When it comes to online ordering, people are often overwhelmed with the abundance of choices. Anyone with a TV streaming service understands how much time disappears as you scroll through endless TV shows and movies just to end up giving up entirely or re-watching a good old classic. The same effect is happening to the delivery industry as more and more cuisines become “commoditized” on delivery apps. Every restaurant wants to be the exception, and your restaurant can be. In order to get a leg up on your competitors, start by asking yourself a few questions: What will make people pick my burger over the rest? What will make a potential customer choose my restaurant and how can I make sure they’re completely satisfied with their decision afterward? When customers are looking at your menu on food delivery apps, let’s just say that a little goes a long way! The clearest way to differentiate yourself from your competitors is to ensure your menu is “better” than theirs by following a couple of simple steps. Want to learn how you can enhance your online menu? Here are five steps to help you improve your online user experience.
First impressions are everything when it comes to food delivery apps. It’s important to make your restaurant’s menu is clear and easy to navigate. Mimicking the way you organize your dine-in menu will help potential customers know exactly how to order. Your key categories should be mains, sides, drinks, desserts, and extras. Highlighting your best-selling items in a section up top could help customers make that quick decision to order from you rather than someone else and ensure that they have a great experience ordering from your restaurant. Another thing to consider is the different types of people who might be ordering from you – if you’re a kid-friendly restaurant, make the process easier for busy families by including a kids section if you offer options for plant-based or vegan customers, group these in a category of their own. Finally, by having a section with “bundles” think a main, a side, and a drink, there’s a good chance that your average order size will increase. Pro tip: experts advise listing no more than seven categories on delivery apps. Lucky number 7.
According to Restaurant Business Online, streamlined menus mean happier customers! Keep tabs on your items and remove dishes that are underperforming or unavailable—it’s better to have fewer, more popular options than a huge quantity of menu items that aren’t optimal for at-home dining. Note that out-of-date or lengthy menus can result in poor reviews.
Keeping tabs on the menu items you offer for delivery can also help you uncover some fun ways to boost sales. For instance, if what’s most popular on your menu changes from winter to summer, consider changing your menu and offering specials based on those seasonal trends. Maybe during the winter, you create a category called “holiday brunch items,” or offer Halloween dessert treats for the month of October. Perhaps you offer a special dish for moms on Mother’s Day, or a game day combo on Sundays. Thinking strategically about modifying and refreshing your menu will help you differentiate your restaurant from the competition.
Knowing and providing guidance for your customers is a great way to increase average order size. For your “regulars,” you might recommend their usual to ensure a quick & seamless decision-making process. When it comes to new customers, you may want to prompt them with a “frequently ordered together” option at checkout to ensure that they get a full meal and you get a bigger average order size.
Let’s talk modifiers. In 2021, everyone knows someone with a unique dietary restriction whether that’s based on preference, diet, or food allergies. Ensure your menu empowers your customers to personalize every dish so that you don’t lose a customer based on them being vegan, gluten-free, dairy free, keto etcetera. Making sure that a potential customer can personalize any dish is a surefire way to increase sales and satisfaction.
Let’s face it. We all judge a menu by its cover—especially when we’re hungry! In 2021, customers expect to be able to see what their food will look like when it gets to them before even having it delivered. Having a photo to accompany every menu item is critical. If you’re not a professional photographer, don’t worry, neither are we! But we consulted with a professional food photographer to learn five simple ways to shoot mouth-watering food photography like a pro.
Yes, these 5 steps might require a little more time than your regular food photography process, but it’s worth it. “People today are so used to seeing perfect images of food, and everything, on Instagram. You don’t need to need to have taken photography classes or own a nice camera to get images that match the photo quality people are used to today, it just takes a little extra time and attention to detail.”
Now that we’ve got food photography covered, let’s move on to descriptions. Did you know that well-written descriptions can increase restaurant sales up to 30%? Having mouthwatering descriptions might literally induce cravings in your customers - leading to increased orders and sales for your restaurant. Remember that your customers have most likely been perusing the app for some time, so keep your descriptions short and sweet, while ensuring they’re realistic and clear. Being transparent about what’s in each dish is one way you can avoid poor reviews.
Including promotions on your menu is a great incentive for more customers to order from your restaurant. In addition to serving as an incentive for new customers to order from you rather than one of your competitors, running promotions on food delivery apps can actually help boost your chances of showing up on the front page of each app. And in 2021 when 80% of delivery orders happen from the home page of an app like Uber Eats, finding ways to boost your ranking in the algorithm could have a huge impact on your sales. If running promotions on your own sounds a little overwhelming or time consuming, let the team at Otter take that off your plate with our marketing automation solution, Boost. Learn how you can increase sales through Boost’s automated promotions without lifting a finger here.
It’s all about the little things! We’re certain that you’ll see an increase in sales, orders and happy customers by following these five steps to improving your delivery menu. With delivery popularity rising, make sure your restaurant not only stands out but creates returning customers through the help of a user friendly delivery platform. By organizing your menu, making sure it is up to date and optimized, including suggestions with every order, making sure those picky eaters can modify their meal, including promotions and helpful descriptions all wrapped up with a mouth-watering picture to seal the deal on the order, your restaurant is sure to see big improvements in both ratings and sales.