How to Turn Your Menu Into a Marketing Tool
By posting your restaurant's menu online, you are giving your restaurant the opportunity to showcase your amazing food. But there’s more to do than just upload a PDF if you want to reach as many people as possible.
Here are some important steps to making your menu the strongest marketing tool it can be.
Make Your Menu Searchable
A lot of the time, customers don’t start their search for a place to eat with the name of a restaurant. In fact, 49% of people perform online searches without a specific business in mind.
Instead, they search for specific food items, like “Thai food Gold Coast.” If you’re a Thai restaurant in their local area, you’d want to show up in those search results. If your website prominently states that you serve Thai food and are located in the Gold Coast, there’ll be no problem and you’ll pop right up.
However, sometimes guests will search for a specific food item they’re craving, searching something like “grilled cheese near me.” If you have grilled cheese on your menu, you’ll want your restaurant and your menu to appear in the search results — but if your menu is just uploaded as a PDF, you won’t.
Keep Your Menu Up To Date And Current
As a restaurant owner, it’s your duty to provide your customers with accurate information. You wouldn’t want potential guests showing up on a day when you’re closed, and the same goes for your menu. Having an old, outdated menu available online can hurt your reputation and upset customers who are disappointed that you got rid of the menu item they were excited to order — or that your prices went up.
Whenever you make a change to your menu, make sure that change is reflected wherever your menu lives — like on Facebook, Instagram, and Google My Business. Don’t leave this update for later: if you’re changing something on your menu, change it everywhere right away.
Put Your Menu On Every Online Platform
Your menu should be available on as many relevant websites, so that you reach the largest audience and is as searchable as possible.
Some platforms include your website, Google My Business, Facebook, Instagram, Trip Advisor and Uber Eats.
Keep in mind that having your menu the exact same across every site is not only great for marketing, but it builds customer trust and loyalty. With someone else handling the execution for you, you have more time to focus on the guest experience, other marketing tactics, and the overall health of your business.
Highlight Your Menu Specials Online
If you have a limited-time special menu for a holiday or a special event, post photos of your special menu across all your social media and other platforms. The searchability of this menu doesn’t matter as much, because it’s temporary, so you can just use a photo or a PDF.
You can also post a photo of your weekly or even daily specials on Instagram or Facebook stories, which expire after 24 hours.
Make sure you tell your followers that this menu is available for a limited time to entice them to visit soon. If you notice that you’ve attracted a ton of new guests through this tactic, and you noticed that one of the special dishes was ordered by a big percentage of your guests, you can consider making the dish part of your normal menu.
Make Your Website And Menu Mobile-Friendly
When potential guests are looking for places to eat, they’re often searching while on the go. In fact, in 2018, 52.2% of all worldwide online traffic was generated through mobile phones.
Unfortunately, when you publish a webpage, it's not always automatically formatted to work across all devices (desktop/laptop computer, phone, and tablet). All these different systems need webpages to be constructed and coded differently.
If your website isn’t responsive, on-the-go searchers will be faced with a cramped, tiny, or poorly formatted menu, and potential customers may search elsewhere.
Luckily, the most popular website-building platforms like Wordpress can easily create responsive layouts for your restaurant website and webpage.
Your Menu Will Bring New And Old Customers
There are many ways to market your restaurant, but your menu is at the heart of why your guests keep coming back.
Your online menu should be easily discoverable by every hungry diner in your area. Getting your menu online in the proper way is a simple yet effective marketing tool that can help bring new business through your doors.
This blog was inspired by Toast https://pos.toasttab.com/
To find out more about marketing tools in making your menu stand out from the crowd, visit our website to our Operations Manual: