Boosting Your Restaurant’s Digital Presence: A Guide to Online Menu Management

Menu Management Feb 2, 2024

Picture this: you're a hungry customer scrolling through restaurant options online, and you come across a restaurant still advertising daily specials from last year. Are you likely to have confidence that the other information about that restaurant – open times, contact info, regular menus etc – are correct? 

The digital era has changed the way customers dine out at restaurants. Instead of flipping through physical menu cards, people now prefer to browse menus online before deciding where to eat. In the fast-paced world of dining decisions, your outdated online menu could be turning potential patrons away faster than you can say "seasonal special." 

Let’s explore why online menu management matters for your restaurant and what small changes you can make today to reach more customers and drive more traffic to your restaurant.

Why Online Menu Management Matters

Welcome to the digital dining era, where your online presence is now the front door to your restaurant. In fact, 84% of diners research menus online before deciding where to eat. With up-to-date menus everywhere your guests are searching, you can ensure your customers have all the info they need to choose your restaurant over your competitors’.

With solid online menu management, customers can easily access your menu from the comfort of their homes or on-the-go. They can browse through the entire selection of dishes, view prices, and explore various options. This helps them make informed decisions, save time, and prevent disappointment if they have specific dietary preferences or restrictions.

Let’s not forget the looks. Online menus allow you to showcase your dishes with beautiful images and mouth-watering descriptions. Presenting your dishes in their best light can significantly impact customer choices. Well-presented dishes can create cravings and capture attention, increasing the likelihood that customers will visit your restaurant or place an online order.

Managing Menus Across Multiple Platforms

Ever felt the frustration of updating your restaurant's menu on your website, only to realize you have your POS, Google, Yelp, Facebook and many more to update? If you have multiple locations or feature weekly specials, the process for managing menus across the Internet could take hours out of your day. One would say it’s like juggling food – messy, and you're bound to drop something. 

With so many platforms to keep up with, it can be hard to remember whether your website has the correct pricing, or if you remembered to remove past seasonal specials from your Google listing. Whether it's discrepancies in pricing, menu items, or special offers, the struggle is real. 

In fact, your menu isn’t the only thing that can impact your search performance. Maintaining consistent and accurate information on your business profiles also applies to listings, hours and locations. Search engines reward businesses that provide accurate and up-to-date information with higher rankings in search results. This plays a big role in boosting your visibility and success. To dig deeper into managing your hours and location, check our blog post here: Boost Your Restaurant's Visibility: Expert Tips on Hours and Location Accuracy

3 Ways To Master Online Menu Management

So, you've acknowledged the issue – what's next? Here are 3 simple ways to master online menu management.

Get Consistent: Make sure your digital presence is consistent. Your menus should match across all platforms. Ensure that every detail is accurate, down to the price of a water bottle. This can be especially difficult for an establishment like Gregory’s Coffee, whose 35+ locations feature a wide variety of drinks, food and grab & go items. However, they have mastered a consistent, clear and crave-worthy digital menu. 

Exploring their menu is easy, since they’ve created simple food and drink categories that feature more details as you dig deeper. Gregory’s has alsomade their menu search-friendly, ensuring every detail can be found by Google (and as a result can be served up to guests searching for specific menu items!). And let's talk about their images – clean, consistent, and enticing photos for each menu item. 

These small yet powerful menu changes not only help potential guests find what they’re looking for, they also play a crucial role in improving your local search & SEO rankings. 

Make it Readable: Ensure your menus are Google-friendly for maximum SEO impact. Say no to PDFs – they might look pretty but can be a real issue for search engines. Opt for clear, text-based menus that search engines can effortlessly crawl, enhancing your restaurant's discoverability. Without this, search engines will not recognize everything that you offer. 

Let’s explore what this should look like.

Meet Groucho's Deli in New York. Their menu is listed across multiple platforms like Google, GrubHub, UberEats and more, so it’s easy for a customer to find exactly what they’re craving and place an order. What makes them so discoverable? Their menus are accurate, descriptive and text-based. AND their website perfectly matches their menus across the Internet...easy to search, and no PDFs in sight.

Stay Relevant: Regularly update your menu photos – even if your menu remains unchanged. This sets excellent guest expectations and also signals to Google that you're an active and engaged business. And for those that are constantly adding seasonal specials, this is where you can shine. Feature your specials with clear descriptions and beautiful images. It's not just about enticing your customers but also catching Google's attention. Luckily, with the right photos, you can do both.

Marqii: The Ultimate Solution for Online Menu Management

You could continue to manually update your menus on Google, Yelp, OpenTable, and your website, upload new photos every few months, and add and remove seasonal specials. Or…and hear me out here…you could use tech to automate it all. And use your time doing something (anything) else. 

Designed specifically for hospitality businesses, Marqii is the ultimate tool to tackle the chaos of online menu management. Here’s what Shawn Walchef, owner of Cali BBQ in San Diego, says:  "Marqii is one of the most important tools that a restaurant owner can add to their digital hospitality tech stack. When you think that there are 82 different places that you need to manage your menu, your hours of operation… Marqii has come in and simplified the menu management for restaurant owners.” 

Dive deeper into Shawn’s testimonial and learn how his team uses Marqii beyond menu management.

Let’s Recap

In the ever-evolving world of dining decisions, keeping your online menus up to date across multiple platforms isn't just a suggestion, it's the secret sauce to success. We've explored the challenges, shared effective strategies, and met real-world restaurateurs who have mastered their online menu management.

With features like automated menu sync, Marqii pulls your menu data directly from your POS and updates your menus across the Internet. Like magic, your updates show on Google, Yelp, OpenTable, Facebook, Apple Maps, and even your website. Imagine the hours saved and the headaches avoided! It's not just a tool; it's your trusted ally, making sure your online presence stays fresh and accurate for your customers. So, whether you're a multi-location restaurant chain or small family restaurant, Marqii has your back. 

Ready to take control of your menu?

Save time managing your online menus. Schedule a Demo today.

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Prefer to keep managing your restaurant’s digital marketing on your own? That’s cool. We’ve made a roadmap to get you started. Here’s our Comprehensive Guide To Digital Restaurant Management: SEO, Hours & Location, Menus, Reviews, and Analytics