there will be an increase in the sale of drinks.


Food table

Image source: Zagat


Trends in menu design change fast and frequently. However, as you could see they change in response to the changes in the industry and the market. As you are leading a restaurant you should keep track of them and implement them in your restaurant. Remember, your menu is the only marketing piece your customers will read.

How do you like this article? We suggest following Restaurant Engine, they have other nice articles to go deeper on this topic.