Ampersands: Should you use ‘and’ or ‘&’ in menus?

By Mary Morel

Reader’s question: What is your view on the use of & or and in menus? I have previously used & to list ingredients that are combined, such as garlic & ginger and and for items that are not blended.

Answer: I think this is a style issue, but my preference would be to have consistency rather than a mixture of & (an ampersand) and and. I think using both could be distracting because I am not sure that readers would be aware that you are making a distinction.

In terms of which usage is better, that is your choice. Generally, in written prose and is preferable, but I think a menu is different because space is limited.

What style do other menus use? I looked at a few and found:

• Logan Brown, Wellington, NZ, uses &
• Sepia, Sydney, uses and
• Est., Sydney, uses and

Check out restaurants you like and see if they use & or and.

Learn more about punctuation

Read my other grammar tip on ampersands.

Learn more about punctuation with my online course, An A to Z of Punctuation (A$39).

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