Inspiration Web Design

Best Menu Practices on Food & Drink Sites. Bonus – Useful Menu Plugins

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Food and design have much in common. They require skills, high aesthetic feelings and inspiration. The greatest designs are impossible without delicious food that is so important for high spirits, inspiration and good work. And inalienable part of food philosophy is food-designing - making appetizing presentations of dishes.

Food and drink websites combine notions “food” and “design”, making them work for one result – effective promotion of restaurants, cafes, bars, bakeries, etc. Let’s illuminate in this post the best examples of such website designs, namely their menu pages. Here it is, food and drink menu designs inspiration.

Site Design
Restaurant begins with menu, and a good web presence with a well-done design. When a restaurant goes online, it should put an emphasis on design of a website and menu presentation. Showing dining area in the gallery, for example, will easily draw more clients in.

TIPS

  • Place more photos of interior and exterior into the gallery, or as full-width images into the background, so visitors will always feel atmosphere of the place while browsing the site.
  • Point out following things on your site:
    • Menu
    • Prices will be good
    • Place photos or video
    • Location
    • Possibility of online reservation
    • Phone number

Choice of Colors
The choice of colors also matters. They set the right mood and enhance viewers’ interest. Some colors look more appealing than the others, in case of restaurant designs. Blue, for example, is not a good choice for such sites.

TIPS

  • Bright colors like red are great (it warms up an appetite.)
  • Warm colors create an atmosphere that communicates friendly attitude.
  • Bright green underlines freshness.
  • By the way, various natural textures are also good for creating pleasant-to-look-at atmosphere.

Photos
Emphasis on photography is a good practice for food & drink sites. Food is the primary interest, so presenting it at its best will make the viewers’ mouths water. Good photographer is a must-have person who will help you create a stunning gallery.

Menu Presentation
Menu - is an art. Most visitors make reservations, after look at a well-done menu. It should be readable, well-arranged, appealing, photos so as the prices are welcomed. Offering the clients PDF menu is not a good practice today. Most of them look extremely plain, like the ones printed on paper without any visually attractive elements. Don’t be lazy to create something special.

By the way, in the second part of the post you’ll find free WordPress plugins for nice menus.

TIPS

  • Ease-of-use
  • Readability
  • Filterable search (visitors can faster find what they need, if they can narrow to the types of meal: breakfast, lunch, dinner, dinner, desserts, wines, etc.)

The following examples of food and drink menu designs will show you clean and easy-to-browse menus. Some of them are noticeable for their attractive original look, others for interactivity. I hope, you’ll like them.

To summarize all the mentioned above, I can single out key points of any good food and drink website. Such design should reflect the “personality” of the place, convey pleasant atmosphere, make you feel the taste of food. The menu should be the easiest thing to be found on the site.

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Sullivan & Bleeker

In the left sidebar you can find a list of products with previews. Click the “magnifying glass” button to see the image of a chosen item.

food and drink menu designs inspiration

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Kuleto's

Here is one of the best examples from this collection. Wise categorization of menu items presented here helps the client easily make a choice. The menu goes with fly-out submenus, so you’ll never lose yourself in a variety of dishes offered for breakfast, lunch, etc.

food and drink menu designs inspiration

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Arbor Restaurant

To find the menu of the next restaurant, click the same-name item in the vertical main menu in the left sidebar. The fly-out page with Accordion slider will show you the list of dishes you’re welcome to taste in this place.

food and drink menu designs inspiration

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Cantilever Fish & Chips

Scrolling down this single-page site with parallax effect. Here you’ll see the menu page presented as a black board with all menu items written with a chalk on it. Several fonts, color accents, price notifications – everything is readable and easy-to-perceive.

food and drink menu designs inspiration

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Twelve

The whole layout of Twelve looks really amazing. Full width images of a restaurant made in an industrial style will show you where exactly are you going to taste all those tasty dishes and snacks. As for the menu, it's created in a form a small window that appears in the page' body. There you find thought-out categorization of meals and beverages. Depending on where exactly in the menu you are, the picture in the header will change.

