How to Design a Tea Menu That Sells in Four Simple Steps

From ancient tea houses to modern boba shops, tea menus have served customers for a millennium. And like with any dining establishment, the menu serves as the jumping off point for the entire customer experience. A well-designed menu balances logical sense with aesthetic appeal to both inform the customer and set a tone for the meal.

By following these super simple tips on organizing, pricing and decorating your tea menu like a pro, you can create a tea menu that upsells your tea and builds your brand. Here are four of the best, easy tips and tricks. And if you want your tea menu to look extra gorgeous, use a tea menu template that takes the guesswork out of design.

Four steps to designing a tea menu that sells:

Step No. 1 – Name Your Price

As the core of your menu, you want to price your tea menu sustainably. Use a pricing formula or food cost calculator to determine your base cost. From there, the rest is all psychology.

Which sounds better? $4.25 or $4.10? Doesn’t $4.25 sound tidier than $4.10? What about $5.99 or $6? $5.99 sounds much less expensive than $6.

Rather than round to the nearest dollar, cap each price to the nearest .99 or .25 cents. These numbers have a psychological effect on customers, helping them believe that they’re getting a better deal. Stick with either a .99 or .25 cent roundup to keep your menu prices looking consistent. Scattered menu prices that don’t seem to follow a pattern will make customers feel uneasy.

Step No. 2 - Choose a Layout That Upsells

When you’ve landed on prices for all your menu items, write them out on flashcards or post-it notes. This will allow you to move menu items around and experiment with different layouts.

Next, place your most expensive menu items near the middle of the page. This is where your customers’ eyes will land first. This is called the Golden Triangle Rule and is the generally accepted manner in which customers read menus. They start in the middle, and then move right corner to left corner. As they look elsewhere on your menu and prices drop, it will create the illusion of affordability. This will ensure that customers order in higher quantities or choose the expensive option.

If you offer food at your tea house or tea café, consider juxtaposing food items with teas that pair well. If you offer it, use the back of your menu for dessert options that can encourage guests to linger longer.

Don’t forget to add pricing for sweeteners, milks and milk alternatives like oat and soy milk. While not expensive, drink customizers like these can have a high profit margin, so you want to make sure customers can find them quickly. Including the lowest priced items at the end of your menu make them seem like an afterthought and make them less appealing to customers. Add sweeteners, milk alternatives, and other tea customizations to the middle of your menu lineup, rather than at the end to make them seem important.

As customers peruse your menu top to bottom and front and back, you want to provide great options everywhere they look. Bookend your tea menu with higher-priced small plates or hors d'oeuvres to make the menu feel evenly weighted and polished.

Step No. 3 - Update with On-brand Colors and Fonts

Your menu is the keystone of your marketing. Use a template tool to create print and online menus. Add your brand colors and fonts to get professional-looking menus without the hassle of hiring a graphic designer.

Step No. 4 - Add Final Touches

The love is in the details. Adding final touches like images or illustrations can maximize the time customers spend perusing your menu. Sometimes it's the little things that set your business apart from your competition. Here are some ideas to get you started:

--- Hire a professional photographer to take snapshots of tea and food pairings.

--- Create illustrations of your best-selling teas.

--- Add a caffeine scale to each tea to illustrate the caffeine levels within each tea.

--- Include frequently asked questions on the back of your menu.

--- Use your menu to tell a story. Include images or a written paragraph telling the story of your tea house. Where is your tea sourced? Who plays a key role in its creation?

Get creative with your final touches and your final tea menu will be a smash sensation!

Sydney Ahmadian is a restaurant writer and digital marketer whose work has been featured in Restobiz and FSR. She works at MustHaveMenus, which provides small businesses with an all-in-one marketing solution for menu design, professional printing, QR codes, online menus and more. Find out more here. 

Plan to Attend or Participate in the
World Tea Conference + Expo, March 21-23, 2022

To learn about other key developments, trends, issues, hot topics and products within the global tea community, plan to attend the World Tea Conference + Expo, March 21-23, 2022, celebrating its 20th anniversary. The event will be co-located with Bar & Restaurant Expo, creating unique opportunities and synergy. Visit

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