filed in Personal on Sep.12, 2008
Today I will talk about a particular tea bar that I go to and how I am redesigning their menu. I have been going to this tea bar for a few months now, and I rather like the place; the selection is great, and it has a lot of character. However, their menu has some things which would make some people who are visiting the place for the first time take pause and reconsider giving business to the place. Read more about it after the jump!
As of right now, they have a 18″ x 12″ menu on colored cardstock with various teas that they have for sale. Each tea has where it comes from, a description of the tea itself, and a rating from one star to three stars (rare). I have discovered, after speaking with the owner of the place about how people order, that they tend to think of the ratings as some sort of status symbol; some people must order three-star teas, even if they do not actually know the meaning behind it. In addition, nobody seems to ask or wonder where a tea is from, or what estate the tea is cultivated in.
To wit, the current menu has some good things surrounding it, though; the owner of the tea bar wrote fairly accurate, short descriptions of how each of the teas she serves on the menu taste; but, the menu in its current incarnation has some problems with it that need to be worked on (hence the redesign).
- Typographical errors: the menu was not proofread before being brought to print, so there are some errors that have since been fixed.
- Pricing errors: the price list that has been placed on the menu has since been altered. However, customers don’t seem to notice that.
- Missing items: some items on the old menu are no longer carried by the tea bar. In addition, there are many new menu items that have not yet made it into the menu.
- Misleading information: there seem to have been some things added to the menu prior to printing that the owner did not intend - namely, extra ‘fluff’ text in each of the menu sections that have not been proofread or verified by anybody other than the person who brought the file to the printing press.
In general, I am attempting to keep the new menu with the same feeling as the old one; the margins, paper size, and how the menu is laid out remain fairly similar. It has since been proofread and revised with the assistance of one of my roommates, a professional chef willing to lend some time, and the ‘fluff’ has been removed.
I have not necessarily done a restaurant-style menu before, so this is a new experience for me; however, looking at how many successful franchises organize their menu has given me some inspiration. I have found that choosing the right font was a somewhat difficult task; in addition, grouping the menu items in such a fashion without causing confusion to a reader has also proven a challenge. I think, however, I am on to something; the ‘fluff’ text is going to be rewritten, and possibly, a few choice quotes about teas may be placed in there instead.
I still have work to do on the menu, but in terms of layout, it might be considered complete; however, with the new items, it may be altered into a booklet format instead of the large double-sided menu that it is right now. If you would like to see the menu in its current incarnation, it is available elsewhere on the website - see the sidebar and look for “Tea Menu“.
I’m hoping I can get this menu finished by next week - there are really no set deadlines, but I’m trying to give myself a goal so I don’t keep delaying working on it.