A vast majority of diners today consult the Web before making a decision on where and what to eat. And one of the first things they look at is a restaurant’s menu.
Unfortunately, according to restaurant information and analytics company Restaurant Sciences, only 50 percent of independent restaurants have their own websites. Of these, only two out of five have their current menus posted online.
This is why Terry Dankel, Restaurant Sciences Vice President of Products, is urging restaurateurs to open their virtual front door – and to get started with establishing their online presence.
“Even establishing a one-page website is a great start to leveraging your restaurant’s online search presence,” he said. “Open your virtual front door and capture customers who are looking to discover and learn about your restaurant, and ultimately lead them to your physical front door.”
Apart from building a one-page website, we also highly recommend restaurants to submit their current menus to online directories, local business listings, and online restaurant review sites and reservation platforms. This way, you can enhance your online visibility and make your online restaurant marketing efforts more effective at leading potential diners to your door.
(Check out: “Food and Restaurant Review Sites You Should Know About”)
Don’t know where to post your restaurant menus online? Here’s a list to help you get started:
Founded in 2004 in Chicago, GrubHub is an increasingly popular online food delivery and pickup platform that allows local restaurateurs to take orders from nearby customers. According to the company, a restaurant using GrubHub is viewed – on average – 165 times a day. GrubHub is definitely a great way of reaching out to hungry customers and letting them know what’s on your menu. The best part? The service is free and you only pay when GrubHub actually sends you orders.
Launched in 2009, OpenMenu is a great restaurant marketing service for connecting your menu to your company website, Facebook Page, Twitter profile, and mobile site. It features detailed menu analytics, the ability to manage and control deals and coupons, and easy-to-use image management (so you can add more visual appeal to your menu). A free OpenMenu plan allows you to manage one restaurant and standardize your menu across the Web, but if you’re monitoring more than one business location, there are premium plans with extra-rich features that start at $20 a month.
One of today’s leading review aggregators, Yelp is home not only to hundreds of thousands of online customer reviews and star ratings, but also to critical local business information and detailed restaurant menus. Recently Yelp introduced the ability to create “visual menus” – combing the site to compile visual menus that incorporate Yelp reviews and user-uploaded food pictures.
Ordr.in, a new menu and order management solution for restaurants, reimagines the online menu experience by placing menu anywhere and everywhere to engage your customers and find new ones – with no effort or time spent. It also offers integration with Facebook, Foursquare, and Google – plus a pay-for-performance advertising network designed to put your menu in front of millions of potential diners, hotel guests, newspaper readers, bloggers, and more.
Launched in 2004, Delivery.com is one of today’s leading destinations for local online ordering. It has built a network of close to 10,000 restaurants, caterers, grocers, florists, and other local business merchants – helping provide users with fast, convenient delivery and pickup from all of their favorite restaurants and stores. Registering for Delivery.com is free. Like GrubHub, it doesn’t charge upon signup or menu submission, and you only pay for the orders that Delivery.com sends you.
MenuPages is a restaurant search site that has a network of local businesses and restaurants in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Washington, and South Florida. Last year, MenuPages was acquired by online food ordering service Seamless. MenuPages brings to Seamless its comprehensive database of over 35,000 online menus (make sure you add your own restaurant’s menu here, too) and more than 175,000 user-generated aggregated restaurant reviews.
Founded in 2007, MustHaveMenus initially specialized in menu design, but it has since grown to offer various restaurant marketing tools for creating outstanding menus (both print and Web menus), flyers, online coupons, gift certificates, business cards, and comment cards. The company also enables instant menu updates that sync across mobile phones, Facebook, online directories and review sites, and your own restaurant’s website. You can get started with MustHaveMenus for $15 a month.