Creative Display Ideas for Your Restaurant Menu

Creative Display Ideas for Your Restaurant Menu

Your menu is all important to your restaurant. It’s carefully created around your clientele, chef, produce, kitchen, and values. It’s at the heart of what you do.

At its very least, a menu is a list of your food. At its best, it becomes a vital sales tool and a piece of your branding every single customer will see. So, the way you present your menu has to give a flavour of your character and your ethos… to do justice to your food and build anticipation in the diner.

But it’s not enough to aim for the fanciest paper and font you can imagine. The way you present your menu should say something about your restaurant. It would be totally incongruous to visit a Mcdonald’s and be hand-presented with a gilt-edged volume with paired wine options. The menu should communicate something to your customers about the type of dining experience they are in for.

A creative menu idea in a competitive restaurant market can make your offering stand out and increase customer experience. You want them to return and to bring their friends… a creatively-presented menu can help.

Creative Display Ideas for Your Restaurant Menu

Paper trail

Paper trailThose little touches show that every element of the private dining room experience has been considered. Starting with paper. So, if your restaurant prides itself on high-quality, elegant meals, you might reflect that with thick, sumptuous paper and a crisp font. Make plenty of use of negative space so nothing feels crowded or rushed.

If your menu is a bright, laminated wipe-clean affair, it suggests an ethos of good value, fuss-free, casual dining. A cheerful colour scheme gives off a relaxed, family-friendly vibe.

The coarse texture of recycled paper suggests an emphasis on natural, eco-centric dining. Use torn or rough edges or pinking shears to add visual interest as well as a link to the natural world.

Colour coded

Colour codedYour logo may feature prominently as part of your branding, but consider your use of colour beyond this.

Your menu can continue the colour scheme or use colour psychology to evoke emotional connections with your diners. Showcase certain dishes – your specials or dishes you want to push might be highlighted with red to draw attention and a call to action. Green is considered relaxing and also represents nature and freshness. Oranges and earthy tones give a natural, homely vibe. Rich, jewel tones feel decadent and luxurious. So consider how you want your diners to feel when they look at your menu.

Public display

Public displayOnce you’ve got it all down on paper, it’s time to display your menu. This is a great time to display some creative flair. Consider if your venue or outdoor restaurant has any stand-out characteristics that you can weave into your menu presentation. For example, if you’re lucky enough to have a restaurant in a converted old school house, you could eschew paper and write your menus on school slates, Victorian style. If your venue is themed – an axe-throwing/Viking ‘beer & burgers’ place, for example – pin your menus to a shield that your servers can proudly wield among the patrons.

Here are a few ideas with a broader appeal that may work for you

Chopping board

Display your menu fastened to a chopping board. This gives a substantial weight and gravitas to your menu. It would work especially well in steak houses or barbecue joints. Or if your restaurant is a pizzeria, how about a round pizza paddle board to show off your menu?


Clipboards are a popular choice, and it’s easy to see why. Cheap, durable and simple to switch out your menu when it changes. They give an industrial vibe and can easily be personalised with colours, logos or branding. These would be great for burger places, pizzerias and more casual eateries.

Leather menu covers

This sumptuous leather menu covers suggest quality – just like your food. It’s easy to change out the menu contents and can be coloured or embossed with your logo. These are luxurious options that would create a classy touch in any restaurant. Sustainable leather keeps an eco-friendly focus without compromising style.

Cork/textile menu cover

Again, highly customisable and easy to use, cork covers are an eco-conscious option that highlights a commitment to sustainability. These would work well in a venue that likes to emphasise its wine options.


If it aligns with your branding and vibe, go for a wow-factor menu; show off your street food with graffiti/stencilled text on bold wall signs. Or a comic book-style menu with illustrations would be amazing in a quirky burger bar, diner, or Americana venue. Create a cool, speakeasy vibe with a mini-newspaper with Art Deco lettering.

Whatever your vision for your restaurant, your menu is an opportunity to connect with each diner on an individual level. So, let your menu be the moment that elevates their experience from good to great!