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Restaurant Design Impact on First Impressions

The Original Mels DinerEvery restaurant operator needs to make a good first impression. But did you know that you have less than a minute to do so? According to the Decision Lab, Behavioral scientists call it the first impression bias. A limitation in human information processing that causes consumers to make quick and incomplete observations on the first piece of information they perceive. So, for a restaurant menu design, that’s why first impressions matter.

These ‘first impressions’ are often very important. They lead to quick assumptions and judgements. It can take as little as a tenth of a second and up to 30 seconds to make a first impression. And it doesn’t matter iff these impressions are even accurate. The first impression bias has implications for your restaurant. First impressions can impact what you sell more of, and become famous for.

This impression bias can also influence your guests to place more emphasis on information first received. Especially more than information received later. When a consumer looks at your menu, it’s what they are using to decide what they think of your business. It’s also what they use to decide what to order.

What First Impression Are You Giving Your Guests?

When your menu isn’t set up correctly, the impression you’re giving will impact not only what your guests purchase, but also what they expect from your restaurant, and how happy they are with what they got. That’s why it is so important to have your menu professionally design-engineered.

Would you allow your servers dress poorly? Is it okay for them to wear a shirt with stains on them, and ripped jeans? So many restaurants have menus that are poorly designed, have stains on them, and even beat up menu jackets (if they have jackets at all). The impression that gives your guests is: Meh, we simply don’t care and you shouldn’t care either.

Menu Design & Menu Engineering

Nags Head BeforeMenu design and menu engineering go together, but they are not the same thing. Menu engineering is the science behind how consumers engage with a menu, and design is the art behind the menu making it pretty to look at. When a guest picks up a menu, we want them to get a great first impression, and it’s the professional design that will offer that first impression.

Once the first impression is made, the engineering part will guide your guests to order items that bring a higher plate contribution, and in the process, a higher profit margin. A few years back a friend of mine, Gregg Rapp did a study in New York on The Today Show about menu engineering, and found that the menu they used that was engineered had an increase of 15% in profits for the restaurant. Better product descriptions offered a 30% in sales for those items alone.Nags Head After

Reach out to HotOperator for a well design-engineered menu.

At HotOperator, we’re experts in design-engineering restaurant menus. Our end result will give you the first and lasting impressions you’re looking for. Contact them here!