5 Ways To Optimize Your Takeout Menu To Boost Sales

By Vivian Chung

Optimizing your menu for delivery and takeout presents numerous advantages, including enticing customers who value convenience and gaining a competitive edge over other restaurants. Since the pandemic, there has been a consistent uptick in takeout orders, with this trend projected to grow. These five practical ways to enhance your establishment’s digital takeout menu can significantly impact the ability to drive sales and increase revenue. 

Use Drool-Worthy Images

Incorporating high-quality images that accurately represent your dishes on both your menu and third-party delivery apps can help capture the attention of potential diners, as visuals play a significant role in decision-making for many customers. Ensure that your photos are well-lit and that the dishes are neatly arranged in a setting that’s free of clutter. Additionally, optimize your menu for SEO by tagging food photos with popular keywords that are relevant to your restaurant. For example, burger joints might tag their photos with keywords like “cheeseburger” or “bacon cheeseburger” to boost visibility in the search results.


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Accurately Describe Your Dishes

Since online diners don’t have the opportunity to inquire with waitstaff about dishes, it’s crucial to offer clear descriptions of your menu items, including ingredient lists and major allergens like nuts, dairy and gluten. These descriptions should be short and engaging to capture the essence of the dish and draw in customers quickly. 

Categorize Your Offerings

Make it easy for customers to find what they’re looking for by categorizing your dishes, which could be divided into appetizers, mains and desserts, or by food types, like chicken, fish and vegetable-forward dishes. Consider including a section that highlights your best-selling items or chef’s specials, which can help customers, particularly those new to your restaurant, in making their selections. If your restaurant also offers a range of vegan or vegetarian options, dedicating a separate category to showcase these offerings demonstrates your commitment to catering to a range of dietary preferences. Alternatively, mark vegan and vegetarian options with a symbol to make them easily identifiable for customers specifically seeking these choices.


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Implement a User-Friendly Online Ordering System

Aside from using laptops, consumers are increasingly turning to devices such as smartphones and tablets for ordering, making it crucial to ensure that the digital menu is responsive and that the layout of the menu, including images and content, displays correctly across different screen sizes. To streamline the ordering process, consider integrating an ordering system directly onto the restaurant’s website or through a dedicated app, which eliminates the need for users to constantly open and close tabs, enhancing their overall experience.

Allow Add-Ons and Customizations

Similar to ordering in person, customers might want to make slight adjustments to their meal, like omitting tomatoes on their burger or adding an extra pickle on the side. Consider adding customization options to your website and on third-party delivery apps, clearly listing any corresponding upcharges. Additionally, providing a space for customers to include special instructions offers a convenient way to request the exclusion of specific ingredients or to adjust the spice level of rice and noodle dishes, for example.


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