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Microsoft PowerPoint has a user-friendly interface that streamlines the task of creating text documents, such as menus. A minimalist approach to menu writing is ideal for several reasons. It makes the menu read easier, as no extraneous images distract the guest from the purpose of the menu – listing the item name, description, if any, and its price. It also allows the food to speak for itself; unless you have access to a commercial-quality printer, the images often end up nondescript and detract from the appeal of the menu. Guidelines to follow when making a menu include economy of language, minimal use of pictures and concise descriptions.
Open PowerPoint and click the “Click to Add Title” box. Enter the name of your restaurant.
Click the “Click to add Subtitle” box and enter a subtitle, if desired. While the minimalist approach to menu design dictates using only the name of the restaurant on the cover, commonly used subtitles include contact information, such as a phone number or a slogan.
Click in the title and subtitle boxes, and drag them to where you want them to appear on the cover, usually the top.
Click “Insert” and hold the cursor arrow over “Picture” on the drop-down menu to open the side menu if you wish to add an image on the cover. Select the image location on the side menu. Clicking “From File” allows you to browse your computer’s file folders for the image.
Select the image you wish to use and click “Insert.” Drag the image to the location you want it to appear on the menu cover.
Click “Insert” and select “New Slide.”
Click the “Click to Add Title” box and enter the information you want to appear on the first page of your menu. If you are dividing your menu according to courses, such as starters, main courses, desserts and beverages, enter the name of the course in the field.
Click the “Click to Add Text” box and delete the text. Click the "Font Size" button and adjust to the desired size. Use a minimum 12-point font.
Enter the name of the first item you wish to appear on the first menu page in the left side of the text box, followed by a series of ellipses that reach the right side of the box, leaving enough space to enter the price of the item. The ellipses help the reader correlate the price on the right side of the menu with the menu item on the left. Select “B” from the menu above the page if you wish your entered text to appear bold.
Press “Enter” and type a description of the item if desired. Use a font at least two points smaller to help the reader differentiate the food items from the descriptions.
Type the price on the right side of the text box immediately following the ellipses and press "Enter."
Type the name of the second item, followed by an identical number of ellipses as on the first. Type in the price and press “Enter.” Continue entering menu items as needed on the page.
Click “Insert” and follow the directions in Step 4 if you want to add an image to the page. Drag the image where you want it to appear on the page.
Click “Insert” and select “New Slide.”
Enter the title of the second menu page, such as “Entrees,” in the “Click to Add Title” field.
Click the “Click to Add Text” field. Enter the information for the second menu page as you did the first, followed by a description underneath in a smaller font, if desired. Type the prices for each item on the right side of the text box as you did before.
Click “Insert,” select “New Slide” and enter the information for the next page as you did for the previous pages.
Create additional pages, such as for desserts, in the same manner. On the last page of the menu, enter any additional information you want the guest to see, such as payment options or a notation telling the guest you charge an automatic gratuity for large parties.
Click “Outline.” Proofread and edit your entries. Double-check your spelling and confirm that the prices are correct.
Click “Print” and print a hard copy of your menu to judge for yourself how it will read in the guest’s hands.
Print and place your menu in a menu sleeve for a professional presentation.
- Print and place your menu in a menu sleeve for a professional presentation.
A.J. Andrews' work has appeared in Food and Wine, Fricote and "BBC Good Food." He lives in Europe where he bakes with wild yeast, milks goats for cheese and prepares for the Court of Master Sommeliers level II exam. Andrews received formal training at Le Cordon Bleu.