food and drink menu designs inspiration

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Cappuccinos

At Cappuccinos you will find a classy menu that will not cause difficulties in understanding. "But why it's here?", you will ask, press the button at the top and you will find out.

food and drink menu designs inspiration

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Frankie's

Parallax is a thing we all love so much. The menu at Frankie's has taken over this great design trend.

food and drink menu designs inspiration

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FUD

To navigate the following menu placed against the background with cardboard texture, click icons with food notifications. Then using slider, look through all the menu pages.

food and drink menu designs inspiration

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La Maddalena

Clean and stylish, with lovely rustic atmosphere, the next site of a restaurant enchants with each tiny part of it. Take a look at a menu placed in a book with a navigation menu leftwards and a list of dishes rightwards.

food and drink menu designs inspiration

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The Ledbury

The menu at The Ledbury is quite traditional, unlike in other restaurants from this showcase. It’s created in a minimalistic style with photos of products you’ll be eating, or just watering your mouth with.

food and drink menu designs inspiration

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L'unita

The menu at L’unita utilizes parallax effect, that’s quite impressive (in terms of all those beautiful pictures of food that slide in front each other.) When you click Our Menus tab, you’ll see three black circles, clicking each of them the list of products will appear. Actually, it looks like a check from a cash register, don’t forget to drag it both sides to see more.

food and drink menu designs inspiration

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Mellow Mushroom

Start a captivating journey along this tasty-looking menu. It’s placed against the cardboard with cool graphics on it. Large images of yummy pizza, calzone etc. will surely draw more clients in. Dishes are grouped in separate blocks with tabs (additional categorization) for ease-of-use.

food and drink menu designs inspiration

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Olivia Restauranter

Single-page, parallax power, fixed header – it’s all about this site. Open hours of this restaurant are pointed in the fixed header where you can also find a link to the menu page. It looks smashingly – white readable menu items against the black textured background. Prices are also mentioned.

food and drink menu designs inspiration

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Oro Ristorante

Simplicity and clean look are always in fave. This menu shows how nicely these two things can be combined. To see what this restaurant offers you, just click the tabs and find the desired dishes in a list below.

food and drink menu designs inspiration

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Ruby Tuesday

One more menu presented by means of Accordion slider. Click the red “plus” sign and see which tasty dishes are hidden there.

food and drink menu designs inspiration

WordPress Food Menu Plugins 
These several free plugins will come in handy for your food & drink websites. If you don't know how to present a menu, try these ones, and you'll get well-organized and a well-done menu page.

WP Pizzeria

If you're running a small pizza business and you want to have a simple, but effective WordPress website - have a look at this plugin. With it's help you'll be able to implement a pizza constructor into your website.

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WP Restaurant Menu

The next plugin will come in handy for all food & drink websites. It allows to group all products in separate categories and display the created menu with [foodmenu] shortcode.

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Food & Drink Menu

Restaurants, cafes, bars and a variety of the same kind food & drink websites will find this plugin extremely useful. To construct a menu on its basis is quite easy - you create, group them into sections, and then get the desired menu.

Food & Drink Menu

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Restaurant Menu Manager

Try this plugin for creating a well-structured menu that you can display in jQuery accordion or jQuery tabs. Wisely grouped items will facilitate visitors’ search for the desired menu items.

Restaurant Menu Manager

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Easy Restaurant Menu Manager

This plugin allows you to maintain online menu quite easily. You’ll be able to add and update menu lists without any problems, and your site visitors will get easy-to perceive menu. The plugin includes categories, prices and descriptions.

Easy Restaurant Menu Manager

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Now, when you’re inspired with great examples and have several WordPress menu plugins, you’re ready to create your own that will be really great and creative. Hope, we’ll see your design in the next compilation of stunning and worth-to-see sites.

P.S. If you already have one, feel free to brag with a link in the comments:)