Menu Design Ideas: Glossary of Terms for Guests

Today’s consumer loves to learn something new about food, drink, and fun little factoids about food history and terminology. If you’re looking for new menu design ideas and inspiration, a glossary might be the key. If you feature unique ingredients or preparation methods in your restaurants, consider offering a glossary of your terms. The glossary will help make the menu more approachable, engage guests, stimulate word of mouth promotion for your restaurants, and help you get credit for your best attributes. While guests have perhaps ordered it dozens of times, they may not be able to as easily explain to others what an Aioli is or answer whether Burgundy is a region or a varietal.

Glossary of Terms Menu Design Ideas
Glossary of Terms Menu Design Ideas

Menu Design Ideas: Mirror Your Brand Personality

The approach to informing guests should mirror your overall brand personality and positioning so what works for one might not be appropriate for another. For instance, Café Tu Tu Tango offers a glossary of menu terms as a place mat and since the restaurant is themed as an artists loft the glossary is reflective of the theme. Carlos & Charlie’s – a popular and free spirited chain throughout Mexico and the Caribbean known for its unique sense of humor – offers a set of comical instructions on how to eat a taco; complete with illustrations and funny captions.

Menu Design Ideas: Glossary of Terms

Neither of these two approaches would work in a fine dining atmosphere, of course. Nonetheless, fine dining – while appealing to a more discerning and sophisticated audience – still should be no less committed to making their menu approachable in a brand-relevant manner. In a fine dining execution, for example, some restaurants allow hard to pronounce imported wines be ordered by number rather than require the person ordering it to feel intimidated about the pronunciation in front of his guests. Perhaps in the description there is also a tastefully worded mention that Burgundy is a region and not a varietal. The intent isn’t to dumb-down the menu but rather to make the menu more informative, approachable and to get credit for the hard work you put in with regard to sourcing the finest ingredients and unique culinary prowess.

Restaurant Consultant


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