As you continue to plan your coffee shop’s grand opening or if you’re simply dreaming of the future, organizing your coffee shop’s menu is one of the most fun—and one of the most stressful—parts of your business plan. What do you put on it, and how do you organize it? What kind of inspiration can you draw from?
6 best coffee shop menu board design ideas are:
- Minimalist Style: keep things clean and stylish.
- Statement Style: use typography, an image, or color to make a statement.
- Antique or Classic Style: take inspiration from years past.
- Outdoorsy Style: draw in some of the outdoors on your menu.
- Typographical Style: use fun and funky fonts to engage your customers.
- Architectural Style: use part of your building as inspiration for your design.
No matter the style of your menu, you need to know what to put on it. Read on to find out more about the styles and the types of drinks you may want to include on your coffee shop’s menu!
What Items Go on Your Menu?
Before you even pick a design for your menu, you should consider what items to place on your menu. This may feel like an easy decision for a coffee shop, but it’s based on what equipment you may have for your shop. While espressos, lattes, and drip coffee are all staples, are you planning on purchasing blenders for frappuccinos, and are you going to have ice on hand for iced coffees? You should also consider non-coffee options such as tea, Italian soda, and hot chocolate for those who don’t want coffee. Are you offering other sizes? Those should also go on your menu as you design it. Make a list of your offerings before you start working on your menu so you have an idea of how much space you will need before you even start.
How to Design Your Menu
Some important factors that go into designing your menu include readability. That is the most important part of your menu—everyone should be able to read your menu with ease. That means making sure your colors don’t clash and make it hard to read, too—it’s not just about font choice. Consider looking into forms of colorblindness as well so you can have an accessible menu for all people. Fonts should also be large enough for people to read, and consider picking a font that matches your style. Sans serif fonts tend to be more minimalist, while serif fonts are more classic, but pick the one that you like and stick with it! You can also use an accent font, which could be something completely different or a font you use on your logo. Use it sparingly, but make sure you stay consistent with your choices.
Use colors carefully! Don’t use a color you haven’t used already in your decor, your logo, or your branding. Staying consistent is your best asset, and keeping your branding the same will make your customers’ recognition of that brand more apparent as they become regulars and start sharing what you do and how you do it with others.
When you design your coffee shop menu, make sure it fits in with the style you choose. You don’t want your decor to be minimalist menu is kitschy or even classic—that creates a disjunct message and could even confuse your customers. Keep consistent with your stylings—the following ideas are also great décor ideas as well!
Minimalist Style: keep things clean and stylish.
If you go with this style when you decorate your business, you should have a very simple menu style. Because less is more with this decor style, focus on clean and functional menus with distinct lines and fonts. This menu style shouldn’t have a lot of clutter, like your minimalist coffee shop—only add the bare minimum of information. Use a sans serif font for the majority of your text to evoke the feeling of minimalist style.
Statement Style: use typography, an image, or color to make a statement.
If your coffee shop has some sort of statement to make with its decor and style, making a statement with your menu is a no-brainer. Similar to the minimalist style, though, make sure you don’t overwhelm your customers with all that character—find something you like and stick with it. Whether it’s a large version of your logo taking up part of the page, or a font that is eye-catching, stay consistent in your messaging. With this style, you can do whatever sort of font you want for the majority of the menu, as long as it is readable.
Antique or Classic Style: take inspiration from years past.
If you decide to do this style with your decor, you’re in luck—you have a lot of inspiration to draw from. Consider looking up historical menus of old coffee shops in history to get inspiration, or make your own by focusing on a certain era. If your coffee shop is in a historical 1800s building, you could look into the fonts of the time and the typographical styles to really draw your coffee shop and menu together.
Outdoorsy Style: draw in some of the outdoors on your menu.
If you’re going with the more outdoorsy style with your coffee shop decor, you can also lean into that with your menu. This one can be easy—with natural colors and images, you can evoke the same outdoor style on your new menu. Don’t be afraid to add images of flowers or trees, depending on what fits best with your decor—staying consistent is key in presenting all the items in your coffee shop’s branding!
Typographical Style: use fun and funky fonts to engage your customers.
When you use this type of decor, your customers are going to expect a lot out of your print items, including your menu. You should consider bringing the same sort of art and typography into your menu—possibly even using the same fonts or colors as you do in your decor. You could even utilize some of the same quotes that you use as part of your decorations on your menu to add even more cohesion to your branding.
Architectural Style: use part of your building as inspiration for your design.
Similar to the antique or classic style, you can lean into what your building offers with this style of menu. Is there something in your coffee shop that sticks out? Do you have old brick walls or a tin ceiling? See if you can bring something from your coffee shop into your menu design. Even the color of paint is something you can match between the two!
Whether you’re looking for design ideas, inspiration, or just want to know what kind of menu items to serve at your coffee shop, use the previous information as a guide as you make decisions about your new shop. Don’t be afraid to come up with a new style to match your unique coffee shop and what your shop stands for—only you can decide what works best for you!
Frequently Asked Questions
Writing a mission statement is easy if you follow three simple steps—write down what your business does, then write down some of the core values of your business, and then using those core values, restate your first statement using the list of values. From there, look at what you have written and create a more concise statement. Consider looking at other examples of coffee shop mission statements for inspiration or guidance.
There are a few things to remember if you are starting a coffee shop without any previous experience. First, you need to start your bank account and create your business plan. Understand your product and plan your product before you find your location, then hire your staff. After you have all of that finished, you can start marketing and then open up your shop.
The average coffee shop takes in $7 per order and serves about 250 customers per day, six days a week. Annually, you can make about $500,000 in annual gross revenue, but remember the high investment it will take to start your coffee shop—after paying off all those expenses, you can expect to make a profit of about $10,000 your first few years. After your equipment is paid off, the average coffee shop makes about $60,000 annually. We go over the nitty-gritty of expenses and start-up costs in this article.
Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.
Hi! I’m Shawn Chun
My adventure in coffee began when I first launched my first coffee shop back in the early 2000s. I had to figure out so many things on my own and to make it worse within 2 years of opening two large corporate coffee chains moved in just blocks away from me!
As I saw smaller and even some larger coffee shops in the neighborhood slowly lose customers to these giant coffee chains and slowly close up shop, I knew that I had to start getting creative…or go out of business.
I (like you may be) knew the coffee industry well. I could make the best latte art around and the foam on my caps was the fluffiest you have ever seen. I even had the best state-of-the-art 2 group digital Nuova Simonelli machine money could buy. But I knew that these things alone would not be enough to lure customers away from the name brand established coffee shops.
Eventually, through lots of trial and error as well as perseverance and creativity I did find a way to not only survive but also thrive in the coffee/espresso industry even while those corporate coffee chains stayed put. During those years I learned to adapt and always faced new challenges. It was not always easy, however, in the end, I was the sole survivor independent coffee shop within a 10-mile radius of my location. Just two corporate coffee chains and I were left after that year. All told the corporate coffee chains took down over 15 small independent coffee shops and kiosks and I was the last one standing and thriving.
Along the years I meet others with the same passion for coffee and I quickly learned that it is not only “how good a barista is” that makes a coffee shop successful, but the business side of coffee as well.
Hence why I started this website you are on now. To provide the tools and resources for up and coming coffee shop owners to gain that vital insight and knowledge on how to start a coffee shop successfully.
Stick around, browse through my helpful blog and resources and enjoy your stay! With lots of LATTE LOVE!