Person holding a menu

Half of all diners say that easy-to-read fonts are a top-most important feature. So, stay away from script, cursive, or all-caps. Make sure your font size can be read comfortably in low light conditions. 

Woman sitting at a table looking at a menu

41% of customers want healthy options to be clearly marked

- Small symbols make a big difference: Using a small symbol, such as a heart icon, can quickly differentiate a healthy option. The same practice goes for dietary needs like vegetarian and vegan diets (leaf symbol), as well as gluten free options (crossed out wheat symbol). 

- When in doubt, section it out: Consider creating separate sections of your menu, like “Healthy choices” or “Vegetarian dishes” to clearly demarcate your offerings.  

- Specialty design: Employing a different font, color, or highlighting technique to differentiate healthy options can help direct your guests to your more heart smart fare. 

- Nutritional Info: Think about providing more detailed nutritional information beyond just calories, such as the content of protein, carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins.

Chalkboard in the street with menu items written on it

62% of your customers want exact descriptions. When menu planning, be descriptive and enticing, but simple.


  • Engage their senses: Dining is experienced with our senses. So when writing your menu, use words that speak to the taste (minty, zesty, tart), texture (flaky, crispy, pillowy), smell (floral, bacony, complex), sight (orange, deconstructed, speckled), and even sound (sizzling, crackling, bubbling).

  • Make your ingredients the star: Without giving away your secret recipe, let your guests know what they’re about to eat. Place your ingredients on a pedestal, even brag about them, mentioning exotic spices, rare herbs, and showstopping proteins.

  • Be succinct: While painting a word picture is important, you aren’t writing a novel. Keep your descriptions short and to the point. Focus on the most compelling details, and lose the rest. When in doubt, remember K.I.S.S. principle or “Keep it Short, Sous-chef.”

Woman reading a menu with her face obscured

56% of diners want to see pictures of your food. It doesn’t need to be a photo of every dish, but let them eat with their eyes.

Paper menu in a wooden frame

If your menu is written well, it can allow you to raise your prices. It’s worth considering hiring a pro writer to craft your menu descriptions. Regardless of who is writing your menu, make sure that it corresponds to these overall principles.

 - Less is more: Make sure every word is hardworking, across your entire menu. 

- Clear hierarchy: Make sure your menu is laid out in an organized and logical manner, using headings and subheadings with the appropriate font sizes to help your guests navigate through your offerings. Design elements like font styles, font sizes, colors, and spacing can help create a visual flow. Arrange your menu items in the order that they’d be served (appetizers, mains, dessert) and be sure that menu item names and prices are prominent.

Source: Datassential, Menu Design Trends report, April 2023.