When people come to your restaurant, they have a few options of where to order from. They can either call you up and place their order over the phone. They can ask for it at the counter when they walk in. Or, if you're lucky enough to have an online menu, they might browse while sitting on their couch or waiting for their kids outside of school. With so many different ways people interact with your business these days, what does it mean if your restaurant doesn't have an online menu?
It means more people will be inconvenienced by not being able to find out about new specials or see all of the delicious dishes available at your establishment without having to make a call, stop by your restaurant, or frantically search through an old printed menu at home.
a) Lose the PDF
Why are so many restaurants still using this cumbersome menu format?
A PDF menu is helpful for reference, but it shouldn't be the primary way people interact with your menu online. Here are three reasons why a digital version of your restaurant's food and drinks will frustrate customers:
a) PDF menus are a thing of the past. They're inconvenient to download - some people won't even view your PDF menu if they don't want to bother downloading it for their browser window not to be cluttered with yet another file!
b) Plus, unlike live websites that can usually update themselves when necessary, static documents like pdfs take customers away from visiting your site instead of encouraging them on-site longer.
c) In the age of mobile, PDF menus are outdated. It's much easier to make quick changes with live sites instead of paper documents that can't be changed quickly enough; they're difficult to view on a small screen and not user-friendly when we're always viewing content online via our smartphones or tablets.
b) Use Real Food Images
Images can help you express your food in a way that words cannot. The images of dishes on the menu or those found at an eatery's website touch customers more than any other visual medium and should be used to their full potential when crafting menus online. Whether it is one image next to each dish showing off its mouthwatering presentation or two three professional shots scattered throughout the page highlighting ingredients from cooking videos - adding visuals like these will give people something they'll remember about your restaurant long after they've left.
c) Keep the Online Menu Simple
No one wants to stare at a cluster of words on their menu for five minutes before they can figure out what kind of food you offer or how much each item costs.
A popular design is the "one-page" concept, which keeps everything in easy reach and organized by meal type: breakfast, lunch, dinner, etcetera. If your establishment offers more than one option per category (e.g., oatmeal vs granola), I recommend splitting up menus according to morning/afternoon meals or evening light fare versus heartier entrees like steak Frites with fries – something that appeals to all tastes!
The simple design of your restaurant's menu will significantly impact whether or not potential customers visit and buy from you. The first step to making the most out of this medium is simplifying your menu presentation so that it's easy for customers to see what they want without feeling overwhelmed by too many words or images.
d) Make your online menu more interactive
Your online menu is your key to customer satisfaction. Add a call-to-action on every page so that it's easy for customers to order what they want with just one click!
Also, include the phone number and address of where you are located if any questions arise about picking up food or an item from our store.
e) Update the menu regularly
Why do customers hate when they call to order an item and find out it's no longer offered? This is problematic because not only is the customer's time wasted, but if their desire for that product remains strong, this could permanently turn them away.
Benefits of Online menu for restaurants
- It saves time! You can view everything right there without scrolling through pages or waiting in line.
- Your online menu gives customers more options than just calling in their order while on the go, making them less likely to abandon ship for another restaurant out of frustration.
- With an online menu, you're more likely to be found by customers than if there isn't one.
- You can change your menu often without having to reprint anything, even when it's last minute.
- Customers can order the foods in real-time with a call-to-action on the online menu.
- The menus are easy to update. Just add a new item when you change the menu or delete it if something is discontinued.