I visited a cute 50’s diner in Rancho Cucamonga called Richie’s Diner. It’s known to locals as a great place for a good breakfast and large portions. In need of a good American meal, I met my dad and brother for a quiet Saturday brunch.
I took a seat at a sticky red booth and was handed a menu by an uninterested waitress with a high pony tail. This menu screamed All-American in the cheesiest way possible. I love 50’s diners for the upbeat music, deliciously simple grease-enhanced food and black and white tiled floors, but why are the menus sooooo bad?!
The front of the menu at Richie’s features a giant American flag screaming “Hey! We’re American!” The logo itself has two different fonts. Neccessary? No. Top it off with a stupid cartoon scene at the bottom and we have ourselves a wholesome American eatery.
I forced myself to move past the cheesy cover and open my menu.
Ahhhhh! What a nightmare!
The menu uses at least 7 different fonts and about 5 different colors. Colored boxes and obnoxious borders frame sections of the menu to make it “pop.”
The overall effect is a migrane and the need to quickly choose anything with the goal of closing the menu and never opening it again.
Trained in a top advertising program, I strongly believe in the art of simplicity. For that reason I would never use more than 3 colors or 2 fonts in a feature. This menu, being the center of Richie’s business, far surpasses my 3 – 2 standards. The overall look is messy, amateur and nauseating. I honestly think a 5-year-old could put together a more attractive menu.
All in all, diners serve great food, but have a true need for a marketing upgrade.