• Cheryl Teo

5 Tips to Optimise your Online Menu

If you've never focused much on your online menu, it is time you should. Iterating your online menu should be of equal importance as your dine-in menu, especially when certain unexpected situations arise and your dine-in customers can't be your main source of income anymore. Here are 5 easy-to-follow tips that you can refer to when trying to optimise your online ordering menu!



Narrow down your Menu Items


While your dine-in menu might have a ton of food items, it may not be all that wise to include everything in your online menu. Consider the fact that you have to package your food from your online menu for longer periods of time. Fried items could easily turn soggy because of condensation, side dishes like fries, or chips especially those with chili cheese sauce or guacamole that can easily coagulate or oxidize and turn a different color.


This is why it is important to re-evaluate the items that you want to offer for delivery/takeaway as they should be slightly different from those offered in your dine-in. As a quick tip, you should be minimizing any food item that could possibly have a change in taste or appearance if not consumed quickly, as mentioned before. The next thing you should do is to identify which menu items have relatively higher margins or which are your main staples. If you are already spending a lot on your food costs and packaging costs yet selling items that are of relatively lower margin, that could really end up expediting the losses for your establishment.


If it is possible to not include certain types of lower margin, not so important side dishes that can easily go soggy, it is of course highly recommended. However, in the case that such situations are impossible to avoid, spend a little more thought and money or creativity into thinking how to package these items for delivery and takeaway such that the experience is still great for the consumers. That way, you will get a thumbs up for good food, creativity, integrity, and lots more regulars.



Always use High-Quality Photos


What can we say, high-quality photos are the first thing your potential customers see, the moment they visit your menu page. Imagine yourself buying something off an e-commerce shop and the items are all shown in grainy, blurry pictures, versus you looking through another shop with sharp, high-quality pictures, of course, you’d choose to buy from the place that ensures quality photos. This is exactly the same or even more true for consumers looking to order delivery or takeaway. If the food in the pictures doesn’t look appealing enough, chances are they would not patronize your establishment. A picture alone can really determine the value and the image of your restaurant.


How to take high-quality photos with low or no budget:


If you’re taking pictures of the food yourself, here are a few points to take note of.


  1. Make sure that you find a good spot to take pictures. What we mean by that is preferably having a spot with good lighting, not too many shadows, not too cluttered so that the main subject of your photo is still your dish. Natural lighting is the best when it comes to taking pictures, however, if you are taking pictures outdoors, try not to do so mid-afternoon as the sunlight tends to be the brightest and harshest then. Pictures taken during that period will tend to have sun flares and can be overly exposed.

  2. While taking the picture not only do you have to make the appearance look appetizing, you also have to make the “inside” of the food look delicious as well. If you have items like sandwiches or burgers where you can’t really tell what is inside, consider having multiple pictures that showcase the components of your dish. For example, if you have dishes with cheese in them, you could make sure that the stringy cheese is shown as well, this can make the dish look more enticing.



Be Concise and Precise with Food Names


We all love fun and punny menu item names but if consumers can’t find what they’re looking for on your online menu, it might not be all that fun anymore. It is always best to make known to anyone that visits your online ordering platform what exactly your dish is. If you are naming a signature dish “Little Mermaid’s Favourite” instead of writing “Fish & Chips”, chances are that you will be losing out on potential customers that do not know what you’re referring to. Ideally, putting in “Signature Fish & Chips” would be sufficient to allow potential customers to know that this is your main staple. If you are afraid that your regulars do not know this is what they’re looking for, then you could include the “fun name” under descriptions instead so that they can make the connection. It’ll then be a win-win situation for all.


Using Descriptions Wisely & Effectively


Be as specific as you can in your descriptions but do not overload information. Make sure that you indicate any form of allergens in your dishes, special menus, whether this dish is vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, etc so that you can give you consumers a piece of mind. At the same time, they do not have to take the extra step to have to contact you to know what the dish consists of and that they do not drop off the radar in the process.



Provide Customizable Options


Simplify the process for your customers to order extra sauce, extra sides, extra anything. Be it increasing quantities or choosing add-ons. Once you’ve simplified the process and made it easy for them to click on what they want in their order, you’ve reached the peak of being able to upsell and cross-sell your menu items.


Additional small tips:

  • Make sure you indicate to offer contactless delivery or curbside delivery

  • Entice your customers with discount coupons and codes (make sure you include a minimum order requirement)

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