Small vs Large Restaurant Menu Size - Which is Better For Restaurant

Which takes the win? .

Creating a restaurant menu is one of the most fun parts of opening your restaurant. When we talk about starting a restaurant, the menu, whether it be a digital menu or a traditional one, is the first thing that comes to mind, and every restaurant owner has at least once let the latent designer in them shine while finalizing the restaurant menu designing & choosing the appropriate length is a key confusion point when designing a menu. Deciding on the size and the length of the restaurant menu can be a bit confusing and it equally has got its own pros and cons.

Restaurant Menu Cards

What size should be the restaurant menu be?

There are many menus that are designed to accommodate the standard paper size of 8.5" x 11". In order to keep the menu size manageable, consider having separate menus for wine, dessert, and kids in order to keep the menu size manageable. This will prevent guests from feeling overwhelmed. Feature dishes on menu boards, table tents, or chalkboards

Is smaller menu is far superior to having a larger menu size!

Every dish will showcase the best your chef has to offer with a smaller menu. It makes ordering much simpler. Having a smaller menu is far superior to having a large one when ordering. It'll make things easier for your servers, too-which will make their jobs more enjoyable and encourage them to feel appreciated.

Is a small menu size better than a big menu size?

This is an easy way to cut costs when restaurants trim their menus. Offering fewer items allows restaurants to standardize food quality and avoid waste (they don't have to keep a large inventory) thus boosting profit margins by spending less and perhaps charging more.

What is the average restaurant menu size?

Every year, the National Restaurant Association holds a menu contest during its annual convention in Chicago and has found that the most common sized menu was nine inches by twelve inches. 8.5 inches by 11 inches is the standard paper size, so we resized it only to accommodate it.

Pros of having Small Menu Size

In this blog, we will take a look at the pros of the small restaurant menu size, what are the real advantages for the restaurant owners and readers of the menu card, and we will do a brief analysis.

A small menu is favored by the majority of menu engineers for food outlets. New restaurants have an even greater need for this, especially when they are just getting established. Menuma print designers have compiled a list of the top 3 advantages of having a small food menu at your restaurant and let's look into the advantages of having a smaller restaurant menu card.

1. Customer-oriented & makes the decision making the process easier

Menus with fewer options are more customer-friendly. You can easily browse the menu and choose what you want to order without much hassle from the customers. The customer can save time when they are in a hurry, and the entire decision-making process is simplified. Customers are more likely to be satisfied with smaller menus due to their customer-friendly nature.

The smaller the menu, the easier it is to navigate. By doing so, it becomes easier to design these menus for profitability and optimize them in the future. Having fewer options on smaller menus makes it easier to position the most profitable dishes at the top of the menu. Meanwhile, by using graphics, pictures, or highlights, a designer can produce a menu that is both highly profitable and visually appealing. Besides being easier to set up, the menu also boosts restaurant profits.

Additionally, fewer dishes can be optimized & consolidated more easily. The factors affecting each dish can be many, but when you have a smaller number of dishes to choose from such as five, you need to consider fewer factors when choosing your menu. This allows you to strategize upselling techniques and marketing campaigns more effectively & the restaurant owners have chances to reap more profits. In addition, understanding each dish's sales and comparing performance patterns takes less time, thus making the process of optimizing the menu relatively simple and error-free.

2. It's much easier to manage inventory

The biggest benefit of offering a limited number of dishes is that managing inventory becomes easier. When there are fewer dishes, fewer raw materials are needed. Managing fewer ingredients is easier than managing huge quantities, the risk of mismanagement, wastage, and internal theft is greatly reduced, and you do not need to hire more staff members to handle a huge inventory of ingredients.

Cons of having Small Menu Size

While a small restaurant menu sounds like the dream of a designer and a restaurateur, there are also a few negatives. The following are the main disadvantages of having a small restaurant menu card on the premises.

1. Cannot reach out to a wide variety of audiences

In contrast to its longer counterpart, a smaller menu features more specific dishes aimed at a specific demographic & is targeted to the specific set of target audiences and buyers. You will not be able to tap into a broader consumer base due to the limited amount and nature of your dishes, where the restaurant has chances of missing out on many customers. Furthermore, your target audience may not always visit you, because it is not always necessary to cater to their every mood with your menu. Consequently, you lose some of the target customers and sales from your target market because your menu is not diverse & it's so narrow.

2. Accommodates a limited number of menu items

Menus with fewer items will have fewer options & give fewer choices. The problem here is that even in a selected cuisine, you won't be able to experiment a lot and cannot be able to try out more dishes. Moreover, the restaurants can keep some safe default menu items for customers who prefer to order those items and they will order the menus without worrying about the taste since the items are conventionally good at every restaurant.

