Dine-in menus: 12 design tips and tricks for restaurant digital menus

Last updated:   October 18, 2022

While there are common menu templates and designs available online, you can create your custom digital dine-in menus using digital software to give your customers a pleasant ordering experience. 

A custom digital dine in menu design doesn’t only look good, it also makes the ordering process as seamless and as smooth as possible. 

Furthermore, a digital dine-in menu can be designed according to the five most common types of restaurant menus. 

Types of dine-in menus 

Here are the basic types of dine-in menus that restaurants commonly use.

Digital dine-in menusmobile digital dine in menu

A digital menu is a digitized menu that customers can access through a QR code. It provides convenient contactless online menu browsing. 

Static dine-in menus

The most common and widely used menu. This menu is subdivided into categories like salad, pasta, drinks, desserts, etc.

Usually used by fast-food restaurants, this menu is rarely changed throughout the year, hence the name “static.”

Prix fixe dine-in menus

Prix fixe, which is French for “fixed price,” is a menu with, well, a fixed price. This menu offers limited choices per course.prix fixe menu

Usually, a prix fixe menu comprises three to four courses—appetizer, salad or soup, entrée, and dessert—and provides two to five choices for each course. 

This type of menu can be found in charity dinners and wedding receptions.

A la carte dine-in menus

A la carte, meaning “by the menu,” is a menu where menu items are listed and priced separately.  Customers can combine different items on the menu to create an order. 

For example, a customer can order caesar salad with garlic croutons, honey orange fish filet for entrée, a pineapple smoothie, and a red velvet cake for dessert. 

This process makes their orders more expensive than a set menu meal but it is more customizable than other menus.

Du jour dine-in menus

Du jour, literally meaning “of the day,” is a menu that features meals exclusively for the day. This menu changes daily. 

Digital menu: a QR code-powered dine-in pocket menucafe table tent menu qr code

Digital menus can be accessed through mobile devices, making them handy for your customers.

Using Android smartphone and tablet to scan a digital dine-in menu QR code 

Note: Devices should have access to mobile data or be connected to a Wi-Fi connection.

1. Open your Android device’s camera app or use the Google lens app.google lens table tent menu qr code2. Place your android camera in front of the menu QR code and check that it is in the frame.

A link to the restaurant’s website will appear if the QR code is easily scannable.google lens scan menu qr code3. Go to the restaurant’s website and check out their digital dine-in menu by tapping the link.digital menu add to cart4. After browsing the menu, place your order.digital menu order5. Choose your mode of payment on the dine-in menu.digital menu paymentUsing an iPhone and iPad to scan a digital dine-in menu QR code

Note: Devices should have access to cellular data or be connected to a Wi-Fi connection. 

1. Open your Apple device’s camera app.

2. Position your camera in front of the menu QR code and make sure it is within the frame. If the QR code is easily scannable, a link to the restaurant website will show.

3. Tap the link to the restaurant website and browse their digital dine-in menu.

4. Place your order on the dine-in menu.

5. Choose your mode of payment.

How to design dine-in menus 

Here are tips on how you can have a dine in menu design for your restaurant:

1. Know your dining customers

Plan a menu according to the taste of your customer profilerestaurant customersFor example, if most of your customers are office workers and people on the go, offer a menu item that is healthy and can be served fast like a tuna avocado sandwich for breakfast.

2. Use an interactive dine-in menu instead of a PDF menu

PDF menus are just software versions of your physical menu. Since they are already established, they are harder to update.

Level up your restaurant’s digital menu by using an interactive menu that goes beyond just presenting your digital menu design.

An interactive menu allows your customers to order and even pay directly on your websites’ ordering page, eliminating the need for restaurant staff.

Related: Blending tech and touch with digital menu for restaurants

3. Create digital dine-in menu sections

Customers mostly scan through menus. For easy understandability, break down your menu into smaller sections. 

Group each item into different lists like salads, pasta, chicken, fish, pork, beverages, desserts, etc.

4. Choose an interactive restaurant dine-in menu QR code software

This is a crucial part in creating a digital dine-in menuasian cuisine dine in customersChoose the right tool that can cater to your restaurant’s needs.

MENU TIGER is a versatile interactive restaurant menu QR code software that can create an interactive digital menu design and build your own restaurant website.

Check out: Best QR menu maker

5. Include business hours on dine-in menus

In creating promotional banners, include specific times of the day and the duration of the promotional menu when customers can avail them.

Example:

Happy Hour every Tuesday and Thursday

Buy one cocktail get one free from 6 pm until 10 pm

6. Add appetizing images to your dine-in menus

Add appetizing images but keep them realistic. Aim for achievable photos.pizza table tent menu qr code Customers expect to receive what they saw, so aside from providing appetizing photos, also make sure your dishes resemble the ones in the photo. 

