Your online menu design is your restaurant’s presentation of everything you have to offer to your current and potential customers, who find you online. Your restaurant may offer exceptional dishes, but it will all remain in the background if you don’t flaunt it on a menu!
If designed well, the online menu can be a definitive advertising tool to stimulate appetite and drive profits through online ordering.
Why It’s Important to Have an Online Menu
The surge in takeaway and delivery has been one of the most significant effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though some restaurants have reopened and tight capacity limitations have been relaxed, many customers still prefer to order takeaway rather than dine in.
A strong menu can be the key to increasing online ordering sales if your business is set up for it.
With so many tools available, you can create your own online menu to help customers make satisfying choices. These five tips will enhance the online ordering experience for your customers and increase your chances of getting more orders and greater revenue.
1 - Categorise Menu Items Based on Popularity and Profit
Prior to building your online menu, you should classify all your dishes based on popularity and profitability per dish. You want to place your most popular and highest profit dishes at the start of your menu and work your way down. Sure, it may require some effort upfront, but this is a small price to pay for massive gains down the line.
Your online ordering platform may give you the ability to highlight high-margin items with different lines, colours, or formatting to catch the reader’s eye. Actively change the items based on seasonal popularity since some of the dishes on your menu may change in popularity throughout the year.
2 - Captivate Customers with Images
Images and graphics, if used correctly, can help enhance your menu’s attractiveness and make it easier for your customers to make choices. A professionally taken photo of a particular dish could help boost its sales by 30%. Use tastefully attractive high-quality images to showcase the menu item that is on offer.
If you are planning to use images on your menu, be sure to upload an image for each item. Do not have some items with images and some without, as this reduces your menu’s consistency and makes it difficult for the customer to choose any of the items that do not have an image to refer to.
3 - Optimise the Menu for Sales
When building your online menu, consider the fact customers do not want to scroll through pages of items they aren’t interested in just to find what they’re looking for. Having too many options can lead to decision fatigue, which occurs when clients are presented with so many choices they become dissatisfied with all of them.
Aim to reduce the size of your menu by limiting the number of options in each category, or eliminating unpopular or poorly travelled meals. Customers will find the selection process to be fast and easy with fewer options.
Be sure to use relative pricing and make diners think they’re getting a deal by placing a cheap, yet high-profit dish next to an expensive one, or as a recommended item.
You need to be strategic with item placement and recommendations so you maximise your revenue from each customer order.
4 - Ensure it is Easy to Navigate
Your online menu is a useful source of information for your clients, as well as a wonderful sales and marketing tool for you. As a result, you'll want to make sure that reading your online menu is a good experience for your consumers, regardless of whether they're using a desktop, laptop, or mobile.
Your customers should find it easy to scroll through the menu, choose the item they want and pay, all within a few clicks.
Ensure clients can read the item information provided while scrolling through the menu. This means utilising easy-to-read typefaces, appropriate colours and simple wording.
5 - Set Prices the Same as Your Dine-in Menu
A lot of restaurants and takeaways see a reduction in customer interest and sales due to the price hike they include on their online menus to cover commissions set by third-party ordering providers.
Consider choosing a commission-free provider such as WOWAPPS, which offers you the option of taking menu orders and receiving 100% of the sale. By setting your prices the same as your dine-in menu, you ensure there are no hidden costs and your regulars are pleased with the price of their orders.
This will improve your chances of getting regular orders from loyal customers and build on the trust between you and them if they get no surprise cost charges when going through your online menu, compared to your dine-in menu.
With the tech-savvy generation demanding their favourite venues offer online ordering, your menu must provide instant gratification when it comes to design and food on offer.
Take into consideration the layout of your menu, how you present and describe your items and the prices you set. These simple yet strategic tips encourage customers to spend more and re-order from you in the future.