How Many Items Should I Have On My Restaurant Menu?

Learn more about writing a restaurant menu with our complete guide.

How many items should you have on your restaurant menu? It’s a question that has puzzled restaurateurs for years. Too few items and you may not satisfy customer cravings. Too many items and you may overwhelm customers, making it difficult for them to make a decision. What’s the right number of items to include on your menu?

That’s a question that we will aim to answer in this post. But first, let’s take a look at some of the factors that go into deciding how many items to offer on your menu.

Keep It Simple

: The most important tip for any restaurant menu is to keep it simple. Too many items can be overwhelming, especially if you have multiple categories of food. Choose a few items that are popular and easy to prepare, then add more options as needed. By keeping your menu lean and focused on the type of cuisine your restaurant specializes in, you will create an easier experience for customers while still giving them plenty of choices.

Offer Variety

: That said, you still want to offer variety on your menu. You don’t want to limit yourself to just one or two dishes; this could lead to customer boredom after multiple visits. Try offering regional favorites or daily specials alongside your mainstays so customers can explore new tastes with each visit. Variety is the spice of life and it’s important to keep your menu fresh and exciting.

Stick To What You’re Good At

: It’s tempting to try out a new dish or two, but if you don’t have experience in that particular cuisine, it can be difficult for you to execute at the same level as more experienced chefs. Stick with what you know – diners will appreciate the consistency and quality of dishes that come from an expert hand.


: Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to how many items should be on your restaurant menu. However, by following these tips and focusing on keeping things simple while still offering variety, you can create a menu that is both enjoyable and profitable.



Related FAQs

There is no magic number when it comes to the optimal number of items for a restaurant menu. The perfect amount will vary from one establishment to another, depending on how specialized the cuisine is, how much variety customers are looking for and how complex each dish is to prepare.
Generally speaking, having fewer options on your menu can be better as long as you still offer enough variety. Too many items can overwhelm customers and make them feel like they have too many choices.
When deciding what types of dishes to include in your menu, focus on the cuisine that you specialize in. Offer a few staple dishes that are popular and easy to prepare, and then add more options as needed to keep things interesting.
Yes, having too many items on your menu can be overwhelming for customers. It can also create difficulties for kitchen staff who may struggle to keep up if they are juggling too many ingredients or recipes.
Absolutely! Variety is key when it comes to keeping customers interested and engaged with your restaurant. Offer a mix of classic staples, regional favorites and daily specials to keep things fresh and exciting.
It’s best to stick with what you know when creating your restaurant menu. If you don’t have prior experience in a particular cuisine, focus on dishes that you can make well. Your diners will appreciate the consistent quality.
When creating your menu, it is important to consider how much each item costs to prepare as well as how much you are charging for it. Make sure there is a balance between cost and revenue so that your dishes are profitable.
Offering variety is a great way to keep your menu interesting. Try adding regional favorites, daily specials and unique ingredients to keep customers excited about visiting your restaurant.
Absolutely! Quality should always come first when crafting your restaurant menu. Focus on preparing dishes that you know you can make well, rather than trying out new recipes or cuisines.
If you don’t have the physical space to offer multiple options, consider offering smaller plates that can be shared. This way, customers can sample a variety of dishes without ordering too much food.    

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