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Maze vs Menu

Does your restaurant have large menus full of small print, disclaimers, dietary options, legends and symbols? Make your menu less of a maze, it’s time to simplify and modernize.

The internet is full of jokes about big menus being tacky, but two decades ago, big menus were all the rage. "Something for everyone" was the motto for restaurants because they were catering to large families. The excess of the 90’s enjoyed better supply chains, affordable food prices, skilled kitchen staff and guests with bigger budgets. Those times are gone, and any restaurant now that isn’t embracing simplicity and specialization is in danger of extinction.

Here are a list of reasons to adapt in uncertain times while your competitors won’t:

Large menus increase decision fatigue, guests will order less when the menu is a maze rather than a guide. (The “I’ll just have the chicken fingers” meme is real) People can't afford to experiment and they do not trust a menu that has clashing flavours in dishes.

A smaller main menu with seasonal features offers more variety and automatically creates more content for calls to action on socials. Always give customers a reason to return. The perfect reason for guests that want to be in the know will sign up for your email list.

Mobile friendly, many guests will review the worthiness of your establishment by reviewing your menu on their device. UX/UI design will help build trust for newcomers and a large menu that has to be zoomed in on with undecipherable small print is a barrier.

Speaking of the trust factor, the more items on a menu, the assumption is that the food is frozen, pre-made and low quality. Fresh is best!

Large menus increase kitchen inefficiencies, food costs, training costs, food waste, design and printing costs, constant supply chain challenges and staff turnover.

More people are avoiding alcohol, and if your current strategy relies heavily on exorbitant alcohol margins, rather than delicious food and mocktails, it’s definitely time to pivot.

We specialize in building and branding eateries with modern strategies. Creating menus with delicious dishes and mocktail pairings, sourcing locations with natural lighting and professional designers on hand. Contact us today to create your full brand, or modernize an existing concept.

Awake Marketing your restaurant success strategist


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