Araujo’s Menu Redesign
Solving business problems and reducing customer friction.
DateJuly 2023
RoleProblem Mapping
Menu Design
CreditsGuidance from
Jonathan Remulla
SkillsUser Experience Design
Content Design
Information Architecture
Design for Business Impact
Typography & Layout
Araujo’s Mexican Restaurant
The business looked to revamp the structure of their menu to provide better customer service and increase their yearly revenue.
Located in San Bruno, CA, Araujo’s has been serving freshly made Mexican food since 1980. The restaurant accepts orders via phone, DoorDash, and UberEats, but the printed menu is the primary way customers choose items to order.
Constraints•  8.5" x 14", trifold, full-color, front and back
•  Targeting in-person customers
In-Scope•  Items may be reordered across menu
•  Ensure good usability for seniors
•  Fonts, colors, and images may be changed
Problems → Desired Outcomes
Business & People Problems

Senior meal sales only account for 10% of monthly revenue even though a senior-living facility is located nearby

Super Dinner sales are extremely low—only 25 orders as of January 2023

Average customer visit time is 13 minutes during lunch service

Fear of customers not returning due to wait times and overall ordering experience

Restaurant is unable to afford a new physical menu board

Customers leave queue without ordering during lunch service

Customers often mistakenly order from the Dinner Menu during lunch service
Desired Outcomes

Increase sales by 5% and account for 15% of monthly revenue by end of May 2023

Quadruple monthly Super Dinner sales to 100 meals per month by end of April 2023

Reduce customers’ average visit to 10 minutes during lunch

Increase sales of add-on purchases (i.e. Beverages, Sides, Desserts)

Customer is happy with their ordering experience and food

Customers can easily scan the menu and make decisions confidently

Customers are confident to assume both the physical menu board and printed menu are consistent
Problem Mapping
I marked each panel noting issues, big and small, that were negatively contributing to the business. This informed me with where and how opportunities could be made to potentially restructure content.
Aligning Problems with Opportunities
Based off my audit, I aligned new opportunities that would solve for the problems. Then, I took each desired business outcome and aligned them to the opportunities that would allow for said outcomes to occur.

This framework allowed me validate design decisions, prioritize certain opportunities to implement over others, and set the skeleton for where placement of content would have maximum impact.

Customers often mistakenly order from the Dinner Menu during lunch service

Senior meal sales only account for 10% of monthly revenue even though a senior-living facility is located nearby
●  Dinners at the last open
Moving dinner items onto the two inner spreads will reduce and eliminate confusion of lunch and dinner items when menu is half open
●  One section for Seniors
Dedicating the back panel to senior customers, eliminates the need for them spending time opening the menu, scanning through multiple areas

Customers no longer mistakenly order from the Dinner Menu during lunch service

Increase sales of add-on purchases (SIDES, BEVERAGES, etc.) due to more visibility

Increase overall sales by 5% and account for 15% of monthly revenue by end of May 2023

Increase senior meal sales and reduce overall wait times

Quadruple monthly Super Dinner sales to 100 meals per month by end of April 2023

Customers can easily scan the menu and make decisions confidently
High-level Restructuring
With a zoomed-out approach, I reorganized the categories keeping in mind the user journey of navigating the menu.

This was an opportunity to make items that were originally difficult to find, easier. For example, moving add-on purchases to “higher traffic” areas, such as the first open or back cover, would potentially increase their sales.

Outer Spread (full open)
Inner Spread (full + half open)
Original Architecture
I color coordinated each category to assess their real estate on the page, along with the function of their placement from spread-to-spread, if any.

Proposed Architecture
I then reorganized and consolidated  them based on the opportunities uncovered—considering how they might be viewed in different folded states.
Lo-fi Wireframe
I laid out a wireframe to better visualize the different levels of hierarchy needed for the menu to be easily scannable.
Populating Content
Then came the meticulous (but satisfying) process of typing out each and every item,  ingredient, etc. on the menu.

The biggest challenge was getting the dense amount of content to fit comfortably without feeling crammed.
Deliberately Hiding Dinners
One of the biggest user issues of the original menu was the placement of Lunch in relation to Dinners, causing customers to often order from the Dinner Menu during lunch service. This behavior was further enforced through use of color, leading customers to make the assumption the two sections were one.

To resolve this, I moved Dinners to the middle two panels, intentionally tucking it away one level. This eliminated the possibility of ordering a Dinner item during lunch service.
My Redesign
A Spread That’s Not Confusing
I reallocated choice of meats, extras, and sides towards the top of their own panel to increase their visibility and potential sales

This placement ensures they can be seen regardless if the spread is fully or half opened
Small callout added to inform customers of more options when unfolded further—just in case
Enticing Customers to Upgrade
I designed a card-like callout dedicating the Super Dinner upgrade that applies to all the items in the Dinner section to reduce the amount of times the pricing information needed to be shown.

This got rid of the extra visual layer of comprehension customers would have to make when scanning the menu.
Original Dinners Pricing
My One-Time Callout
Dinner items listed with two prices—essentially, adding $3.00 to any "FULL" dinner will upgrade you to "SUPER" dinner.
Removed concept of "FULL" dinners and freed up more real estate—increasing menu scannability.
Brand Consistency
The use of color in the original menu created more visual chaos than structure. In an effort to reduce the amount being used, I looked at the restaurant’s website to compare their color usage with the existing menu. After doing a color audit, I reduced the palette to what I felt was an essential amount to use as guiding devices.

Results of the color audit:
•  More cohesion between the restaurant's printed menu and their website
•  Informed where images could be used as guiding devices as well
I kept the warmth and authenticity from the original menu palette, and paired it with the vibrant freshness from the website.
My redesign reduced the amount of colors and images used—now only using them to intentionally call out areas where the restaurant wants to increase sales.
Easy Ordering for Seniors
I consolidated the items relevant to Seniors and placed them on the back cover—eliminating the need for Seniors spending extra time opening up the menu, making a faster and easier ordering experience for them.

The use and placement of images on the original had little to no correlation to the content, so I completely removed them to give the dense amount of menu items more breathing room.
Placing Senior Specials in a higher profile area like the back cover makes them easier for seniors to locate and potentially increase sales.
Improved Scannability
For whatever reason, food menus typically list items on the left and their prices on the right. So for a dense menu like Araujo’s, I swapped the order of both to visually strengthen the relationship between them.

This resulted in a couple things:
•  Further increased scannability
•  Reduced optical effort connecting items to prices, from left to right
•  Created a nice column for item icons to sit in
Moving further away from using colors to categorize items, I designed icons and designated them into a key to solve the need for specific indications for certain menu items.
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