Pizza Menu Design Guide - Basic Strategy

Hope everyone has had an enjoyable summer weekend! I just wanted to put this out there…

Awhile back I wrote up a pizza menu design guide that answers some basic questions about menu design, printing, and setup strategy. Ever wondered about the best way to layout your menu? Don’t know what “bleed” or “no bleed” means? Not sure how to use graphics/images on your new menus?

I tried to keep the guide general and answer basic questions that I receive every day…if anyone has more suggestions please post them here. By no means is this the “end all, be all guide”…just a collection of common practices. I’ll gladly update the guide with all of your ideas and strategies…who knows, with your contributions we could all chip in to put together something really helpful!

Check it out:
Pizza Menu Guide

There is lots of great advice there…A couple other things, I think are important…

If you are using original images, make sure they are of “professional quality”…Over the years I have had many clients send me their own photographs they wanted to use on magnets…In only a few instances were the photos good enough to use (IMO)…There are numerous sites with inexpensive “royalty free” images…Or often the printer will have some of their own…

Do not use very many fonts…Too many styles of fonts will make things look cluttered and unattractive…

And I agree with Taradel about using a professional designer…You will invest a lot of money in printing and distribution, so do not short change yourself by going cheap on the design work…

PS…In my pizzeria days getting menus out over and over and over was the best marketing I could do…So if your budget is small, start with menus and then other things like magnets, promotional products, etc. as finances permit…A well distributed menu will outpull anything else you do…

agreed 100 percent…

Hello Chris,
Just read your guide and in general I like it. i have a few suggestions for ya:

In order to promote your services more effectively I would use some stats to show how critical top quality pizza menus are to the sucsess of a restaurant in the intro. This will hook the eager pizza operater like me to read on.

The references to your company "Choose an experienced pizza menu printer such as Taradel to obtain the best
results, outstanding customer service, and the lowest prices…less than 4 cents per menu! to me is cheezy and comes off as a cheap attempt to get biz. Your potential customer knows who you are if there reading this. I would include a sales info section at the botttom, nice and classy like.

Also, who will be reading this: Potential customers or existing customers? Kinda seems like a spec sheet and a sales tool all in one.

Just my 2 cents worth for now…

Royster - great suggestion about the “too many fonts” thing. I read somewhere that you should never use more than 2-3 fonts on any one marketing item…seems like good advice! This suggestion is a keeper.

ResortPizza - Thanks for the heads up. I should have mentioned that this was part of a marketing campaign originally (hence the sales tone)…but I was hoping we could all contribute and modify it into a resource for all pizza biz owners. I plan to do an update once we accumulate some suggestions here …and I’d like to make this strictly informational.

I’d also like to say that I’m here to be a part/contributer of this community. We have banner ads here ^, magazine ads in PMQ, etc, for sales…I’ll always try and be up front with all of you about marketing. Although my job is to sell, it’s important to know the time and place to do so.

Anyone else have ideas? what do you think about using your own pictures vs. high quality stock photography? Has anyone tried both and seen a difference?

hey sorry wasn’t implying anything, i just think it is more tasteful and beneficial to wow the reader with great info and not interrupt the reader with reminders about who you are etc… until the end.

Cool guide. This guide is helpful for art director’s who will be designing the menus, it can also help operators understand why some companies would design things they way they do. But again. every company does it differently.

As a manual for educating prospective customers, I had a couple of ideas to offer.

1st is the description of 4/0 . . . I recommend stating that the /0 means a blank reverse page.

2nd the strategy you describe is just one of several (and different than what I use); consider stating that you have this strategy and why you think it is best. (Like why it is better than strategic location of highly profitable items/categories)

<disclaimer: I am not your target audience for the menu pitch>
3rd your “tracking” suggestions is where you would lose me completely as a potential customer. It looks to me as if you are going to sell me on the idea of a pricing strategy that will not take place in my shop . . . couponing and loss leaders. My business model is in direct conflict with that conceptual base, and would tell me that we are not on the same page with marketing. Others will jump right up on those ideas. I may use some infrequent coupons or low-ball deals . . . for me, having a menu printer to tell me to put coupons and loss-leaders on the single most ubiquitous piece of print asset that I will produce will send me away immediately (not going to create my branding based on discounting what I believe are already fair prices).

Your mileage will very definitely vary from mine. It is very likely just a marketing execution and philosophy. Wife and I do all of our design work, layout and marketing planning. We do miss some stuff, and are likely not maximizing everything. We DO create a very personal visual brand that is well received in our rural county and a business model that may make some money for us this year :?