Originally by Marvin Doerfler for www.restaurant-hospitality.com
Traditionally when you think of menu design, you think of expertly crafted leather-bound menus with bold colors and over-the-top descriptions, but times are changing.
With the advent of new technologies,
More Restaurants are Adding Digital Menus to Their Websites & Tabletops,
and we've got
The 5 Rules You Need to Develop Your Own Online Menu!
As more people begin looking at menus online, the old tricks and standards of menu design don’t work anymore. Restaurants are faced with the challenge of making their meus both user friendly and psychologically designed to sell. The internet has changed the menu game, and these are the new rules.
#1: Usability Comes First
When a customer is sitting at a table in your restaurant, it’s unlikely they’ll get up and leave unless something awful happens. However, when they are on your website, it doesn’t take much to click away and go somewhere else if your menu loads slowly or isn’t readable. A usable, legible menu will keep your potential customer browsing.
Millennials in particular are pretty web savvy in general, and don't have patience for outdated technologies. A flash animation that won’t load on their smartphone or a low resolution picture with unreadable text could be all it takes to lose their business.
#2: Embrace Change
Smart restaurant managers take full advantage of making menu changes quickly and easily. For example, you can highlight items you think will sell well on a particular day, such as cold drinks and light meals in nice weather or soups and hot beverages on a chilly day.
You can also change out entire sections based on a holiday or season. Feature your famous green salad on St. Patrick’s Day then switch it out for your special egg dishes at Easter in a matter of minutes.
#3: Visualize it
Online menus get rid of this problem. You can easily incorporate pictures of what you want to highlight visually for your customs without running out of space. Most online formats allow you to create different sections and pages, giving you plenty of room for an image of each dish or a more detailed descriptive text.
On the internet, you are also competing with customer images from Yelp and other review sites. A grainy cell phone picture of a half-eaten meal doesn’t look particularly appetizing. Don’t let your customers rely on amateur photos of half-eaten meals to see what your food looks like. Take control of the appearance of your offerings by providing high resolution, and, if possible, professional images of your dishes when they scan your online menu.
#4: Improve Ordering
Online orders tend to be larger and more expensive than those made in-store. Additionally, customers are more likely to add items like side dishes when ordering online compared to over the phone. When customers call in an order, they usually order just what they planned. However, when a customer can peruse a well-designed online menu, they are more likely to modify their selection to include more of the appetizing items they see and can easily add to their order.
#5: Use Social Proof
Menus of the Future
How is Your Digital Identity? Click to Download our eBook on How to Craft Your Best Digital Presence!