Color me profitable

"You Can Have It In Any Color... As Long As It's Black"
~ Henry Ford

We've come a long way since the days of black and white. And thank goodness! Movie screens, picture books and even computer monitors have come alive thanks to our ability to add a dash of color here or a whole rainbow of color there. Some say time is the fourth dimension. I vote for color.

Why is color so important? We could write volumes on how color affects the brain, the body, art, design, and science. But let's narrow it down to your restaurant. Or even further to your menu.

Color vs. black & white printing
Black and white menus can make life easier for the restaurateur who changes his menu often. And it's usually less expensive. The downside is a menu that lacks imagination, has one-dimensional style and very few of the sensory attributes necessary on a successful menu.

Color printing is much easier and cheaper these days. You can buy or bulk print ready-made color templates on which you can add the body of your menu. You can also ask your sales rep if the distributor has menu design and color printing services available for qualifying accounts or at a reasonable fee.

If you decide to print your menus in color (or you already do), make sure you are taking advantage of the impact that correctly used color can have.

Signature item highlighting
Did you know that, according to Xerox Corporation, telephone book listings that are printed in color have a 44% greater response rate than those printed in black and white? Highlighting certain high profit menu items using color will draw the guest's eye to the items you want to sell more of.

Menu understandability
There are many restaurants today whose menus look like novels. Others run amok with columns, categories, and paragraphs of text. If you use color to highlight the individual categories on your menu, your guests will have a much easier time understanding your menu offerings. After all, they're there to enjoy themselves over food and conversation, not to unravel the mysteries of your menu.

Brand recognition
Creating a consistent visual brand image for your business involves more than the sign in the parking lot. It must carry through to the art on the walls, the dishes on the table, the uniforms on the staff and, yes, the color on your menus. Is your logo green and yellow? Then stay away from bright blue and red on the menu.

Take home marketing meces
It's tempting to run black and white photocopies of your menu to send home with guests. Resist! People pick up, read and keep color marketing pieces far more often than black and white pieces. If you want to keep your menu from ending up in the trash, add a splash of color.

Take a look at the next page for some Cool Color Facts.

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