Kept near the entrance to your restaurant, a high quality acrylic brochure holder filled with takeout menus can be -- along with your in-store sign holders -- one of your most effective tools for increasing orders and driving revenue for your restaurant.

Many restaurants, cafés and other food service businesses make the mistake of investing a lot of time in their conventional menu design, only to breeze through takeout menu design without much effort, interest or strategy.

Since your takeout menu will sit inside the homes of your target customers, it’s important that it stands out, commands attention and makes people feel motivated to order your food as often as possible.

Just like a great in-house menu can have a measurable positive impact on orders, a great home menu or restaurant brochure can drive business and make your customers feel tempted to order at any time.

Below, we’ve shared five tactics that you can use to design an eye-catching and effective menu for your customers to take home and use for takeout and delivery orders.

Work with a professional menu and brochure designer

One of the biggest mistakes many restaurants make is designing their takeout menu entirely on their own. This often results in boring, uninspired takeout and delivery menus that merely list the available items without any eye-catching, inspiring design elements.

For the best results, it’s always ideal to hire a professional menu and brochure designer for your takeout menu. An experienced designer will be able to lay out your menu effectively to help your target audience find the items they’re looking for and order successfully.

Customers will judge your restaurant by the quality of your menu. Create something that stands out from the crowd and looks professional and you’ll earn respect and attention, which can often translate into more orders.

Use your restaurant’s color scheme for stronger branding

Your takeout menu isn’t just a tool to help your target customers order food from you -- it’s also a valuable marketing asset for your restaurant. An eye-catching, appealing takeout menu can be a source of inspiration for your customers that motivates them to visit your restaurant in person.

One way to strengthen the branding aspect of your takeout menu is to include your restaurant’s color scheme. With a full color menu, you can add brand elements ranging from your logo to a variety of images of your restaurant’s interior and exterior.

While this might not seem important, it can have a measurable impact on the number of target customers that decide to dine at your restaurant after noticing your menu or brochure at home and remembering your brand.

Add images of your food to create desire and temptation

menu design

If your food not only tastes fantastic, but also looks fantastic, it’s important that you use it in your takeout menu. Adding images of food to your menu is a great way to make customers feel more tempted, hungry and motivated to order from your restaurant.

Put yourself in your target customer’s shoes. Given the choice between two menus -- one that’s only text, and the other that contains beautiful full color images of the food available to order -- which would you choose?

Imagery is hugely important in marketing. Put your food front and center in your takeout menu and you’ll catch the attention of more customers, resulting in more orders and more revenue for your restaurant or café.

Make sure your menu mentions your strong points

Another great way to increase your takeout and delivery order volume is to build your menu around your restaurant’s strong points.

Do you use local ingredients to prepare your food? If so, mention it to let customers know that your restaurant is different from the competition. Do you use authentic recipes from your food’s country of origin? Don’t be afraid to let your customers know that your food is 100% authentic.

Most people pick up takeout and delivery menus from a variety of restaurants, giving them a variety of options to choose from. Mention your strong points and you’ll stand out from other dining options as a better choice, helping you generate more takeout and delivery orders.

Consider using direct mail to market your menu

Beyond great design, the key to an effective takeout and delivery menu is getting it into your target audience’s homes. If your brochure holders aren’t resulting in enough menu pick-ups, direct mail can be a powerful tool for expanding your audience and generating more orders.

Direct mail campaign targeted at your restaurant’s surrounding area let you reach households close to your restaurant, expanding your audience and letting people know not just about your takeout and delivery service, but about your restaurant as a dining option.

In-store menu displays work by encouraging your existing customers to come back, creating loyalty and developing strong, valuable relationships. Adding direct mail into the equation lets you reach an entirely new audience of customers, often at a very affordable price.