How to Match Your Menu to Your Restaurant Design



e, now more than ever, live in a visual age and though clearly the key ingredient (no pun intended) when it comes to the success of your restaurant is in the taste of your culinary masterpieces it is also hugely important that the overall design ethos is as pleasing on the eye as it is to the tastebuds and the stomach.


We are currently, hopefully, in the latter stages of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic that has decimated the eat-in restaurant industry and as such in the coming weeks and months we can expect capacity at eateries across the country and beyond to return to something like ‘normal’ levels.


How your restaurant is designed, both from an aesthetic and planning perspective, is as key as ever and the way your premises look and feel play a crucial part of the overall dining experience and this goes for other elements of the design ‘detailing’.


Your menu MUST match the overall, for want of a better term, theme. What you serve should be in keeping with the ambiance and design of your establishment and this is nowhere near as easy as it sounds.




In many ways the design of a restaurant is aspirational in nature. Effectively the way your restaurant looks and feels to its visitors says a lot about how those visitors want to feel within themselves.


A high-end eatery may be sparse, with a classic minimalist design and give off the vibe that automatically lifts the very social strata of the guests within. 


Here detailing is important. Every element, from cutlery to restrooms needs to not only be pitch perfect but all elements should follow an overall flow that runs throughout, getting one design element slightly off can lead to the overall effect being lessened.


Then perhaps it’s therefore logical that the menu that is offered in such a restaurant would be complex and unique but also precise in it’s very nature, from perhaps the number of options available to diners as well as the very type of food being offered.


Warm and Inviting


Perhaps the polar opposite of this type could be the type of restaurant that seeks to hug their diners in a warm familial embrace. Offering tables for restaurants that bring people, quite literally and figuratively, closer together.


Here the culinary vibe would clearly have to fit and as such the menu for this genre of restaurant would be filling, homely and resplendent in ingredients that are perhaps more commonly used but served in a manner that warms the very soul of the consumer.


The design in such a location is a very tough one to master. You’ll want the overall sense of your restaurant to scream ‘home’ while also looking to create a warmth that is universal to all clients as well as a set-up that is also unique and inviting.


Brisk and Bitesize


Though on the whole restaurants are designed with the emphasis on considered consumption we do live in an age where speed is of the essence and as such there are a raft of culinary options that lean closer to the ‘fast-food’ ethos though perhaps still want to offer a high-quality menu.


In this environment preparation is perhaps key. Items on the menu will be easily put together and speedily served, even in rush hour, and in such a restaurant there is a great deal of planning necessary in order to perfectly marry the elements of good food and timely delivery and a menu designed for such purposes is a tough nut to crack.


Go to ‘easy’ and you could end up with a slapdash menu that lacks appeal, go to ‘hard’ and you may end up losing the clientele, who are in a rush, you are attempting to capture and retain.


Similarly the layout of your restaurant in this instance is key. All elements must be in place to better seat and process your rapidly turning over customer base. This could mean tighter tabling, or longer communal seating areas or a better use of outdoor areas, which in turns tends to speed up all aspects of consumption.


The Storm After the Calm


One imagines, and hopes, that come mid-2021 things will return to some level of normalcy and after a period of calm, where some are still reticent to fully return to life among the general public, it’s inevitable that many elements of the retail sector will experience a noticeable bump in custom.


Restaurants, and bars, that were perhaps considered something of a luxury before the COVID-19 pandemic  will then hopefully become a beacon of hope. 


I’d expect a real uptick in the fortunes of those restaurants that have managed to overcome the severe hardships of the past year or so to experience a much needed boost and in order to make the most of that very much welcome storm of business, it’s imperative that every element of the dining experience is planned to perfection.