3 insider tips for writing amazing restaurant menus

Writing a restaurant menu is part art and part science. Some will find it easy to put their passion to paper while others will find it much more difficult. Either way, you can use some effective insider tips to help your menu sell.

We aren’t copywriters, we’re restaurateurs and that can often come across in our menus. Use some of these ideas in your next revision and see how much more you can sell!

Longer dish descriptions sell better

Space is often limited on a menu and you may want to keep it minimalist but don’t sell yourself short.

Using existing space and word count more effectively can improve sales and the appeal of your dishes.

For example, take a rump steak. You will often see ‘12oz rump steak’ as the only description next to the price.

That’s fine but it depends on there being an existing appetite for the dish as it doesn’t exactly inspire.

However, change it to ‘‘succulent grass-fed Aberdeen Angus rump steak seared over hot coals until tender’ works a lot better.

Not only does it appeal to those already in the mood for steak, it can help convert those on the fence or who may have ordered something cheaper.

Emotion sells

Have you noticed a lot of adverts now try to play on your emotions? It’s a common tactic because it works.

You can do the same by using emotive language in your menu. We touched upon it in the example above.

The use of ‘succulent’ and ‘seared’ provoke emotional responses. We imagine the steak over a hot flame, the smell of searing steak and the sound it makes as it sizzles on the grill.

All that helps you sell so use it throughout your menu.

Use a dictionary and thesaurus

The problem with writing more and using emotive language is that we’ll quickly run out of things to say. The worst thing any menu can do it sound repetitive.

Dishes don’t stand out and everything sounds the same. Exactly what we don’t need!

We need to use as wide a vocabulary as possible to make every dish stand out and to differentiate them from similar dishes. That takes time, effort and a thesaurus.

We recommend using a dictionary too to make sure words mean what you think they mean!

An online thesaurus is invaluable. Simply type in a word, perform a search and you should be presented with several similar words. Use one, use them all however you like.

If you cannot write a compelling menu, hire someone who can. This is one of those times when an investment could pay dividends and a copywriter could turn your menu into a moneymaking powerhouse.

However you go about creating your menu, put your heart and soul into it and make it the best that it can be. Your customers expect nothing less!

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