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The Importance of Menus on Restaurant Websites

menu on ipad.jpg

Restaurants are all about food. Okay, maybe that’s not entirely true. They’re also about ambiance and community and spending time with friends and family. But mostly they’re about food. Therefore, it should go without saying that every restaurant website needs to include a menu. Yet nearly 30% of them don’t. Out of those who do, many of the menus are only available in Flash (making them not readable on mobile devices and often slow to load) or require consumers to spend time downloading large PDF files. Why not link straight to your menu? It’s what consumers want!

Need more proof?  80% of consumers think it’s important to see a menu before dining at a restaurant and 70% of consumers think it’s important to be able to read the menu on a mobile device.

Websites made with Appetas include a navigation link that takes diners directly to a beautiful version of the restaurant’s menu. And we now offer Locu integration. What is Locu? It’s a free service used by many restaurant owners to keep track of the latest version of their menu and garner new business by showcasing to the menu on Yelp, facebook, OpenTable, and other popular sites.

Restaurants that already use Locu will have their menu automatically added to their Appetas website. Don’t have Locu yet? Not a problem! Your Appetas package includes a free account with Locu. With Locu integration, we can send a copy of your menu directly to Locu and have it up on your website within 48 hours (usually less), styled with the same theme, colors, and fonts you selected for the rest of the site.

Appetas restaurant website menu sample

Appetas restaurant website menu sample

Seven Things Customers Want from a Restaurant Website


Restaurant websites have a bad rap—and perhaps deservedly so. Customers have seen too many sites that don’t include menus, aren't readable on mobile devices, or are just plain ugly. Even worse—many restaurants have no website at all. Gasp!

Every restaurant should have a website. This does not just mean they can be found on Yelp or Facebook, but a site of their own. According to research by SinglePlatform and Chadwick Martin Bailey, restaurants are the most searched industry on web and mobile devices (over 90% of consumers searched for a restaurant online in a 6-month period). If you don’t have a site, you’re missing customers.

But just having a website isn’t enough. You may still be missing customers if your website isn’t good. You care about your customers having a good experience starting when they walk through the door, right? Well, consider your website the door. It is often a customer’s first impression of you.

Creating a good restaurant website is not as hard as you may think—customers only want a handful of things. Here are the basics:

  1. The website exists. (Did we mention this already? This is a big one, folks.)
  2. They can easily view a menu. (Easily—as in it does not require a PDF download and it’s not in Flash.)
  3. It’s mobile-readable. (According to the study discussed above, over 80% of consumers visited a restaurant website from a mobile device in a 6-month period.)
  4. Restaurant hours and location are listed. (Extra points for a link to Google Maps.)
  5. They can make an online reservation.
  6. They can read about specials, events, and promotions.
  7. The website looks nice.

That’s it. Seven little things. And they don’t require a website built from scratch. Templated solutions like Appetas allow restaurants to create a branded website that meets all these criteria in a few minutes. Know a local restaurant that could use some help? Let them know they can try Appetas free for 14 days.