Once upon a time, creating a restaurant menu was a relatively simple endeavor. You decided what you wanted to serve, put together a few descriptions and prices, and sent everything off to the printer – if you were a fancy place – or, if things were a little more casual than that, wrote it on a chalkboard. Those days are over.
Today, a menu is a critical digital marketing document, taking a starring role on many social media platforms and review sites. Facebook has recently started allowing restaurant owners to upload their menus through SinglePlatform to be displayed on the restaurant’s business page; coupled with Graph Search this will be a powerful combination on what continues to be the world’s busiest social network. Yelp, the dominant force in the review marketplace, is putting up stiff competition. Restaurants can display their menu on their Profile page, while a new Reservations feature will allow interested diners to book a table with a single click.
What does this mean for you, as a restaurant owner? Priority number one needs to be making sure the menus displayed on your social media sites are accurate and appealing.
Accuracy matters: because the customer who was so excited reading about your lobster special on Yelp is going to be the first customer who complains on Yelp when that special isn’t actually available.
Appealing matters: because it’s very easy for a Facebook user to browse through a dozen or more menus when deciding where they want to go eat. Your menu needs to present your restaurant as the most appetizing option. Use pictures, colors, and copy strategically to attract attention while keeping the content well organized and easy to understand for best results.
Regularly changing and updating the way you present your menu is essential. Notice that I said ‘the way you present your menu’, not just ‘your menu’. Obviously, there are core components of your offerings that are going to remain in place, while special dishes may come and go. Your menu listing is a great place to draw attention to seasonal specials or to highlight your most popular offerings.
Weekly updates are ideal; monthly may be more realistic for the busy restaurant owner who handles their own marketing. You can coordinate these changes with any coupons or promotional deals you’re running at that time. It is, yes, one more job to add to your already full plate but given the prominence of social media and review sites in our customer’s lives, it’s an essential one.
Not sure how to make this happen? Give us a call. Our team of social media strategists have the speed, skills, and prowess you need to draw attention to your restaurant online.