7. Use your brand assets

Create menu sets according to your brand image (casual dining restaurant, fine dining restaurant, deli, etc.)

Be creative but also keep your design coherent with your brand.

8. Food name and description on dine-in menus

Keep your food description short and simple. Use descriptive words like crunchy, crispy, zesty, tangy, and the like.digital menu food description Sensory descriptions are the greatest way to describe the sight, texture, and flavor of your restaurant food.

Additionally, an unimpressive menu description is one that is excessively long. Make your descriptions concise and engaging.

Knowing your audience, especially in terms of age and gender, might help you better plan how you’ll present your menu items to them.

9. Offer enough food options and arrange them strategically

Less is more. Limit the choices in each food category. 

Bombarding your customers with a lot of food options will make their ordering decision more difficult.

Place your most profitable item first in the menu where customers can see them first.

Also, place a cheap item next to an expensive one so customers will think they are getting a good deal.

10. Cross-sell and upsell food items on your dine-in menus

Cross-sell items by pairing a lesser selling item to the main item.

Upsell some items by including menu modifiers like extra toppings and add-ons.

11. Create simple and navigational digital dine-in menus

Never assume that your customers are all tech-savvy.

Make your digital menu app as simple as possible to encourage positive customer purchasing behavior.

12. Customize the dine-in menu QR code

An attractive menu QR code is a scannable QR code.menu tiger qr code customizationCustomize the appearance of your menu QR code by adding colors, placing your logo, changing the patterns, and adding a frame and a call-to-action.

Read more:  How to creatively design your menu app

Creating dine-in menus with MENU TIGER

Here’s a step-by-step guide on creating a dine-in menu with MENU TIGER.

1. Sign up for a MENU TIGER account

Fill out restaurant name, first and last name, email, phone number. Add a password and re-type the password for confirmation.

2.   Set up your store name on Stores

To input store details, click Stores then New. Add store name, address, and phone number. 

3.   Input the number of tables

Click Tables on Stores then set how many tables in your restaurant need a menu QR code.

4.    Set the number of store users and admins

On Stores, click Users then Add on the dashboard. Fill out the first and last names of users or admins then choose access level. 

A User has an access level limited to order tracking only, while an Admin can access the rest of the features except the ability to add payment methods and editing the restaurant website. 

Then enter the email address, password, and confirm the password. Afterward, a verification email will be sent.

5.   Customize and edit your dine-in menu QR code appearance

Customize QR code pattern, colors, eye pattern and color, and frame design, color, and call-to-action text on Customize QR.

6.    Add new categories and modifiers

Click the Menu panel then choose Modifiers and click Add.

Modifier groups can be add-ons and extras or customization of menu items like steak doneness, sides, cheese, salad dressings, and drinks add-ons like ice and lemon slices.

Also on the Menu panel, add food item categories like salad, entree, soup, desserts, drinks, etc. First, click on Foods then on Categories click New

7.   Make your restaurant’s website unique

Go to the Website section of the control panel. Then go to General settings and add a cover image and the restaurant’s name, address, email, and phone number. Select the language(s) and currency(s) that the restaurant accepts.

After enabling the Hero section, enter your website’s title and slogan. Localize in the languages of your choice.

Enable the About section if you want to, then upload an image, write your restaurant’s backstory, and localize it in multiple languages.

For different campaigns and promotions your restaurant is now doing, click and enable the Promotions area.

Go to the Most Popular Foods section and enable it to see best-sellers, signature dishes, and unique items.

Once enabled, select an item and click “Featured.” Save to make the selected item the homepage’s featured item.

Set the Why Choose Us section and inform your customers about the advantages of dining at your establishment.

Change the fonts and colors on your website to match your brand in the Fonts and Colors area.

8. Go back to the Store section and download and deploy your QR code in each respective table

Customize the menu QR code by adding your restaurant logo or any image, changing the QR code pattern and colors, QR code eye pattern and color, and modifying frame design, color, and call-to-action text.

9. Finally, track and fulfill orderrestaurant digital menu orders

You’re all set. Now your interactive dine-in menu is good to go!


Start designing your digital dine-in menu with MENU TIGER today!

In conclusion, it is not only about creating a visually appealing digital dine-in menu but also about making the ordering process as seamless as possible.

A well-designed menu will always be a priority because it is what draws your guests to order from your restaurant.

You don’t have to be a design expert to create a great-looking digital menu design. With MENU TIGER, you can make sure your menu looks good and drives sales for your restaurant.

Sign up with MENU TIGER now and get 14 days FREE!