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Why your restaurant needs an online menu in today’s dining landscape

by | 30 January 2023

In today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world, diners have come to expect an online presence from their favourite restaurants. In fact, a survey conducted by TouchBistro revealed that 84% of diners want to view a restaurant’s menu online before deciding where to eat. With the growing importance of having a clear and visible online menu, it’s essential for restaurant owners to keep their digital offerings up-to-date and enticing for potential guests.

84% of diners want to view a restaurant’s menu online before deciding where to eat

Food first: What diners really care about when choosing a restaurant

Food is the most important factor for diners when deciding where to eat. In a survey conducted by MGH, 63% of diners stated that the type of food is the biggest influence on their restaurant choice – outpacing location, recommendations from friends, online reviews, and popularity on social media. To make a lasting impression and draw in new guests, it’s crucial to showcase your restaurant’s menu online and highlight your most popular dishes.

using menus to decide where to eat

63% of diners stated that the type of food is the biggest influence on their restaurant choice

The art of crafting the perfect menu

While it may seem like having a large menu with a wide variety of dishes would appeal to all diners, cognitive psychology expert George A. Miller’s research suggests otherwise. According to his well-known study, the average person can only keep 7 (±2) items in their working memory, so it’s important to group menu items into categories and limit the number of items in each section.

In addition to making the menu easier to navigate, having a concise menu can also reduce waste and increase your profitability.

Making your menu come to life with mouth-watering photos

Online menus are more than just a list of items and prices, they’re an opportunity to showcase your restaurant’s dishes in a visually appealing way.

Including photos of your most popular and profitable dishes is a must, but it’s important to ensure that the photos are high-quality and tempt potential guests into making a booking.

Search engine optimisation benefits of online menus

Having an online menu isn’t just about making life easier for diners, it also has numerous SEO benefits.

Improved search visibility and page ranking
A well-structured and up-to-date online menu can improve your restaurant’s local search visibility and page ranking. When search engines are able to crawl and index the text and information on your digital menu, it improves your restaurant’s local search visibility and page ranking.

Improved search relevance – and more clicks!
It also allows you to target specific keywords related to your cuisine and menu offerings. This increases your overall search relevance when diners are looking for specific menu items and find your restaurant as a result of your online menu. With this added bonus of rich snippets and structured data in search results, your restaurant is more likely to stand out, attract more clicks and get more bookings.

Upgrade your restaurant’s online presence with Dineplan’s new menu feature

We have recently introduced a new menu feature that offers restaurants a complete digital solution for online menus. This feature is integrated right into the Dineplan restaurant reservation platform and can be easily managed from your account.

With this feature, you can add your menu to the Dineplan website and app and showcase your offering to potential guests when they’re looking to make a reservation. Additionally, each menu can be linked to from your own website and comes with a QR code, which can be added to your marketing materials – making it easy for diners to scan and view your menu online.

Best of all, this menu feature comes with all the SEO benefits mentioned above, such as improved search visibility, increased website traffic, and improved search relevance – taking your restaurant’s online presence to the next level!

At the end of the day, having an online menu is crucial for attracting new diners and making a lasting impression. With the importance of food at the forefront of diners’ minds, showcasing your restaurant’s offerings through a visually appealing and user-friendly online menu is essential in today’s dining landscape. So, don’t wait, make sure your restaurant’s digital menu is up-to-date and ready to win over potential guests today.

Dineplan digital menus

All Dineplan restaurant clients now get a FREE online menu on the Dineplan app and website.

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