This article was originally published on the ChowNow Blog.
A boring restaurant menu is like a blank billboard — it fails to catch the eye and engage your customers. While your menu’s primary function is to allow visitors to select and order a meal, it can also be a valuable tool for marketing, upselling, and increasing positive brand awareness.
In a world full of endless options, customers will base their decision to visit your restaurant on your menu.
A poorly written and designed menu can reflect poorly on your restaurant, no matter how delicious your food is. If you’re at a loss on how to optimize your existing menu, check out these ideas for writing enticing menu descriptions.
1. Don’t skimp on the adjectives
Would you rather eat a juicy cut of buttery skirt steak with seasoned vegetables or a steak and vegetable platter? The same menu item can evoke very different reactions based on how it’s described. Describing your menu items is less about explaining and more about evoking a mouth-watering reaction. Utilizing adjectives such as sizzling, flavorful, tangy, etc. can stimulate the senses and create a craving.
Pro tip: Spending extra effort to tastefully describe your higher-priced menu items will lead to more sales!
2. Know your brand voice
Your brand voice and tone is a combination of your restaurant’s style, vibe and customer base. Ensuring that you write in a voice that supports your restaurant’s brand personality is essential to creating an effective menu. For example, if your restaurant is a lively, brunch eatery with endless mimosas located in a college town, your brand voice shouldn’t be fancy and buttoned-up. It’s also safe to say that you shouldn’t name a 5-star restaurant menu item, “Rockin’ Garlic & Cheese Surf Fries.”
3. Support your description with an image
A high-quality image of your menu item is the icing on the cake for your menu description. An image that clearly displays the color, texture and versatility of a dish is an effective way to increase the impact of your description. While including images of every item may interfere with the functionality and design of your menu, making sure to highlight your best-selling, higher priced or chef recommended items can attract customers and boost sales.
4. Optimize your menu for the web
We live in a technology-driven world, especially when it comes to ordering food. As mentioned above, most customers will view your menu before ever making the decision to eat at your restaurant. As this is mostly done online, optimizing your menu descriptions for the web and mobile is vital to maximizing your visibility.
Revise your online menu descriptions to be shorter and more impactful while utilizing target keywords that’ll increase the chances of users finding you. Think of your online menu as an advertisement for the original – the primary goal is to convert rather than to describe.
Pro tip: The ChowNow online food ordering platform seamlessly transitions your customer from your online menu to placing an order. All you have to do is accept the order on your ChowNow provided tablet and get to work!
Your restaurant menu is an important piece of your overall marketing strategy. It informs, converts and drives business so it’s important to show it the TLC it deserves. From tasty adjectives to vibrant imagery, your menu holds the power to take your restaurant business from an underdog to neighborhood hotspot in no time!
Want more ChowNow tips and tricks? If you’re a ChowNow restaurant client, schedule a call with a member of our team — we’re have tons more where this came from. If you don’t already have online ordering at your restaurant, get a free ChowNow demo from one of our experts to get started today!