Writing menus

For a printer-friendly version of the Garnishes chart, click on the icon to download.
Note: Must have Acrobat Reader.

The following guidelines are helpful in planning a menu.

Use descriptive terms that give information about the temperature, texture, color, or other special characteristics of the food or the method of preparation.

Examples: Chilled Apple Cider, Broiled Sirloin Steak, Cream of Asparagus Soup, etc.

Write menus in a symmetrical arrangement on the page, listing foods in the order they are served.

Example:

Broiled Hamburgers

Baked Potato Sour Cream

Broccoli Glazed Carrots

Hot Rolls

Iced Tea

Capitalize all words except articles and prepositions; words such as “or,” “and,” “of,” “with,” etc. are not capitalized.

Example: Cream of Mushroom Soup

Foods should be grouped by courses. The item of most importance should be listed first.

Example: “Broiled Hamburgers”

If foods are served with an accompaniment, list the food first.

Examples:
Baked Potatoes Sour Cream
or

Cheddar Cheese Cubes Rye Chips

If the main dish has two or more accompaniments, center the main dish and space the accompaniments on the same line on either side or write them on the line below.

Example:

Ry-krisp - Chicken Soup - Saltines

OR

Chicken Soup

Ry-krisp Saltines

• Items such as butter, cream, sugar, or salad dressing are not written on menus unless they are special in some way.

Examples:

Crusty Rolls Whipped Butter

or

Wedge of Lettuce Thousand Island Dressing

The beverage(s) appears as the last item(s).

Example: Iced Tea

Allow extra spacing between courses; this is often omitted in menus printed in books, magazines, and newspapers in order to save space. The following menu is for a three course meal.

French Onion Soup

Whole Wheat Wafers

Celery Sticks Assorted Olives

Prime Rib of Roast Beef au Jus

Potato Souffle

Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce

Mixed Green Salad

Hot Rolls Whipped Butter

Lemon Ice

Coffee Hot Tea

 

Back to top

 

© Copyright (2002) Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, 47907. All Rights Reserved.