The disadvantage of a small menu is that since these items are necessary for customer satisfaction, there is not much room for offering anything else & a little more extra. As a result, you cannot offer all of your specials or your creations neither can you make a lasting impression on your customers, and this leads to customer disappointments, and in the future, you may lose many of them. b>

3. Easy To Get Bored With the same old menus

Small menus don't offer a lot of varieties & choices, as mentioned earlier. It is easy for customers to get bored of the dishes being offered and move on to more diverse competitors nearby and we would lose the prospect. If you do not add value and diversity to your menu from time to time, your customers will eventually get tired of the same dishes and will choose to dine at another restaurant.

Thinking and making practical decisions are crucial when designing a restaurant menu. For a restaurant to be profitable, every element must be placed at a particular spot. No matter how well you design the menu, if you choose the wrong length or categorization, all your restaurant marketing effort will be wasted. Before choosing a perfect length for your restaurant menu, consider the pros and cons of long and small menu sizes, and restaurant owners can approach professionals like menuma print and get their restaurant menu card designed.

Pros of Having Large Menu Size

Let's talk about large restaurant menus first & detailed specifications on the advantages. Here are the top advantages of having a long restaurant menu, and how they benefit both the restaurant owners and the restaurant visitors.

1. There's Something For Everyone with a wide variety of choices

An obvious benefit of having a large menu is that you can accommodate a wider variety of dishes. As a result, you can cater to the tastes of a wide range of customers and target a wider audience. You will have the freedom and flexibility to keep a little bit of everything and create dishes for every mood if you opt for a longer menu. For example, your restaurants can have starters and also can serve some comfort foods like sandwiches, burgers and pizzas, tacos with beverages along with starters and main courses as the customers are left with many choices.

Consequently, your target audience will grow, and you will have a wider variety to choose from, which will also give you a competitive advantage over other players.

2. Customers can experiment & can find their favorite choices

With a large menu and vast menu offerings, you can experiment with your dishes and flavors without worrying too much about the restaurant's profitability. The restaurant can highlight their signature menus and their chief creations separately and also the restaurant has the choices to sell their best USP. With a longer menu, you don't have to worry about not being able to sell these dishes since you can earn profit from your other menu items.

3. Leave them wanting more

An advantage of having a long menu is that it can act as a tool to retain customers if your food is good. If your customers know that there are other delicious menu items available, they will come back for more. Curiosity will keep them coming back to your restaurant because you serve a variety of dishes that they would love to sample.

Cons of having Large Menu Size

In the world, there isn't just one positive side; there are also negative sides. Here are the main disadvantages of having a long restaurant menu

1.Appeal might be Unfriendly to customers & a little confusing

The average customer spends 109 seconds looking at a menu before deciding what to order. Your most profitable dish will be displayed here so that you can sell it to your customers. The problem is that there are too many options to choose from. Because of this psychological effect, customers tend to choose the safest option & may not try out your best signature dishes.

The result of this is

● That you might not make a reasonable profit from the customer

● You are classified as any other restaurant without a distinctive identity, so you don't create a memorable experience. The process of customer retention becomes more difficult without a recall value and you miss the uniqueness.

● You may find it hard to serve a variety of dishes that are prepared fresh, especially if your restaurant does not have a lot of foot traffic. If you have dozens of items on your menu, your customers may be skeptical of eating them.

2. Optimizing menus becomes a tedious process

Restaurant operations include optimizing the menus & involving perfect consolidation. Including which dishes work well, which do not, which should be used for marketing, and which should be scraped off & which are the menus for upselling, etc. If you have a long menu with a variety of dishes, studying every dish becomes a tedious and time-consuming process & difficult for the consumers to read through the menus. However, analyzing patterns and choosing dishes to optimize your marketing strategies also becomes complex due to a large number of menu items to consider and the number of factors that surround each item to consider.

Optimizing the menu becomes a complicated process, and the restaurant operation itself becomes inefficient and prone to mistakes. It may result in a loss of customers and huge losses for the restaurant if circumstances are extreme.

3. A larger product line means a larger inventory load

If you have a large number of dishes on your menu, it means that you also have a large stock of inventory in your storage facility. This risk increases with a longer menu, but you must still stock yourself up with enough raw materials. When a dish fails to perform, the inventory will remain unchanged & stagnant. The inventory in this location is food that is perishable and prone to spoilage and damage, which increases the risk and cost to the company.

4. The impact of big menus on table turnover

When you have a large restaurant menu with a lot of items, your customers will take longer to determine what to order and in turn the onboarding customers will have to wait in the queue for getting served in the restaurant.

Restaurant Menu Card Size in pixels

Its standard dimensions are 210 x 297 mm, making it the most common size for menu cards as it is neither too large nor too small. The standard size for the menu will be 816 x 1058 pixels. MenuMa print are known for designing & printing restaurant menus at the lowest and affordable prices.We have also got an in-house team of experts who are experts in designing A3 Flyer, A5 Flyer, A6 Flyer, A4 Folded Flyer, B4 and A4+.

So, What is the best size for menu card?

In most cases, menus are designed to fit standard 8.5" x 11" paper sizes. You may want to consider having separate menus for wine, dessert, and kids if the size of your menu exceeds 12" x 18". This will prevent your guests from feeling overwhelmed.


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