Increase Restaurant Revenue with These 6 Menu Design Hacks

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Increase Restaurant Revenue with These 6 Menu Design Hacks

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Tip #1: Remove leader dots that lead to the price
  3. Tip #2: Input decoys
  4. Tip #3: Organize your menu like a magazine
  5. Tip #4: Less is more
  6. Tip #5: Bundles and add-ons
  7. Tip #6: Menu selling
  8. Tip #7: Make them wait for their meals
  9. Conclusion
  10. FAQ


In this article, we will explore six tips and strategies to help restaurants increase their profitability by getting customers to spend more. From menu design hacks to psychological tricks, we will dive into the details and provide actionable insights for restaurant owners and managers.

Tip #1: Remove leader dots that lead to the price

One common mistake in menu design is the use of leader dots that lead to the price. These dots only serve as a distraction, taking away the focus from the mouth-watering description of the dish. Instead, remove the leader dots and allow customers to focus on the menu item itself. By emphasizing the description, you can sell customers on the unique qualities and flavors of the dish, rather than just the price.

Tip #2: Input decoys

Decoys are items on the menu that are not necessarily meant to be sold but serve a strategic purpose. By placing a high-priced item alongside more affordable options, you make those options appear to be a better deal. For example, if you have an expensive pizza priced at $80, placing a regular pizza priced at $30 next to it makes the $30 pizza seem like a bargain. Customers are more likely to choose the $30 pizza when comparing it to the $80 option.


  • Increases the perceived value of other items on the menu.
  • Encourages customers to opt for higher-priced items that bring in higher profits.


  • Overuse of decoys can come off as dishonest or manipulative.
  • Decoys may not resonate with all customers, potentially leading to confusion or dissatisfaction.

Tip #3: Organize your menu like a magazine

Take inspiration from magazine layouts when designing your menu. People are accustomed to reading magazines, and certain design elements can capture their attention. Studies have shown that customers tend to look at the top-right corner of the menu first, so place your most profitable or popular items in that area. Use visually appealing images and enticing descriptions to highlight your star dishes and encourage customers to order them.

Tip #4: Less is more

While it's tempting to offer a wide variety of options on the menu, too many choices can overwhelm customers. Instead, focus on a curated selection of dishes that are profitable and well-received by customers. By offering fewer options, you make decision-making easier for customers and increase the likelihood of them ordering dishes that align with your business goals.


  • Simplifies the decision-making process for customers.
  • Allows you to focus on quality rather than quantity.
  • Reduces food waste and spoilage.


  • Some customers may prefer a wider variety of choices.
  • Can limit options for customers with specific dietary restrictions or preferences.

Tip #5: Bundles and add-ons

Bundles and add-ons are effective strategies for increasing the average order value. Offer side dishes or additional items that complement the main dish, and make them affordable and enticing. By making the add-ons an easy choice and a good deal, customers are more likely to opt for them, resulting in increased revenue for your restaurant.


  • Increases revenue without substantial additional effort or cost.
  • Encourages customers to explore complementary menu items.


  • Can lead to increased complexity in kitchen operations.
  • Some customers may perceive them as unnecessary upselling tactics.

Tip #6: Menu selling

Your menu is not just a list of dishes; it's an opportunity to sell to your customers. Use persuasive language and vivid descriptions to entice customers and create anticipation for the dish. Paint a picture in their minds, making the dining experience more enjoyable even before the food arrives. A well-crafted menu can significantly impact customer choices and increase sales of your most profitable items.

Tip #7: Make them wait for their meals

While you don't want customers waiting too long for their meals, a well-timed delay can enhance their dining experience. A short wait time of around 10-15 minutes can build anticipation and excitement, making the dish even more enjoyable when it finally arrives. This strategy works particularly well when customers have the chance to observe other dishes being served and notice their presentation and delicious aromas.


By implementing these menu design hacks and strategies, restaurants can optimize their menus to increase customer spending and boost profitability. From removing distractions to creating a visually appealing layout, each tip plays a crucial role in guiding customers towards more profitable dishes. Remember to consider your target customer preferences and tailor your menu accordingly.


Q: How many choices should I offer on my menu? A: It is recommended to offer a curated selection of dishes, focusing on quality rather than quantity. Too many choices can overwhelm customers and lead to decision paralysis.

Q: Are decoys ethical to use in menu design? A: While decoys can be effective in influencing customer choices, it's important to use them judiciously and transparently. Overuse or misleading placement of decoys can come across as manipulative.

Q: How can I make add-ons and bundles appealing to customers? A: Make sure the add-ons and bundles are priced below a certain threshold (e.g., $10) to make them seem like a no-brainer. Highlight the value and enhance the customer's dining experience with these additional options.

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