Interactive menus in restaurant websites are one of the latest and most helpful ways in attracting new diners to your restaurant and at the same time jog your regular customers’ memory on why they need to come visit you again.
An interactive restaurant menu appears the same as the menu you currently have on your website, but when your customer moves his mouse over a food item, a sumptuous photo of the dish comes out. You also have the option to display a thorough mouth-watering description of the dish, along with the food photo. Descriptions, when placed on the menu page itself, takes up too much room and makes the page appear cluttered.
Why are interactive menus helpful? Part of our human nature is to drool over food photos. Restaurant websites with delectable food photos always get the same reaction: “hmmm…I’m getting hungry just looking at all these!” It’s a basic scientific truth that people come across a physical response to strong visual signals. And visual signals such as delicious food photos make people remember something they truly enjoy – eating! Interactive menus take advantage of this scientific fact, playing on your customers’ senses in your marketing efforts. This probably is the only single thing you need to do in improving your website—highlighting your specialty dishes with photographs.
Just how essential is a website in your restaurant’s marketing endeavors?
Quite simple, really. In this day and age, your website is the first thing that would come to mind to a potential customer who wants to know your location, your operational hours, which credit cards you take, your parking arrangements, and yes, the types of food you offer. They just don’t have enough time to go straight to your restaurant to check on your delectable menu on elegant menu covers. Unlike big chains which have the budget to advertize on TV and in magazines, mid-sized restaurants depend on local ads and their websites in making people learn more regarding the fabulous dining experience they could have at their place.
You can make use of social media, of course. But online users always, look for a website before they trust marketing efforts on Facebook or Twitter. If you fail to show off your food properly on your website, there’s a big chance you could lose the online user’s business.
Some restaurant operators argue that their market is the older generation—grandpa and grandma wouldn’t surf the internet. You’ll be surprised to know that there are a lot of them who regularly go online, receive and send emails and call their relatives on Skype! Besides, these non-techy oldies have children and grandchildren who belong to the millennial generation – those in the ages 16-34, and there are more than 80 million of them—who are more than willing to surf the web and tap their cell phones for their parents or grandparents.
An interactive restaurant menu also sets your website apart from all the others. This comes rather handy when yours is a saturated market and there are other dining places in your area that offer the same cuisine as yours. Be different by coming up with your very own, unique pop-up mouth-watering photos which look delightfully real, your potential diners can almost taste and smell it.
And coming up with this is not really expensive. All you have to do is get a good photographer who does excellent food photography and ask your web designer to upload it for you. You can maximize the use of these outstanding food photos by also using it for your menus in sturdy menu covers.
When we get hungry, we tend to imagine ourselves gobbling our favorite food. Imagine how a customers’ reaction will be when they see your appetizing food photos. When people search for a place to eat, they prefer restaurants who give them an idea of what they will be served. Our imagination helps us make up our mind, and as human nature dictates it, people give more preference to those that make them feel confident that they made the right choice. And that’s the confidence that an interactive menu gives.