Spice Up Your Menu - Colour

The Spice Up Your Menu series is a regular post with new menu ideas and ways to attract more customers and increase profit. This week we look at colour.

Making your menu colourful looks attractive and interesting to customers, and it can actually affect how and what people buy. Some colours not only make people feel happier and even more hungry, it can also affect how much they buy. Colours have been important in food marketing for many years.

While the colour of the food itself gives customers an idea about freshness, flavour and quality, some of the same effect can be gained from the colour of photos or illustrations of your food, or even just the colour of the words on your menu can give some of that effect. Designers have known for a long time that colour can dramatically affect moods, feelings, and emotions.

That is why most fast food companies use red in their advertising, because the colour red is associated with emotion, passion and action. Their menus are mostly in oranges and yellows, because those colours actually make people feel hungry, and greens and browns are used to attract people to natural and healthy food choices.

Blue is hardly ever used to promote food. It's the colour of calm and peace, but it will not make people feel hungry. And colour co-ordination is important to avoid confusing people's perception. For example, some blue plums in orange packaging just doesn't look or feel right and people would avoid them without knowing why.

Last week we looked at vegetarian menu options, see you again soon for more menu tips.

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