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Mmmenu Design: Tasteful Advice!

Written by in Features

‘Tis The Season … to Eat!

Tempting the Tastebuds with Gregg Rapp, Menu Design Consultant

Harvest is over! Time to eat! ‘Tis the season when many of us are making dinner plans with friends and family, at home and out at restaurants. How many times have you looked at a menu and really paid attention to its copy, design and layout? What draws your eye? What motivates you to order that succulent dish of braised pork belly or plate of wild mushroom pasta?

According to Gregg Rapp, a pioneer in the psychology of restaurant menu planning for the past 30 years, menu design is much more than putting a pretty face on a list of entrées. Gregg offers a unique eye for shaping the design, marketing and profitability of a menu. He recently shared some tips with us.

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First of all, a menu needs the prestige and sensory tactile experience on the proper weight that only quality paper can offer. Neenah Paper offers a huge selection of colors and finishes in weights up to 165lb cover. The Menu Design guide* from Neenah offers a variety of examples, as well as nuggets of really helpful information, and we’re going to share some of them with you.

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Provide adequate room for entrée descriptions. At least 50% of the menu should be white space. Left justified is better than centered, and one of the biggest mistakes you could make is placing the prices in a neat column. This will likely cause the reader to scan the prices first and probably order the cheapest item. Instead, write the description, then 2-3 spaces, followed by the price—with NO dollar sign.

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If you must put nutritional info on the menu, include it as part of the description of the item, at the bottom. Additionally, try to not use the word “assorted”, as in assorted vegetables, fruits, and cheeses. Be specific, i.e. pineapple, oranges, watermelon and grapes.

When we asked Gregg if he had a favorite menu he recalled a menu from 1977 at Max & Erma’s in Columbus, Ohio. It was a funny photo album filled with hilarious made up characters of Max & Erma’s family, making you laugh as you ordered your hamburger.

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To learn more about Gregg Rapp, watch his appearance on Today.

Menu Engineering with Gregg Rapp on NBC Today Show — Part 1

*Want your own copy of Menu Design from Neenah? Contact your Neenah sales representative. Act now while supplies last! They’re going like … hot cakes.

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