8 Steps to Hone Your Online Menu for Deliveries

Posted by Natalie Korz

Natalie is the Technical Writer for SpeedLine Solutions. Her adoration for pizza goes all the way back to the early days of her childhood when her family used to have Friday Pizza Nights and watch America's Funniest Home Videos.

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Delivery is an essential component of your restaurant's business. It increases accessibility, foot traffic, and encourages your customers to spend more money than they typically would with a dine-in experience. However, if your online ordering site's menu isn't optimized for deliveries, you could be missing key opportunities for revenue and growth. Here are eight proven ways to enhance your online menu to make it delivery-ready.

1. Place your best-sellers at the top

Identify dishes that are the most popular, have the highest profit margins, and maintain their quality throughout the delivery/pickup process. This simplifies the menu selection experience for your customers while potentially encouraging them to try something new. However, it also means making difficult decisions regarding menu items that don't meet all three of these criteria; offering a popular menu item that doesn't travel well could lead to disappointed or frustrated customers, and discourage them from ordering again.

2. Make it visually appealing

Online ordering takes away three important senses (sight, smell, and taste) that customers normally experience when entering your physical location. Although not always directly intended, the senses play an important role in marketing your food to hungry customers. The tantalizing scent of your new pesto white sauce pizza wafting through the door can be all it takes to draw patrons in. Help replicate this experience by adding high-quality images to your online menu that help your customers imagine what your dishes might taste like.

3. Keep the text short, descriptive, and compelling

Although the pictures of your menu items should be the star of the show, titles and descriptions play a key role in the decision-making process. Customers can't ask your staff questions like they normally would during their dine-in experience, so be sure to write descriptions that bring your dish to life and let your customers know what to expect. It's especially important to list food restrictions and allergy warnings where necessary, so customers feel confident ordering from your online menu.

4. Ensure your menu is mobile-friendly

An increasing number of customers rely on their smartphones or tablets to place their orders. In fact, 60% of all digital restaurant orders are through mobile devices, meaning that it's essential your menu is optimized for mobile. This means shorter text, scrollable pages, simplified navigation, and clickable/tappable buttons.

5. Structure your menu for larger basket sizes

12% of customers order up to $75 worth of food when ordering online. Your menu should accommodate large order sizes and family combos to reflect this spending habit. Offer a variety of main course options that pair well with a generous mix of drinks, appetizers, sides, and desserts to encourage your patrons to order a full meal. Featuring your family packs and large combos at the top of your site entices customers to try them. Be sure to also offer upselling prompts and promos throughout the ordering process to help patrons complete their order; research shows that customers will spend roughly five dollars more on food items they didn't originally intend to order with upsell prompts.

6. Allow customers to personalize their order

Research by DoorDash found that one of the top sources of success for online ordering is to allow menu customizations. This perk is something that customers are used to receiving as a part of their dine-in experience, and expect that online ordering will provide them with the same level of flexibility.

7.Categorize your menu items

Organize your menu into clear sections that make it easy for your customers to find what they're looking for. Divide your menu into clear, common categories (like appetizers, mains, drinks, sides, and desserts) so they can quickly scan your menu. If you offer a larger menu, you may benefit from adding subcategories (such as food types) to show diners that you can accommodate their eating habits.

 8.Optimize accordingly

Optimizing your menu does not end when you hit "publish". Regularly review Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to understand which menu items are most popular, receive the highest reviews, and have the greatest profit margins. Other great ways to keep your menu optimized are to identify missed opportunities for combos or deals, test out new menu items to attract customers, and remove underperforming menu items before they impact your bottom line.


As the restaurant delivery industry continues to expand, it's important for restaurant owners to critically think about how they can adjust their online menu to maximize profits while maintaining a positive customer experience. Studies show that simple adjustments like clear categories, strategic featured specials, and high-quality images of your dishes are excellent ways to encourage customers to order more than they intended from your restaurant and also come back in the future. To learn more about how you can optimize your online ordering site, read The Secret to a Profitable Restaurant Chain Ordering Site.

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Posted on Thu, Oct 20, 2022 @ 08:10 AM.
Updated on October 20, 2022 @ 3:00 PM PST.

Tags: Menu Management, Mobile Ordering, Restaurant Delivery, Food Delivery

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