9 tips to write an enticing menu description

June 24, 2019


“Context and memory play powerful roles in all the truly great meals in one’s life.” Said Anthony Bourdain. And one of the most important factors that give your customer an ideal memory of your restaurant is how you describe your dishes on the menu. Whereas researchers of a Cornell University study on descriptive food names found out that “Those who ate foods with evocative, descriptive menu names generated a larger number of positive comments about the food and rated it as more appealing, tasty and caloric than those eating regularly named counterparts.”. Accordingly, menu description is an art you need to practice in order to give your customer the best experience ever.

In this article, we are going to give you a closer insight about enticing menu description.


Why is it important to have an enticing menu description?

  • It sets you apart from other competitors: A good menu description reinforces the identity of your brand. It helps you to win the competition with other restaurants. However, be aware that customers will not compromise quality for a good description.
  • It encourages the customer to come again: If your menu has three well-described dishes, the customer would try one of them in the first time, then he will come back to try the other two dishes.
  • It allows customers to order more items at once: As the menu reading process typically takes 90 seconds, good menu description gives your customers the opportunity to decide quickly and hence gives them more time to order another item.


What should an enticing menu description include?

  1. The name of the dish.
  2. The ingredients, especially what may cause allergic reactions, and the category the ingredient belongs to.
  3. Catchy words (sell copy), which aim to entice the customer and sell the dish.

Definitely, you should start with the name of the dish, and you can change the order of the other two components.


How to write an enticing menu description?

  1. Use a clear name for the dish: Do not make the customer feel forced to read the entire description to understand what the dish is. For example, do not write “Majd’s special”, instead, you can write “Majd’s scaloppini special”.
  2. Write a short description: You may describe the dish in one sentence or you may list the ingredients. The ideal description would be 15-30 words. Consider that the most popular and profitable items require longer description.
  3. Add the source of the ingredients and their geographic origin: This would add more value to your dish.
  4. Refer to the brands you are using to prepare dishes: Through mentioning the famous and respected brands you are dealing with, you will show the customer you use nothing but “high-quality ingredients”, resulting in adding more value to your dishes.
  5. Describe your dishes in a way that involves senses: Describe the taste of your ingredients to give your customer insight about the flavors of your dishes. You can use words like- crunchy, spicy, savory or creamy.
  6. Tell your customer the story behind the dish: Chef would be the perfect person to help you through this process. Let your chef tell you his story behind particular dishes and write it down in the description. Dish story will be an original sell copy.
  7. Avoid using too many photographs: One photo per menu page seems perfect. Using photographs would disappoint the customer if the order does not match the photo.
  8. Avoid using copywriters to write your menu description. Alternatively, you should write your menu description by your self to reflect the vision and the sole of your brand.
  9. The menu description is one tool of menu engineering, which is a process to optimize your restaurant’s operations to gain higher profits.


Here is a list of words you can use in describing your dishes:


Wood-oven roasted Drizzled Organic


Zesty Quintessential



Pan-seared Elegant



Infused Melt-in-your-mouth



Unbeatable Aromatic



Succulent Crispy



Juicy Slow-roasted


Leafy Delicate Buttered