Menus need enough information for your customer to make an informed choice

Does your menu have enough information?

Your menu should not be a barrier

You must have noticed that some retail businesses keep their door open wide even in winter. I always feel sorry for the poor assistants, freezing to death because some guru somewhere discovered long ago that keeping the door open is good for business. A door is a barrier, and we don’t want barriers.

A menu should explain exactly what a customer will receive

It should not be a barrier. As customers, we want to know exactly what we are ordering. So, when your food arrives, you are not disappointed. Your menu is one of the first steps along the happy customer journey. So why not get it right? It should be accurate and honest, with the right amount of information. Too much, and it’s overwhelming; too little and your customer could be unhappy.

Two recent real-life examples:


An Indian Street food café not far from where I live. It was mainly south Indian food. I know that’s usually spicy as I’ve visited India many times, but this was not stated on the menu. Some places have helpful little chilli symbols or similar. Because it had no symbols, I assumed the food would not be over spicy. I assumed (as so many curry places do) that the spiciness had been calibrated for the British palate. My food came and it was not just a bit spicy but blew my head off. My lips burned and all I could taste was cayenne pepper. I left my food. When he came to clear, I told the waiter my food was too hot. “You should have told us,” he said, shifting the blame onto me. You should have told me on the menu, I thought. There was no point making a fuss. I was not coming back. They lost a customer because the menu was not clear. Nowhere did it explain that southern Indian food is usually very spicy. Ok, maybe most people know that, but why take the chance and why risk it?

Omission again

A simple café, again in a town near me. Simple: two cheese toasties with onion chutney. What could possibly go wrong? Two things: firstly, it was served on granary bread. I hate granary bread. Secondly, it was not toasted so the cheese melted, it was a panini-style toastie, where the bread is toasted but the cheese inside doesn’t have a chance to melt. Yes, I could have asked if it was granary bread. Yes, my husband could have checked that it was a ‘real’ toasted sandwich and not toasted bread with cheese filling. But why not make things clear on your menu in the first place?

Think you might need me?

If you would like help with your menu –  making sure there is enough information and then maybe moving on to look at other aspects of your menu, do get in touch for a no-obligation chat.