Where should you post your restaurant menu online? Anywhere you can.
Whether you have a short Chipotle-like menu or a long Cheesecake Factory-like menu, it needs to be online and available in the places your audience searches.
In this post, I’m going to share where to post your restaurant menu online.
1. Your Website
The menu is one of the most visited pages on a restaurant's website. It's linked internally from other pages and externally from third-party sites.
Crispina Ristorante & Pizzeria has a lovely menu with tabs for lunch, dinner and desserts that's all layered atop a low opacity background image of their ingredients (see image). This creates a seamless user experience that looks great on desktop, tablet and mobile devices.
The Problem with PDF Menus
Restaurants that direct users to download PDF menus risk damaging their brand with a poor user experience and put their business at risk for lawsuits since most PDFs aren't compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1). Here's a list of more disadvantages of PDF menus:
- Disruptive user experience (users need to switch from a web browser to a document viewer)
- Increases load time for large PDFs
- Unable to use assistive technology (e.g. screen readers, magnifiers)
- Unable to be crawled by search engines
- Unable to sort the menu (e.g. price, meat, course)
- Unable to filter the menu (e.g. vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free)
- Unable to search the menu
- Unable to include interactions or video
- Requires pinch-to-zoom to read on mobile devices
- Updating requires uploading a new PDF to your website
If you're using a food ordering service like ChowNow, your menu should be listed twice – on your website and also on the ChowNow platform.
2. Business Directories
Your menu should be listed on popular business directories, especially the ones that double as review sites like Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp and Foursquare (see image). Not all business directories will let you post your menu, but many let you link to a menu on your website.
For example, TripAdvisor lets restaurants link to a menu page on their website, but if a restaurant uses SinglePlatform, Yext or Locu, menu links will automatically appear on a restaurant's listing. Likewise, Yelp partners with GrubHub and SinglePlatform to display full menus.
Popular Business Directories
Keep a record of each business directory where your menu is listed. This way, you know exactly where to go to edit your menu or update the link (i.e. restaurant.com/menu → restaurant.com/dinner-menu).
3. Menu Hosting Sites
Menu hosting services were born out of restaurants failing to post text-based menus on their websites. While Allmenus (see image) provides a free services, others like SinglePlatform provide a paid service that will get your full menu posted on Yelp and other business directories. If a paid menu hosting service saves you time and money, then it might be worth it.
Popular Menu Hosting Sites
Avoid posting an abridged menu or only adding the dinner menu and not the lunch menu. Accuracy and consistency is paramount. Post the full menu.
4. Food Delivery Sites
Obviously, if your restaurant uses a food delivery service like Uber Eats or DoorDash, then you need to post your menu on their sites (see image). If you're on the fence about food delivery services, read about creating your own food delivery service from Toast.
Popular Food Delivery Sites
Use an image with each menu item. If you don't have high-quality, mouth-watering images, then hire a photographer. Read How to Plan, Shoot, Edit and Embed Video on Your Restaurant Website to learn how to hire a professional photographer.
You just learned where to post your restaurant menu online. Always keep your menu up to date on your website and across the web. It only takes one mistake for a potential customer to choose another restaurant.