Restaurant owners often pay little attention to the menu. However, creative restaurant menu will make the customers remember you. The creative menu can also create effective marketing buzz (especially in the Instagram era). If you plan to open a restaurant, coffee shop, or diner, try finding inspiration for menu design from these unique examples.
1. Folding fan menu cards
L’ Encant, a bistro in Spain, has unique menu cards built inside a Japanese folding fan. Elegant wooden plates serve as the front and back “covers”, and the insides use a white background. The menu lists use minimalistic design and neat letters, with brightly-colored icons as decorations.
2. Vintage “sea map” seafood menu
Have you ever noticed unique illustrations on vintage sea maps? The Pelican Seafood Bar and Grill in Singapore has a menu adorned with such illustrations. Pictures of an old map, a vintage globe, and old-timey diver make the menu look distinctive.
3. Monochromatic “wrapper” menu
New York-based Smith Restaurant has a uniquely simple menu that uses the white wrapper. The restaurant’s name is printed at the front, and the inside is adorned with ingredient pictures and cleverly-placed names. The black-and-white tone makes the menu refreshing and vintage-looking.
4. Ragu Café’s real-like photos
Ragu Café in Novosibirsk, Russia achieves the bold look in a simple way. Instead of just the names and food pictures in small sizes, the restaurant prints the food photos as if they are photographed from above on the table. This gives the menu a strong visual image and helps guests to imagine the actual looks of the foods, perfect especially for new visitors.
5. Fun, hip, and colorful menu
Fade Street Social in Dublin has a colorful menu that reflects its atmosphere as a gourmet tapas restaurant. The menu uses fun, colorful images of animals and kitchen utensils, dominated with red and blue. The entire look reflects a vibrant and cheerful atmosphere.
Investing in creative menu design creates not only a strong impression in your guests’ minds, but also helps the marketing aspect in an indirect way.