How You Describe Your Food Is Key To Increasing Online Ordering

Posted on January 11th, 2019 by Breck Hapner

Online ordering for restaurants is more popular now than ever.

There are still plenty of people frequenting restaurants, but a night out at the restaurant isn’t exactly everyone’s favorite pastime anymore.

Many people like to be able to order delivery or takeout and spend a night at home watching Netflix.

If you need proof, just look at the stats. SinglePlatform notes that people search for the term “Delivery near me” on Google 1.5 million times per month. Just take a look at some of the content on delivery and online ordering platforms such as delivery.com, EatStreet, Postmates,  Gloria Food, MenuDrive, Olo, and Qu

So, getting more online orders is obviously good for business. But how do you get more of your customers to order online?

As it turns out, descriptions hold the key to your success. How? Read on?

How Important Are Menu Descriptions?

Your menu is read by every customer that steps through your door.

And, today, it is also read by your website visitors and social media followers.

There has virtually never been a time when menus weren’t important to restaurants.

But your menu says more about you than you may even realize. Essentially, it’s your identity.

In addition to great user experience (UX) development, your menu should reflect your brand, concept, style and quality.

Now, “quality” is a bit of a subjective term here, as there are only three types of customers. People buy on: 1) quality, 2) price and 3) convenience.

Some businesses appeal to two types of customers but rarely all three, because that cross section is difficult to achieve. Quality and price typically don’t go together.

The point is that your menu should make it clear what type of restaurant you are.

Tips On How To Write Effective Menu Descriptions

Interested in writing better menu descriptions?

Here are several tips to help you do just that.

Keep It Concise

Attention spans are short. There’s no time or space for long, boring descriptions. Your descriptions need to: a) be catchy and engaging, b) stick to the facts, or c) both.

Take extra care and time in editing your writing. Cut it down to the bare necessities.

Also, if you’re using third-party ordering apps and services, there’s a good chance they aren’t going to give you much space for descriptions if any at all. So, you’re going to have to make good use of the title or menu item field.

Use Alluring Adjectives

When writing copy, you typically want to leave adjectives out. Not so with menus.

You should use words that ignite the senses. It could be something as simple as “spicy”, “savory” or “crispy”.

Don’t forget that human beings have five senses and appealing to as many of those as possible is a good way to stimulate their imagination and get them excited about your food.

Write To Your Audience

Remember – you’re not writing to everyone. You’re not writing for yourself either. You’re writing for your audience.

And, your target customer is hopefully someone you know well by now – to the point where you aren’t just citing demographic stats but also psychographic profile items. If you can do that, you probably have a good idea to write a description that will catch their attention.

Design Well

Thrillist notes that the average amount of time a customer spends on a menu is 109 seconds. So, you don’t have a lot of time to capture the attention of your readers.

Use whitespace effectively and organize your menu items into categories. Use callout boxes, bolded text or other colors to draw attention to special menu items.

Final Thoughts

It might seem like this is a lot of trouble for a little text.

But just look at Apple’s website. Their copy for the AirPods simply says, “Wireless. Effortless. Magical.”

There’s not telling how long their copywriter pored over those three words.

So, words do matter and they do make a difference. And, words may be the only tool you have to communicate your message. So, use them wisely.

Integrating Online Ordering

DineEngine® can fully integrate delivery into your existing website, mobile app, or self-serve kiosk. If you need online ordering built from scratch or are interested in having your existing online ordering redesigned, the team at DineEngine can help you realize your vision.

We will fully integrate your point of sale, online ordering, loyalty & reward integration programs and any other customer touchpoint, seamlessly across all channels with our innovative integration platform. We are eager to hear about your design goals so we can create a responsive site that will give your customers an excellent online experience.