Artifact has been specialising in a wide variety of designs involving food for over 14 years. Working with Maxi's, Scooters Pizza Hot Dog Café, Dulce Cafe and Wimpy, they have developed some golden rules for anybody looking to do food and menu design. Here are their top tips:
1. Sex sells!
Just like the old adage of placing a beautiful woman on a car and watching your sales soar, the same applies to food appeal! Appetite appeal sells! People buy with their eyes and any food item visually represented on a menu, menu board etc will become a top seller. Take cognizance of this as it will impact sales mix, cost of sales and cause operational issues if not managed correctly.
Artifact increased some of their clients' gross profits by up to 3% just by changing the visuals and the way they are presented.
2. Photos are paramount
Any good design execution can only be as good as the food shots given by the client. This is where a professional photographer and food stylist are key. No amount of retouching or photoshop work can make up for amateur photography and styling. Don't cut costs here.
3. Combo's are key
Upselling is a vital part of designing with food. Part of the brief is to present clients with innovative ideas to upsell their items and to aggressively market combo items. It is important to weight a design towards combo's - if this is relevant to the brief and target market.
Ster-Kinekor revamped their menu boards and introduced combo's, increasing catering sales by over 70%.
4. Food friendly colours
When designing a menu or flyer which shows food visuals, it is important to be aware that food does not work on all colours and backgrounds. Research the “food friendly” colours and don't clutter backgrounds and avoid fussy fonts if the food is already detailed in execution.
5. Careful cropping and angles
It's important to crop the food image for the best effect but never the main image - crop the surroundings to effectively draw attention to the appetising main item you are trying to sell.
Try shoot different food from different angles - keep each shot fresh and interesting.
6. Product listing
Menu and menu boards need to be easy to read with clear pricing. Don't let combos and upsells confuse your customers - clear, legible layout is essential.