A restaurant’s online menu is an effective communication tool for a restaurant business, that is why knowing which part of your online menu is not working for your restaurant’s branding is important. Managing your restaurant’s online menu is one of the constant tasks you need to do if you want to continuously improve and develop your marketing strategy for your restaurant business.
This article provides tips on how to avoid making the common mistakes in online menu management that could help you stay ahead of the competition, and increase guests’ satisfaction about your restaurant menu design.
TIPS ON HOW TO AVOID THE COMMON MISTAKES IN A RESTAURANT ONLINE MENU
DON’T USE A PDF MENU
Restaurant owners using PDF Menu for an online menu is one of the most common restaurant menu mistakes. PDF Menu may be visually pleasing but instead of helping your restaurant business, it actually drags the menu performance down.
Here are the reasons why you should stop designing your online menu in PDF format.
- It won’t show up in Google or other search engines. These platforms are using keywords from different websites, and the biggest mistake in the PDF menu is that it doesn’t have any keyword. Your restaurant business is missing a huge number of guests just because users won’t see your online menu when they search for the “best pasta in town”. Try to make an HTML version of your online menu and see the fast improvement of the rank of your online menu.
- It won’t be easy to update. A good restaurant online menu should be updated and easy to update. PDF menus can be only edited or updated by the website designer or business owner. Should this be the case, there would be numbers of exchange in emails before the right menu is uploaded.
- It won’t be mobile-friendly. Online users are mostly composed of millennials, a generation dependent on their mobile devices. Just imagine the frustration they will feel if your online menu can’t be conveniently accessed via mobile phones. You don’t want to miss such a huge opportunity of capturing a great market just because you refuse to change your PDF menu.
DO INCLUDE MENU DESCRIPTIONS
Providing menu descriptions is one way to make your customers happy. It prevents your guests from feeling detached from your menu and having menu description helps them to connect with your menu items and branding easily. It is also important to state if there are allergy-inducing ingredients included on your food items.
DON’T FOCUS ON PRICING
Overemphasizing on prices is one of the biggest mistakes you can do with restaurant menu design. This leads to your guests choosing the lowest priced food item instead of choosing a menu item according to their own terms. Remember to keep the menu font style and text just the same and highlight your menu item not your price.
Another thing to keep in mind is to avoid incorrect pricing. Customers may have a price preference, and might be price sensitive so sudden changes with your price may lead to confusion and frustration on their end.
DO CATEGORIZE YOUR FOOD ACCORDINGLY
One of the basics in restaurant online menu design is to categorize the food and menu items properly. Make it easier for your customers to locate what they want. Also keep in mind that order is also important.
Order in your online menu design is important to avoid other food items being skipped or ignored. It is also ideal to put vegan products, plant-based foods, and other food trends that capture your customer base. Look out to those future trends as well as it might be beneficial for your business soon.
DON’T OVERCROWD YOUR MENU
There’s nothing more unappetizing than to see an overcrowded online menu design. Keep your menu simple, aligned with your brand, and comprehensive. If your menu contains a lot more than it should, it will lead to confusion to your visitors.
How to know what menu item should be kept? Check your menu performance reports and make an analysis on what food items are not performing well to your customers. This just doesn’t help you with your online menu management, but it also helps you to reduce your food waste and you also save operational and food costs.
Note : Giving your customers a lot of options doesn’t always end with lots of sales as well.
Utilize the space of your online menu properly. Learn the customer psychology, and place your menu items that’s effective for your customer base. One good example for this is the golden triangle of the menu where you place the high profit items.
Important details such address, contact information, history, and operating hours should be placed to the first or last page of your online menu. This is for the information to stay well in the mind of your customers.
DO HAVE AN EXCEPTIONAL ATTENTION TO DETAILS
Online menu is a tool used to communicate to your customers, it also plays an integral part in your marketing strategy. That’s why it is important that you put a lot of effort and focus while designing your online menu. Make sure it’s readable, the font size, colors, and style complement each other, no typographical errors, and aligned to your restaurant’s brand.
If you’re not comfortable with your skills, you may opt to hire an expert graphic designer to help you provide a well-designed and informative menu.
DON’T IGNORE UPSELLING OPPORTUNITIES
Servers and waiters are there to help in increase in sales by providing the best customer service and encouraging your customers to buy additional menu items through upselling. But since the Restaurant Industry is a fast-paced demanding environment, your servers can’t face every customer you have. That’s why it is important to have a tool that will help you upsell certain items just by looking at them.
Combo meals and add-ons are just two of the most effective ways to upsell menu items through your online menu.
DO UPDATE YOUR MENU ALWAYS
No matter how exceptional your restaurant’s online menu design is, if it’s not updated, it won’t serve the purpose that it needs to. Make sure that your online menu is updated and easy to update.
Introducing new menu and food items is also one way to keep your customers hooked with your brand. Just like how this year brought comfort food back to our table, know which menu items need to be rotated and update your menu according to the performance of your menu items to maximize this effort.
Create online menus the smart way. Unlock their potential and make them work for you more than just showing your menu items.