Restaurant Menus gets Creative – Here are some of my Favourites

I enjoy creating as well as searching for menu ideas for my restaurants. When l was working at this little resort in the East coast of Malaysia some years back. Our all day dining restaurant was made to look like a Malaysian Coffee shop. Even its name was “Kedai Kopi” which means coffee shop Malay.

As daily newspapers was a common feature in most Malaysian coffee shops. I created a menu that looked like a newspaper. I discovered that I could photocopy on newsprint paper. So I searched the web for free newspaper or newsletter templates and created my menus. Added some entertaining ad boxes between just like a normal newspaper. Printed on white paper. Next I photocopied on the newsprint paper. I even added some information about Malaysia as well as the surrounding into it. For our guest to read whilst waiting for their food. I then created a newspaper rack for us to store the menus. Since the menus were printed in house we could alter the menus. We could even our monthly specials together with the menu. Below is the sample of the front page of my menu.

Newspaper menu

Additionally below are some of my favourites. I will add more when I find some more unique and creative menus

Maison de Alice – House of Tea Menu

I like this one cause it doubles up as a centre piece

Source :- 45+ Inspiring Examples of Restaurant Menu Designs

Flour Pot Bakery

A menus that serves three important purpose. A menu, takeaway bags and also future advertising. People will surely notice the items and prices on the paper bags.

Source:- Menú y diseño: 40 de las mejores cartas de restaurante del mundo


13 Wives

Once I created a flyer like a Christmas Fairy Tale. This is a similar idea. A bar in Singapore created their menu to look like a diary. Very unique and creative Also in line with the outlet name “13 Wives”

Source :- Best of 2012


Food Menu “Chalkboard” Tri-Fold

I like this menu design because it looks so rustic. This kind of menu is great for casual dining restuarant. You can also decorate your restaurant with some black boards with your daily specials written on it. To know more about this design, just click on the link below.

Source :- Food Menu “Chalkboard” Tri-Fold



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Restaurant Promotion Idea #39 – Unique and Crazy Bar Challenges

This is sort like a sequel to my earlier post Restaurant Promotion Idea #38 – Fun and Unique Restaurant Challenges. I got this video on my Facebook page. Its a crazy bar challenges. They call it the “Military Shots”. Just watch the video below.

We modified the idea a bit. What we did was instead of the military hat, we used a construction hard hat. We referred the challenge to “The Hard Hat Challenge”. Like the video, the customer got struck with his drink on the hard hat. Then a rubber mallet. Followed by their drink and a shovel. Finally it was their drink as well as an empty barrel. Our variation was that the friend performed this instead of the bartender. Thus if the friend wanted to get even, they had to buy another round of “Hard Hat Cocktails”. The people that completed the “Hard Hat Challenge” got our pub t-shirt and their photo on the pub wall. Its was fun and the customers enjoyed themselves. Some even took videos and pictures to post on their social media. That’s free advertisement for you.

To add to the enjoyment, I purchased several syringes and test tubes. Created shooter drinks in them and sold it as prescription after the “Hard Hat Challenge”. After the challenge, you can buy our special “Hard Hat Painkillers” at a discounted price. So we managed to get incremental business.

Hard Hat Painkiller Shooters


Another challenge that you can use is like the Youtube video below. The person who finishes all the shooters at one go and is still standing. Will get the beverages free of charge, a challenge t-shirt as well as their photo on the wall of fame. Ensure you collect the money first. Otherwise when they pass out before they finish, you might not get your money at all. I saw this kind of challenge at a tiny bar in Koh Samui, Thailand known as “Viking Bar”.

Look around or surf Youtube. There’s alot of crazy and unique bar challenges to add the “WOW” in your place



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Restaurant Promotion Idea #38 – Fun and Unique Restaurant Challenges

Besides creating signature dishes or beverages. You can also create fun as well as unique challenges. This will make your restaurant stand out above your competition.

8023922544_428384b9a8_zMany may have watched Adam Richman on “Man vs Food”. Adam goes around The United States searching for unique and outrageous restaurant challenges. The challenges vary from eating the largest burger or pizza, eating the highest number of oysters or chicken wings at a specific time. The winner
will receive a restaurant souvenir along with their picture on the wall. Do something like that to create awareness for your restaurant.

In Malaysia we have this dessert known as “ABC” or in Malay “Ais Batu Campur”. Its made from shaved ice with lots of sweet ingredients as well as toppings. So what we did when I was to this tiny resort in Cherating, Malaysia.  We sold this particular dessert in a large bowl. The bowl was really really huge.  So when we placed the shaved ice into it, you will get a large colourful snow cone. The person who ate the entire bowl will get it free of charge. Most people were not after the free dessert, they ordered just for the fun of it. In my two years there only one person managed to finish the dessert.  Yet it was a “WOW” factor whenever we brought it out. We even weaved through the crowded restaurant so others can see this jumbo dessert.  Make use of the social media to promote this together with pictures of winners.

Watch “Man vs Food” and you will have an idea what I mean. You will stand out as the restaurant with the largest burger or pizza. Customers will share on the social media their crazy antics, they experienced at your restaurant.

Here are some “Man vs Food” to get you started.

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Restaurant Promotion Ideas # 32- Theme Party

Creating fun and unique theme parties to surprise your customer.

