How Restaurants Menus Make Us Hungry

There is a lot more to marketing than just attracting customers to a business. Not only does a restaurant need clients to show up, but it also needs them to be hungry and order dishes. This is when menu design comes into play. Using the right tricks on its menu, a restaurant can influence our meal choices completely.


Picking The Right Color

Person holding up restaurant menu

Getty Images / JGI/Jamie Grill

You might have heard about color psychology before, so it won’t surprise you when we say that this theory also works for restaurant menus. This marketing tool connects color and emotion, allowing brands to make strategic color choices in order to create an impact on visual communication. When it comes to menus, some restaurants choose orange menus to open their customers’ appetites. Others pick the color green for their menus to make their food seem fresh.


Choosing The Right dish Names

Woman reading restaurant menu placed on a wooden table

Getty Images / EyeEm / Dennis Turck

According to a 2017 article published on JAMA Internal Medicine, the way a dish is named can encourage or discourage people from eating it. The authors claim that labeling vegetables with indulgent and exciting descriptors usually used with less healthy food can increase vegetable consumption by 23%. When it comes to restaurants, this theory is also correct. Dishes labeled with exciting or nostalgic names get more orders than those with boring names. This is why “Grandma’s Homemade Cookies” sound more appealing on a menu than just “Chocolate Chip Cookies”.


Adding The right Weight To The Menu

Two people hiding their faces behind restaurant menus

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An article published in the International Journal of Hospitality Management in 2015 explains the importance of the menu’s  physical weight. The authors claim that holding a heavier menu will give customers the impression of a high-level service, while a lighter menu makes the restaurant seem casual and “cheap”.