May 13, 2022

5 Effective Ways to Create a Standout Restaurant Menu

restaurant menu

Standing out in a space as competitive as the F&B industry requires creating and implementing innovative tactics to acquire new customers. We know that drumming up business by attracting new consumers and converting them into loyal diners is one of the main business goals of every F&B business owner. We also know that this isn’t an easy feat. An effective tactic to achieve this goal is creating or redesigning your menu in a way that reflects the best of your food offerings and stands out from the crowd. What’s the best way to do this? That’s why we’re here. We’ll help your cloud kitchen create a standout restaurant menu with these five new ideas.

The F&B industry in Malaysia at a glance

Before we get into the five ways to create a standout restaurant menu for your restaurant or ghost kitchen, let’s have a quick look at the state of the F&B industry in Malaysia, which is one of the country’s fastest-growing sectors. Specifically looking at Malaysia’s Food Service sector, we see rapid growth in restaurants, chains, and cafes, with over 31% of Malaysians spending their disposable income on eating out.

It’s clear that this F&B space is not only growing but is very lucrative in Malaysia, which makes the competition all the more fierce. In order to start claiming a piece of the pie, a menu revamp is a great place to start.

#1. Highlight your signature dishes with outstanding photos


It’s true what they say: You eat with your eyes first. How your food looks is the best initial indicator of how it will taste. Only top-notch photography can showcase how tasty your food offerings are and get your customers’ mouths watering and tummies rumbling when they browse through your restaurant or cloud kitchen’s menu.

That’s why you want to highlight your signature dishes – whether it’s a local favourite like Nasi Lemak or a delicious double-decker gourmet hamburger – you need well-shot, professional-level photography to entice customers to place their order. Don’t underestimate the power of appetising images on your restaurant menu to jumpstart cravings and food orders. It might sound like an old-school idea, but it can attract a swarm of new customers! 

#2. Make a good first impression

Here’s the reality: if your cloud kitchen menu makes a negative impression at first glance, you’ll lose customers along with any chance of getting them back. That’s why it’s imperative to polish every element of your menu – including the design, layout, colour scheme, dishes and images – to create an appealing overall look.

Consider this from a new angle: studies show that readers take about 109 seconds to scan a restaurant menu. This means that your restaurant or cloud kitchen has very little time (less than two minutes) to create a positive impression. Customers also focus more on the first and last items of a vertically designed menu, so it’s a great idea to best place your speciality dishes in these sections.

#3. Impress with colour

Implementing a balanced colour scheme is a critical aspect of an attractive menu design. You can make your restaurant menu pop with a bold colour scheme, but you need to make sure it’s not too distracting or overwhelming for customers to read. Improper use of colour can be off-putting and create a poor branding impression, so make sure you choose your colours wisely.

Another clever menu design approach is using colours that inherently communicate the type of cuisine that your cloud delivery kitchen offers. If you specialise in vegetarian food, for example, having a menu that incorporates a green and neutral, earth-toned colour palette is an effective choice.

#4. Leverage impactful food descriptions


Along with quality imagery, having top-notch food descriptions is extremely important in fostering a positive customer experience. Especially new customers, they’ll rely on food descriptions to help them decide whether or not to order a dish that catches their eye. Using descriptive language is your opportunity to seal the deal. Carefully review the names of your dishes and descriptions when evaluating if the language used is effective at working up an appetite.

A new idea worth considering is using buzzwords and descriptive terms to have a big impact on making your restaurant or cloud kitchen menu persuasive. Try incorporating terms like “fire-grilled, “oven-roasted”, “homemade”, and “artisanal” as they appeal to customers’ minds and appetites.

#5. Showcase classics and seasonal specials

Everyone loves a classic – especially when it comes to food. Many restaurants and cloud kitchens reap the rewards when they offer traditional favourites on their menu. When undergoing a revamp, consider adding a timeless classic or two to your current offerings – or an updated version of it – if you don’t already do so.

Another new idea to keep your menu fresh and buzzworthy is highlighting seasonal specials and offerings that pique customers’ interests. Whether highlighting timeless favourites or notable promotions, add your own twist that will give diners a memorable experience. This uniqueness also encourages customers to recommend your cloud kitchen to others and even share your menu on social media.

Let the revamp begin

Smiling ethnic woman with colleagues in kitchen making sushi rolls with fresh ingredients

When it comes to developing a winning restaurant menu, you want to put your best foot forward. This means having a menu that looks great, reads well, and communicates high-quality standards in both the food and the level of service. Remember that your diners’ experience begins with the menu and serves as your restaurant or ghost kitchen’s primary selling tool, so it’s important to get it right.

When you do, you’ll reap the benefits of loyal customers and acquire new and repeat business.

If you are interested in opening a cloud kitchen in Malaysia, please fill out the form below! We’ll be happy to give you all the information you need.

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