Menu and Types of Menus.

What Is A Menu?

A menu is created when you compile various dishes for choice. Through the types of menus you can create a satisfying meal.

There are seven to nine types of menus depending on who you ask. I think of it as seven main types of menus with three minor types of menus.

In the menu examples I present here do not follow one specific grouping like Italian or German food, instead it is a variety of different foods and beverages for selection.

One thing you can count on with the distinct types of menus is that they have consumables. Although menus are used in computer programs or games those typically do not have consumables but have selections.

Oftentimes beverage and dessert are included in a few of the types of menus. The menus in higher end restaurants will have separate menus for wines and desserts. Whereas mainstream will include it in their standard menu. Normally restaurants will use a static menu that rarely changes.

I prepared several menu examples that are only mockups. I did this is so you get a better understanding of each type of menu, these menus may not have drinks and others do not have desserts. Those will have menus of their own.

This is a photo of a la carte menu mock up with prices and categories
A la Carte Menu

Embracing the Types of Menus

Imagine how good it would feel to not have to worry what is for dinner or any other meal. The reason is because you have planned it all out. Knowing what you need to shop for or even which new recipes you want to try out. Planning things out helps streamline the food making process.

On Sundays I plan out the weekly menu, write out the grocery list and gather any new recipes. I typically have my husband pick out the main protein. I often leave sides open because I like to use what is in season or leftover vegetables. Sometimes it is leftover asparagus, other times it is that red cabbage (rot kohl) my husband bought because he did not know if I wanted fresh or canned. So, he got both, I wanted canned to go with Sauerbraten.

When you plan out your menu you are going to want to leave a bit of wiggle room. No plans survives contact with the enemy, in this case the enemy is food waste and indecisiveness.

The main protein is important to plan a healthy and nourishing meal. Cannot have chicken cacciatore without the chicken. I like this recipe for chicken cacciatore.

There are several diverse types of menus, and you most likely are familiar with a few of them. You probably have come across them when going out to eat or have seen them at a wedding or a large function.

For more information on menu planning check out this post or this post on food rotation and FIFO.

What are the Types of Menus? Including Menu Examples.

The seven main menu types are:

  1. A La Carte
  2. Table d’Hote
  3. Static
  4. Fixed
  5. Prix Fixe
  6. Du Jour
  7. Cycle

Whereas the three minor menus are:

  1. Beverage
  2. Dessert
  3. Specials

Hotel menus are a different barrel of fish although they have many similarities to restaurant menus.

Types of Menus Concisely Explained.

This is a simple A la Carte menu example. Each item in this example has a price listed next to it, remaining true to the A la Carte style
This menu example is for the A la Carte menu type.

A La Carte

Also known as ‘By the card’ or roughly translated to “according to the menu.’’

It can be classified by being able to pick what you want individually instead of having just one set menu.

this is a mock up or example of the du jour menu layout
Here is the Du Jour

Du Jour

This one is just a daily menu for instance soup du jour is soup of that day, usually these menus are often very fresh or specialized.

This is a cycle menu mock up and example


Usually a set cycle that is used for a set of time, it is used for menus like the one above, much like what you find at schools or in cafeteria menu. Think of pizza Fridays or taco Tuesdays.


Often seen in restaurants a static menu tends to be larger than the other mentioned menus and is always consistent, a key point in the restaurant business.

Fixed Menu


A menu with limited options and a fixed price. Its frequently confused with static menus because of the wording and the context of menu name. It differs a great deal from the previously mentioned static menu. #These two type of menus are broken down into two different types. These include the table d’Hote menu and the Prix Fixe menu.

Menu Table d’Hote

Table d’Hote

This happens to be a menu that offers a choice of appetizer, entrée, and dessert all at a fixed price.

Here is a prix fixe menu example to show case this menu type.
Prix Fixe Menu

Prix Fixe

Your menu is a fixed menu with very little wiggle room or variability all for a fixed price.

It typically includes an appetizer, an entrée, and a dessert.

While guests can usually modify these based on dietary restrictions, there really is only one option to choose from per course.

Next up we have…

Perfect Example of a Drink Menu


There are a few complications that arise, including the odd man out. The odd man out concept is that in a large family (or any family) there is that one child or spouse who wants something completely different than everyone else.

A good compromise leaves everyone unhappy so you can offer up a new set of dishes until everyone agrees or try to make peace with the individual who want something different.

Having a repertoire will make coming up with dishes much easier. I highly suggest getting a recipes book or food journal.

Pinterest also really helps in those beginning days. Just don’t fall into the trap of wanting to cook all the new dishes.

The reason you don’t want to fall into that trap is because it can waste money and increase food waste.


Make sure you are willing to make exactly what is on the menu. You don’t want to just write in new menu choices.

This will streamline your prep work and cook time. If you stick to family favorites, you have less of a problem with your picky eaters.

Giving your young ones a feeling of choice and decision is a great building block for healthy social skills.

Sometimes you must change out an ingredient or whole selection you found on Pinterest.

If you need more information on menu planning please check out this post. Be flexible menus can change each week.

If you do specials this can be daily these are a few examples of dishes that can be specials.


4 thoughts on “Menu and Types of Menus.”

  1. This answered my question thank you so much

  2. Uma says:

    That’s a great menu 😋😋

  3. Ayesha says:

    A La Carte and Perfect Salad is perfect thing i always enjoy it. highly recommended

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