We’d hate to break it to you – but your online menu may be driving away business.
Whether you’re sharing your online menu on your website or social media, there are subtleties in menu design that can influence customers’ decisions to dine in or order from your restaurant, cafe or pub.
Such mistakes tend to slip under the radar, which is why we’re here to bring them to your attention.
A common blunder that restaurants, cafes and pubs make is thinking print menus translate just fine to the digital sphere. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Slapping a PDF on a website and calling it a day can appear lazy to customers. Instead, menus designed for online viewing should be dynamic, easy to read and optimised for all kinds of devices.
Why keep your customers in the dark? By omitting descriptions for your menu items, you’re directly sabotaging your menu and its chances of being explored. The less customers know about options they might have, the more likely they are to glance over them.
Running your menu through spellcheck and by your entire team may very well save you from an embarrassing mistake. Incorrect use of punctuation, bad grammar and misspelled words do nothing but undermine the professionalism of your establishment
Menus can be an information overload. As such, customers need to be guided through your options. To best utilise the space on your menu, you should introduce clear-cut categories – such as ‘Starters’, ‘Mains’ and ‘Desserts’ – using headings, boxes, lines or different colours. Be sure to make your most popular and profitable items situated at the top of your menu.
Having too many choices is a real issue – and it’s called the ‘paradox of choice’. Coined by American psychologist Barry Schwartz, the concept notes how consumers experience a sense of anxiety and stress when faced with too many options. Not only does having too many menu items confuse customers, but it can also paralyse their decision-making skills.
Transparency is key to keep customers happy and coming back for more. If what’s on the plate doesn’t add up to the concept sold on the menu, customers are likely to end up feeling misled or disappointed.
Customers have all kinds of different palates and diets – and your menu should make everyone feel welcome. If your kitchen does in fact have the ability to make menu items vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free or dairy-free, make it known! As a restaurant owner, you should never miss the opportunity to show customers how you can tailor dishes to the needs.
Customers are always on the hunt for great value – that they’ve almost come to expect it from restaurants and cafes these days. For example, offering free delivery with a minimum spend or half-price coffees with every dessert purchased are both great examples that encourage customers to spend while getting their money’s worth.
Did you know that too many dollar signs on a menu can subconsciously deter customers from ordering certain items? To combat this, you can instead ditch the dollar sign and list your prices as numbers. As well as that, make sure prices are listed in a consistent font type and size as your menu items. Remember – it’s all about listing prices, not emphasising them.
Unlike print menus, online menus thrive with the use of engaging visuals. Include vibrant, high-quality food photos to help your audience visualise both familiar and unfamiliar dishes. To keep things looking organised, Menuzen lets your customers view photos attached to each individual menu item – making for a more dynamic viewing experience.
Have you found yourself guilty of these mistakes? Is your menu overdue for an update? Or perhaps you’re looking for a way to transform your online menu?
Look no further than Menuzen, the world’s latest menu creator and live menu management system. Take advantage of our free menu templates, which embrace simple yet creative design principles. Best of all, our online software is 100% free and easy to use!
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