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While many restaurant owners have mastered the skills in designing an in-house restaurant, there are certain tips and tricks behind developing a fantastic online menu as well:

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. You can increase this reading time by placing your menu online for all customers to find, view, and read it at their own leisure. The key is to keep your menu small 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 there is a seasonal item that’s new to your menu, bump it to the top of the list 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 “buy now” or “available today only” or “flash deal.” Calls to action help 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 your menu items has various toppings, be sure to list all of the toppings under the description of the menu item. The more the customer 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 your customers to get bored with your menu. At the end of each year, you should consider changing up your menu for the new year. You can still include a lot of your restaurant’s popular items, but don’t be afraid to completely revamp your menu to  keep things fresh and interesting with your current customers as well as reach a potential new audience. .

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 called “Lunch,” divide these lunch items up into their own specific categories such as: Homemade Soups, Summer  Salads and Vegan Sandwiches.

The Price is Right

When designing your menu, make sure the price of the food covers your costs for your online ordering tool, delivery, and 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. If you put your most expensive item at the top, customers will briefly look at this item before heading south to the rest of the items that they can afford. Put an item that will make you more money beneath these items to encourage a customer purchase.

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