Creating a weekly theme dinner party is an excellent strategy to provide your customers with something different . Once a week transform your deco, food and even the staffs uniform to suit the particular theme. Select a theme that will suit with your customers as well as your location. Should you be located in a young housing area such as young working adult, college or university goers. Consider a party theme like Mardi Gras or even Spring Break. If you are located in the vicinity of families then do a fun theme which the kids will love such as a Pirate’s Theme. A properly plan theme party will definitely be a great hit especially during the slow days.

Throughout Malaysia during the Ramadan, many hotel as well as restaurants hold buffet dinners. This is to entice Muslims as well as their friends to break fast. Everyone will try to out do one another to increase revenue. Even Cherating, the competition was great and the pool of customers small. So my General Manager came out with this idea of doing theme dinners every year. Each year we did the buffet with a theme in mind. One year we did a village theme, in which the food as well as decorations got a sort of nostalgic feel. Our assistant manager even planted a padi field in front of restaurant. Even the flyers we did to looked like police summons. You can read about the Summons Flyers here. The following year we create a theme after the well-known Black and White Era Malaysian movie star P.Ramlee. We dressed the staff in costumes from his movies. The food is from his era. By doing this we managed to increase our business yearly as people came to see what was Buffet theme that year.

Here are some theme party ideas that you could try.

Hawaiian ThemeCaribbean or Hawaiian Night

These are fun as well as casual theme nights. Decorate your restaurant with palm trees, shells and exotic flowers. Add some surf boards and perhaps a few tiki torches around. Welcome everyone that walks in with a flower garland. If you are carrying out a Caribbean Night, play some nice reggae music. A nice BBQ may go along with both of these themes. Some of the cocktails that you promote will be Pina Colada, Cuba Libre as well as Mojitos. As for your staff they can put on colourful shirts, shorts and even in some cases grass skirts. With regards to decorating ideas, just visit my preferred site on decorating ideas “Pinterest”
To make the night more enjoyable, some party games such as limbo rock, coconut bowling and even a photo booth with the background of the beach. Make sure your restaurant logo is prominent. so people will remember the enjoyable time they had at your restaurant.

Themes from Another Country

One easy theme party to consider and set up is themes after ethnic foods associated with various countries. Stick with a country that you as well as your chefs are familiar with. Just research the world wide web for decoration ideas. For the Italian Night what we did was reused wine bottles as candle stands. After a few times the melted candles created a beautiful uniquely designed candle stands. Staff was dressed in white shirts and black pants along with an apron. We played a few light Italian music which we kept it low so customers could talk.

Another good theme is an Asian Theme. Asian countries usually captivate people with their mystery, wonders and traditions. Put up paper fans, Oriental lanterns as well as Oriental umbrellas. If you don’t have a cook that can prepare Asian cuisine, work with a good Oriental restaurant to get their cook over for the day. Just promote their restaurant too by Creating a Special Oriental Chefs Night. You can read about how I created my Chef’s Night here.

Mardi Gras

One holiday that encourages partying is Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday, is the last day before Lent. It’s lots of food and fun parties. Its an excellent reason to get customers into your restaurant. Dress your restaurant in the colours connected with Mardi Gras, green, purple and yellow. Have a competition where by whoever shows up in the best Mardi Gras costumes wins a discount or even prizes. Search the web for Mardi Gras food like jambalaya, crawfish gumbo and so on. Play some festive music to create a party atmosphere.

I’ve noticed that by doing theme parties the staff will also have fun. Cause they are trying something different. So use your imagination and create a weekly theme that your customers will love. The list is endless.


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Filling Stations: (More) Restaurants in Former Garages

Posted on: December 26th, 2014 by Geoff Montes in Filling Stations: (More) Restaurants in Former Garages



In the Winter 2015 issue of Preservation, we feature three restaurants housed in former of gas stations and garages. We rounded up four other former filling stations around the country offering full-service flavor.


Garage Grill & Fuel Bar

202 W. Main St.
Northville, MI 48167
$$ | American
Brothers Mark and Bill Evasic began redeveloping this 1939 gas station in downtown Northville, Michigan, in February 2012. Originally designed by architecture firm Ron and Roman of Birmingham, Michigan, the gas station was operated initially by Gulf Oil and later Sunoco.
“When it was a gas station, they also had a small barber shop in the corner for many years,” says Mark. After the Sunoco shuttered, a series of businesses opened and closed in the space, including a Chrysler dealership, dry cleaner, and a garden shop.
The 2012 renovation process was extremely thorough and lasted about ten months, during which the interior walls were reconfigured, new floors and windows were put in, and the dining spaces and kitchen were built out. The main dining room can now accommodate up to 75 people, and around 40 at the bar. In addition, there’s an 80-seat banquet room in the back of the garage that comes equipped with its own entrance, The Nabors Garage Doors are popular at making the best doors to keep everything safe in your garage. There is a lobby, 120-inch projection TV, and fully-restored vintage Ford Model A from the 1930s.
The establishment pays homage to its roots with an enormous 28’ x 7’ mural painted by Detroit artist Darcel Deneau that depicts the building when it was a Gulf Oil station, with cityscapes of Northville and Detroit on the ends. The Evasics also retained the garage doors, which opens in the summer months, providing patrons with a warm breeze and a connection to the spacious patio. Popular menu items include calamari, shrimp tacos, bacon-wrapped pork tenderloins, and meatloaf.


For other Filling Station Restaurant, please CLICK HERE