Why Your Restaurant Menu Matters

“A menu is a communication vehicle… Used as a control mechanism, it helps to keep a business efficient, functional, and profitable.”

Daniel Traster, Foundations of Menu Planning, Second Edition


Menu planning entails understanding your customer base, its tastes, and changing tastes.

 menu1This helps to define the appropriate food selections that are to be offered.

“The core customer base is best developed by in-depth research… determining the best food selections for that area, understanding the area’s ability to support proposed pricing…” 
Impact Enterprises, Inc, July-August 2017 Newsletter


Presenting food selections in a manner that not only pleases you, but will enable your customers to comfortably peruse your food selections.

menu2"Paper size, texture, color, with or without a background image together with font, font size and color affect readability."

“From the choice of paper and font to the layout of graphics and text, each decision has the potential to enhance or to undermine the guest’s experience and the business’s brand"

Foundations of Menu Planning, by Daniel Traster





An added benefit to a successful menu could be a ‘story’:


Stories provide interesting information that can entertain, educate, and create a bond between a customer and the restaurant. Stories might be about the history of the area, the education and experiences of the chef/owner, or social responsibility.

“Last but not least, they have a purely nostalgic value for those persons who have visited a particular restaurant or hotel and want to re-live that experience…”

The Art of Dining


A menu’s food selections, information (story), and layout need to be organized for the benefit of customers in order to maximize potential.

menu4“A successful entrepreneur understands the potential created by innovative presentation.” 
Impact Enterprises, Inc, July-August 2017 Newsletter

Fortunately, today, presentation template options are numerous and easily accessible. These should be chosen with consideration given to the market area and potential customer base.

A brief comparison below reviews the following sites to find the best menu layout for your restaurant: 




Template Options

User Friendly?


10 Free templates

*Requires name, address, phone and business info for free download

Good, general menu template options that are downloaded in a zip file.

Can open as a .pdf, or in Word or PowerPoint to edit.


No web-based software for editing, but has the option of Adobe, Word or PowerPoint to edit. Easy to edit and customize.


100+ Freetemplates

*Requires email address for access

Extensive, existing menu template options for work, personal or educational use.

1M images to search and add to customize menu.


Web-based software that it easy to use and modify existing templates. Also have the ability to upload your own images for customization.

Adobe Spark

Free template option

*$9.99- $19.99/mo for more branding & licensing options

*Requires email address for access

Lots of options to create your own menu template and add your own images/logos. Multiple template size options for printing or online hosting.

Can also use to create posters and other restaurant/ business graphics.


Web-based software walks you through the process. You can start from scratch or upload your own images and existing menus.

Before the convenience of having numerous menu template options available, Impact Menus, at the request of some customers, developed printed menu layouts that reflected a customer-oriented objective.