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By Brian Casel, founder of Restaurant Engine
Is your food menu posted on your restaurant's website? Of course it is. It's one of the most sought after items your visitors are looking for when they're checking you out on the web.
But is your online food menu optimized for turning visitors into customers?
Here are some tips from an email course, Winning More Customers From The Web, available for free on the Restaurant Engine Blog.
Your PDF food menus... Keep 'em or chuck 'em?
Don't trash them quite yet.
Posting your food menus on your website as a PDF download can often be a quick and easy solution for getting your menus online, fast. In that respect, having a PDF food menu is better than not having any menu at all.
But are PDF Food menus the best, most optimized way of presenting your food menu(s) on your website? No.
For the vast majority of your website visitors, PDF's only cause frustration. They're bulky and slow to download (nobody wants to download something to their computer just to glance over your food menu).
On top of that, Since PDFs aren't easy to edit, they're often left out-of-date. And if they're on a mobile device, PDFs become even more problematic.
A better online food menu
I strongly recommend that you present your online food menu seamlessly, as part of your website design. It should look and feel as if it's part of your website — because it is!
Your menu needs to be easily accessible and legible for all to see. It should also be easily viewed on smartphones and tablets — In fact, your entire website should be mobile-optimized. (See my previous article, 3 tips for creating an effective mobile website).
The difference between your online and offline food menus
Why should they be different at all? Here's why:
Your customers have a different motive when they're browsing your website than when they're sitting in your restaurant.
At your restaurant, they're making a decision about which item they wish to order for their meal. But when they're on your website, they're making a decision about whether or not to dine at your restaurant. It's highly likely that your online food menu will make or break that decision. That's why optimizing your online food menu is so important.
5 ways to optimize your online food menus
Here are few ways to show your customers what they want to see:
Brian Casel is the founder of Restaurant Engine, a website design solution for restaurants. For more advice on how to win more customers from the web, visit the Restaurant Engine Blog and get the free email course for restaurant owners.
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