Upserve, a restaurant management platform, launched the first “Smart Menu” builder template that uses data-driven best practices and taps into the psychology of menu design and recent research to deliver a menu design template that restaurateurs can use to build their own menu.

This interactive menu template, “Your Menu Here,” integrates field research on menus from restaurants across the U.S., and a psychological understanding of human behavior, to help restaurateurs build a menu that is both designed to improve guest experience from an aesthetics standpoint, and optimized to deliver higher margins. Key insights that inform the (free) customizable menu reveal:

  • The fewer items on your menu, the better
  • The precise number of items that should be on your menu
  • The optimal ratio of food to drink items
  • How to lay out menu items in a visually appealing way
  • Which items to list first
  • Why longer menu item descriptions sell more food

Upserve recently analyzed millions of transactions from restaurants around the country, and found that restaurants have way too many items on their menus, especially when it’s a fact that 80 percent of a restaurant’s food sales come from only 16 percent of menu items.

Based on this data, Upserve identified a “Golden Menu Ratio” for increasing margins, and embedded this ratio within “Your Menu Here”:

Entrees account for nearly half (49 percent) of sales, so restaurant owners should ensure that these dishes are the ones with the highest margins.

This allows owners to accept some smaller losses on popular but lower margin appetizers and desserts, which account for 31 percent and 19 percent of total sales, respectively.

The template also includes best practices from the psychology of menu design, including tips like:

  • One photo next to a menu item increases sales by 30 percent.
  • Longer menu descriptions sell 30 percent more food.
Industry News, Technology