10 Tips for Designing and Printing Menus That Work

By: Chris Barr

Pizza menus are printed by virtually every pizza shop in the country as a method of securing existing customers, finding new customers, and expanding into new territories. There is no better way to advertise your menu items, quality ingredients, family history, and specialty pizzas to your customer base. Full-color pizza menus generate instant sales, lend credibility to your business, combat the efforts of corporate chains, and allow you to track your marketing dollars.

So why is such a critical advertising tool frequently ignored from a design standpoint? How many times have you seen a terrible looking pizza menu arrive at your home? Why in the world would a restaurant print their pizza menus without using full-color when it costs virtually the same as black and white printing?

The answer is simple:
Owning a restaurant does not make you an advertising expert.

What do I mean by this? Well for example, I am a degreed writer with a background in marketing – I’m also fairly good at fixing car problems. However, aside from basic car maintenance tasks, I leave the work up to my local auto repair service. I know that if I want to be safe, have quality repairs, and trust my vehicle to get me from point A to point B, I need a professional to do the work. The same goes for pizza restaurant advertising. If you want to take your sales from point A to point B – let a professional help. Owning a pizza shop does not make you a pizza menu or advertising expert.

Here are 10 Tips for Designing and Printing Pizza Menus that Work:

1. Always print in full-color on glossy paper

2. Use high quality images of your pizzas and menu items – make mouths water!

3. Don’t overload your menu with items – keep it clean, clear, and easy to read

4. Always include coupons/special offers – coupons allow you to track marketing dollars

5. Choose a distribution method – handout at colleges, insert in newspapers, etc.

6. Create an identity for your company – always use the same logo and develop your brand

7. Include all contact information and ordering information (phone #s, address, credit cards, etc.)

8. Get your menu on their “fridge” by including a local sports calendar or monthly calendar

9. Always offer a “Claim to Fame” deal – Make a deal your own…think of the 5-5-5 deal

10. Never design a menu if you have no idea how – hire a graphic designer – it will pay off!


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