Friday, March 15, 2013

Menu Design

By Udita Chaturvedi

menu design
Menu by The Grafiosi Studio of Art & Design

To what extent does the menu design influence your appetite? Does an intriguing menu also double your chances of revisiting the eatery? IAnD finds out…

The ambiance of a restaurant invites you in; but it’s the carte du jour that appeals to your appetite of a fulfilling gourmet experience in addition to a good aesthetic one!

“It is part of the first impression,” says Pushkar Thakur of The Grafiosi Studio of Art & Design, a Delhi-based graphic design agency specializing in identity and hospitality design. “The menu does a lot in one glance - you scour the design, feel it as you hold it (so the texture, colour, size and thickness matters), a comfort feel  engages you and on a tertiary ground, helps you decide what to eat.”

Menu at Cafe Thulp

Ideally, a good menu design compliments the ambiance of the restaurant and represents its quality consciousness and customer relations.  It should be easy to handle and read. Designers advocate a definition and differentiation via menu design, where the restaurant establishes its clientele - a youth-focussed eatery commands vibrancy and attention-grabbing art work; while a diner for the elite and elderly cajoles with the chic and sober look-n-feel of its menu design.

Every restaurant pitches for a different experience, in every sense; a stand-alone element that will bring in its niche share of clientele. Take for instance, the menu design of ‘sandwiches and salads’ eatery, Cafe Thulp; a favourite of Prof. Kanchan Kaur from Bangalore. She lists her appeal quotient saying, “It’s very smartly and intelligently written; and it’s amusing.” 

Menu at My Kinda Street Cafe

My Kinda Street Cafe in Delhi is remembered by its interactive laminated menu that invites you to highlight your choices and combinations with its accompanying marker. Says Ankit Mohan Sethi, owner of the cafĂ©, “We put the ball in the customers’ court, giving them what they want and not what we want them to have.”

Ajay Yadav, of Purple Rabbit ad agency reinstates, “Detail is integral when designing for an eat-in joint. Restaurants are making an effort to make their menu look as interesting as they can. Aryan’s Fast Food in Lucknow, till recently had the menu as its placemat with trivia and interesting puzzles printed on it. Ishita Misra, a student, chips in, “I enjoy the games on the placemat till the food is served on my table.”

Scroll menu at fine dine restaurant
Scroll Menu                                                                                                                                                 courtesy: eventsbydesign.com

DIY menu wheel
Menu Wheel                                                                                                                                                    courtesy: designsponge.com

Menus on handheld wooden boards, as royal scrolls and as textile crafted pages are some other interesting ideas that are being adopted by various restaurants to make sure that the dining experience extends beyond the gastronome.  The design field is vast open to an irresistible go-getter menu!


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