Skip to main content

Many restaurant owners have mastered the skills of designing their physical restaurant and menu. But, what about their online menu? For those that need help, here are some tips and tricks to improve your online menu:

Make a Good Impression

When looking at a menu, customers read them pretty quickly. According to a Gallup poll, an average customer takes 109 seconds to read your menu, which is less than two minutes. Placing your menu online, for any customer to find, will allow them to view it at their own leisure. The key is to keep your menu small enough so that it’s easy for customers to make a purchasing decision.

Highlight Deals

If there is a menu item that you want your customers to purchase, make it known! You can highlight specific menu items by giving it a catchy name or including a photo of the item. Items like these can be available on a regular basis, or if it’s a seasonal item that’s new, bump it to the top of your menu (or the category) and include the words NEW! or SEASONAL!

Include Call to Actions

If you want your customers to do something, you need to ask them. In the case of your online restaurant menu, you’ll want to include text that encourages customers to purchase right away. These call to action items can say something like “Available Today Only” or “Flash Deal”. A call to action helps create a sense of urgency, designed to elicit a desired response.  

Information is Key

Customers like to know what they’re getting from a menu item. If a menu item has various toppings, be sure to list all of the toppings under the description of the menu item. The more customers can visualize what their ordering (with or without a photo), the better. Unwanted surprises are never a good thing.   

Mix It Up

You don’t want customers to get bored with your menu. You need to routinely improve your online menu by updating it. At least once a year, but in routine intervals, you should update and change your online menu. You should always include your restaurant’s popular items, but don’t be afraid to revamp your menu to keep things fresh. This will help to keep the interest of your existing customers, as well as reach new potential customers.

Icons and Symbols

People are visual learners, and icons and symbols could help a customer navigate more quickly through your menu. With emoticons being so popular, pick out some icons that might be applicable to your restaurant and use them in your menu. Using a star can show diners that an item on the menu is popular. You can also use symbols to indicate whether a dish is vegetarian , spicy, gluten free etc…

Don’t Be Generic

When it comes to naming categories or sections of your menu, try to be as detailed as possible. Instead of choosing to have a section simply called “Lunch”, divide the items into their specific niches, such as “Homemade Soups”, “Summer Salads”, and “Vegan Sandwiches”.

The Price is Right

When designing your menu, be sure the price of each item covers a portion of your overhead and packaging costs, in addition to food costs. Strike a balance between affordability and a worthwhile profit margin.

Be Smart

Studies have shown that diners exhibit some common behaviors when they’re looking at menus. For instance, if you put your most expensive item at the top, customers will briefly look at the item before heading south, to the rest of the items they can afford. Put an item that will make you more money beneath these items to encourage a customer purchase.

Activate Your NetWaiter Site

If you want to attract and keep more local customers informed about your restaurant and online menu, check out NetWaiter’s restaurant platform and network. You can search for, and activate, your NetWaiter site and app here:

NetWaiter Team

Author NetWaiter Team

More posts by NetWaiter Team