Drawing people’s attention to menu items and encouraging orders can be difficult in the dark, crowded and often loud environment of a bar or nightclub. Thankfully, it’s surprisingly simple using table tents and well designed menus.

Table tents are special menu holders that sit atop each table or countertop in your bar or nightclub, making it easy for customers to view dishes and learn about what is available.

Does your restaurant, bar or nightclub use table tents? Read on to learn four ways that your business can use table tents to increase orders, encourage customers to take action and increase its sales revenue.

Design from the top-left down, just like you would for a book

Did you know that people read menus from the top-left down? Although one of the most common menu design beliefs of the 20th century was that the top-right corner was the most viewed, the reality is most people read menus just like books.

This means that the content in the upper-left corner of your table tent will usually receive the most attention. From here, people scan downwards, then right into the second column once they’ve finished the first.

Use this to your advantage by placing your top-selling items in the top-left corner of your table tent’s content. This ensures they’ll be viewed by everyone, resulting in a greater amount of orders and revenue for your business.

Make sure your menu is available on every table and counter area

Table tents are fantastic sales tools for bars and nightclubs, but only if they’re used on all tables and countertops. When people can’t access a menu to learn about the dishes that are available, it’s unlikely that they’ll place an order.

Make sure every table and countertop in your bar, restaurant or nightclub has all of the relevant promotional material on top. For readability, you may need to use both table tents and menu holders so that customers can easily access all of your content.

If your bar or nightclub has a large menu, consider using both table tents and menu holders. For maximum visibility, you can spread your menu over both by listing the specials and top-selling dishes on a table tent, and other items in the menu.

Place your top-selling items in boxes for faster, easier customer orders

The key to running an effective, profitable bar or nightclub is to focus on the 20% of menu items that generate 80% of revenue. For most bars, this means a certain list of cocktails, draft beers and house wines.

One of the easiest ways to draw attention to top-selling dishes is to list them inside a box on your menu. For a table tent, you can highlight the top half of the menu to list your top-selling items and maximize their visibility.

Other ways to draw attention to top-selling items include using a bold or underlined typeface, increasing the font size for better visibility and only listing a few items in a table tent to increase order frequency.

Use color, contrast and great design to make your table tents stand out

How well does your bar or restaurant’s marketing stand out from the crowd? In the dark, noisy environment of a bar or nightclub, it’s important that your menu is easy to read and highly visible.

Use bright, strong colors in your menu’s design to make it visible from anywhere on the table. You can also use heavy contrast – such as a black background with white text on top of it – to further increase visibility.

These design techniques not only make your menu more visible – they also improve readability, making it far easier for customers to scan and read your menu, even in a low light environment.