Website visits originating from mobile devices makes up a majority of web traffic. More and more people are using their mobile devices to search and visit websites that interest them – and the food industry is no exception. Source. Likewise, behind the homepage, the second most visited page on a restaurant’s website is the menu page. Is the menu a responsive, text-based menu, or is it an outdated and must-be-downloaded pdf menu.
According to the National Restaurant Association, “83% of adults use smartphones or tablets to look up restaurant locations, directions, and hours. 75% look up menus, 55% read reviews, 51% order takeout or delivery directly from the restaurant website.” Source. That staggering number shows the importance of responsive design, as well as user experience and interface – so WHY do you still make me download your PDF menu to see what you’re offering?!?
Why is a digital, readable menu important for your website?
There are MAIN reason to have a readable menu on your website as opposed to having a .pdf file for your customers to download is because of SEO, or how a search engine will index you. When indexing your website, search engines such as Google and Bing crawl through coding and, of course, text. Restaurant menus in a .pdf format will not be able to be crawled and indexed.
However, a restaurant’s menu that is readable online as part of the website will be indexed – and may come up in search results if a hungry individual happens to Google search “street tacos” as opposed to specifically searching for your restaurant or type of cuisine.
There is also the reason focusing on the user-experience. A readable menu is easy for your potential customer to navigate and scroll – unlike a .pdf menu that, once download on a mobile, the end-user would then have to pinch the screen to zoom in and out and navigate up, down, left, and right in order to read tonight’s dinner special.
Keep that PDF, tho.
Don’t forgo your menu to be exclusively readable and responsive. Offer a link so that your customer can download and print your menu for their future reference; whether they want it for their next takeout meal or be the deal breaker when trying decide where to go out to eat that night.
It’s not enough to say you’re a Thai restaurant or a Mexican restaurant. Show people exactly what items you offer – and make it as easy for them to navigate their way through your menu. Your newly optimized menu has many benefits. Given that digital marketing has grown over the last several years, it is no longer enough just to have a website and call it a day. In digital marketing, particularly in the restaurant industry, strategizing your online presence with your customers will make the difference between being ignored by potential customers in lieu of your competition, OR you could be on top of the digital marketing game and BE the competition.