There’s no denying your menu board is the centerpiece of your store’s interior design. While all the other elements of design contribute to the overall atmosphere, it’s the menu board that truly steals the show. Carefully watched, read, and analyzed, this is where the attention of all your customers is concentrated for a considerable amount of time.

This is reason enough to bring your A-game to choosing the right menu board for your business. How you present your menu says something about you and has a great hand in shaping your customers’ perception of your business. Thinking outside the box is one way to make a lasting impression. Even when using classic ways to display your menu items, you can make them unique to show your clients you are different in everything you do.

Here are only a few menu board ideas for dessert shops or cafes to start you on your menu board journey.

Photo above: Park Letter Board from George & Willy

Hanging Menu Sign by Holo Studio on Etsy

1. Magnetic Boards

The world of magnetic boards offers something for every taste and every type of decor. First, there are the playful boards with colorful letters, taking inspiration from your own fridge door and bringing this style into commercial spaces. This choice is not only amusing but also casual and familiar, allowing your customers to feel at home right away. The fact that your employees are likely to enjoy the task of reviewing the menu, only adds to its appeal.

Magnetic boards come with all the advantages of an easy-to-update menu board, from the free, no-stress ability to add or remove items to the ease of changing prices, order of the items, names, or simply the wording.

Circle Menu Display from George & Willy

2. Magnetic Strips

For a more refined look, replacing the magnetic board with thin rails creates an elegant, minimalist look that is hard to ignore.

Magnet Menu Board from  Holo Studio on Etsy

3. Hanging Menu Board

A variation of the magnetic board, the hanging menu sign adds a layering effect to your wall. It remains as elegant as the magnetic strips or chalkboards, but the idea of floating at a distance from the wall gives them a dynamic vibe.

Hanging Menu Sign by Holo Studio on Etsy

4. Wooden Blocks

If you don’t trust magnetic boards or are seeking something even more original, try stringing wooden blocks on a metal rod. The look is as fun as it is simple and brings in the same playful vibe that customers seeking relaxation greatly appreciate.

Photo via Pinterest

5.  Individual Chalk Boards

With a somewhat similar appeal, individual chalkboards offer the same orderly look and minimalist vibe. If you’re not fond of using plastic, metal, or wood letters, it’s time to grab the chalk and get to writing! Unlike traditional black menu boards, individual chalkboards offer a more interesting aesthetic. You can arrange them on the wall as you desire, in a column, side-by-side, or both, while avoiding the bulkiness of a classic one-piece chalkboard.

They are easy to use, update, and clean. Depending on the design you choose, you can use them to add a touch of color to your menu wall or even to create patterns that contribute to the aesthetic appeal of your space.

Market Chalkboard Menu from George & Willy

If you prefer a simple look, you can mount your chalkboard directly onto the wall. However, if you want a little more dimension, a wooden structure can completely change the look of your menu, giving it more depth and detail. Additionally, you can easily change the placement of your boards or remove one if an item becomes temporarily unavailable.

Photo via D|Fab

6. Brown Paper Roll Menus

Using a brown paper roll as your menu board is one of those ideas that makes you wonder why you haven’t tried it earlier. The main appeal is the cost – the upfront investment is minimal. However, the brown paper roll should not be dismissed as simply a cost-effective solution. In an environment where minimalism, rustic touches, and Instagrammability are important, the paper roll menu board finds itself at home.

Of course, this type of menu board works best for casual interiors that are looking for a fun way to solve old problems. Neutral decors with touches of greenery and other nature-inspired tones are great places to house such an item. If you are itching for a decorative touch, use the hanger to add the details that you are craving, or get artistic by drawing on the paper whenever you are in the mood for artistic expression.

In terms of functionality, the appeal of the paper roll menu board is that it can be updated easily and as often as you please, at a negligible cost.

Brown Butcher Paper Menu Board by Keyaiira on Etsy

7. Pegboard

The idea of a pegboard may not immediately evoke images of an elegant interior, but you would be surprised by its decorative potential. It all comes down to the quality and look of the pegboard. A wood-toned one, for example, combined with elegant white or black letters, may in fact bring a sense of modern class to your space.

The beauty of the pegboard is that it is easy—and fun!—to update. Change in price? No problem! Out of a menu item? Remove it with ease and avoid the uncomfortable situation of having to explain to your customers why their favorite dessert is unavailable.

Photo via Pinterest

8. Blocks of Color

If you want to keep things simple and minimalistic, but basic neutral menu boards do not agree with your interior, adding blocks of color to the mix may be the answer. This is a charming idea if you prefer an uncomplicated menu board but need that little extra touch to make it your own.

The combination of colors attracts the eye and immediately guides your customers to look for your dessert options. A menu designed with blocks of color can also tie all your decor together or even serve as the basis for customized wall decor patterns. You can use colors to suggest attributes such as flavors, heat levels, seasonal items, etc., to organize your menu items and make the ordering process easier.

Depending on the design, this type of menu board can be very fitting for a dessert shop that caters mainly to children and uses solid colors to create a familiar and inviting space.

Photo via Pinterest

9. Simple White Menu Board

There is a reason why “writing it black on white” is an expression suggesting clarity. A white, simple menu board with black lettering is a very familiar sight to anybody who has ever read, and a very comfortable and familiar one. In addition, the white background opens up and brightens the space, while an elegant font can speak of class and taste.

Photo via Pinterest


10. Acrylic Menu Boards

If your menu rarely (or never) goes through modifications, an acrylic menu board is a very elegant way of displaying your dessert and beverage items. With a modern appeal yet  classic style, such a menu adds to the aesthetics of your space. Choosing a transparent design avoids the bulkiness of large signage and allows the interior to flow without interruption. Additionally, acrylic is easy to clean and maintain, so your menu will always look fresh and appealing.

Menu board in Polka Gelato ice-cream parlor by Vonsung. Photo via

If you are thinking to open a new business or are in the process of rebranding and remodeling your existing business, contact us to get a free consultation from Mindful Design Consulting. Click HERE to price your project design.

Also, take a look at the “Branding By Interior” e-book, the only book written on this subject at this time. It brings insight into how you can turn your business into a market-dominating competitor by using human cognitive responses.

See our Small Store Design Extravaganza: Commercial Interior Design and Branding 01 book about branding small businesses from logo design to construction, with colorful images, offering insightful explanations every step of the way.

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