The Ghost of Menus Past

Don’t let your website be a graveyard for unaltered and confusing menus. Update them frequently and accurately.

You would never leave menus with outdated prices or items on the tables in your restaurant. Not only is it unprofessional, it will cost you money and customers if people start to notice changes in the charge on their card vs. what they were expecting to pay. But, people do this all the time on their website. They either don’t include, or include a barley legible photo of their menu. According to ChowNow, it is the best way to reel potential customers in, or scare them off if poorly executed.

Beyond having a menu online, businesses should take care to make sure the online menu is just as functional as their physical one. It should look, act, and feel like your in-house menu. Here are some quick tips on how to keep your menus fresh and clean looking for your site.

If you update your in-house menu, make sure it is updated online as well. Nothing can confuse a customer more than calling in for a dish that doesn’t even exist anymore. More subtly, a price or ingredient may change and a customer ends up unhappy. Also, make sure to keep an eye on allergy concerns.

If you upload a new menu to replace your old, make sure you delate the files for the old one. We don’t want to see duplicate menus floating around. If something is ever out of stock or season be sure to remove and swap for other items.

Anything is better than nothing, to an extent. If you have no online menu, change that ASAP. Make sure there is something available to customers who cannot physically be in your store; especially in times of public health concerns. However, sometimes having something available is only slightly better than nothing.

Having a photo of your menu uploaded from your phone online on your site isn’t going to cut it. It’s hard to read and not optimized for multiple platform use. One slight step above this, is a linkable PDF. While better, it’s still not really the best way. It will take your customers to either a link or downloadable file, and isn’t easy to edit or use for online ordering.

One step above this a menu you can interact with in some way. The best of these being QR. Easily opened from any device, no need to download, wont slow down on mobile, and all you need to do is hold your phone up to the code. On a desktop, an interactive menu is best for online ordering as well. You can list substitutions, allergy information and even nutritional information. All of this makes it easier on you too according to RestOLabs, keeping the customer happy but also keeping your staff organized and ahead of the game.

The more startup work you do on your menus the more time and money you will save in the future. Customers appreciate an easy ordering experience. Especially if they cannot come in person for your servers and ambiance to help make the initial impression.

You can find examples of full completed and designed online menus here.

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