MustHaveMenus Blog

Use Facebook to Drive Online Orders and Customer Loyalty


Inspire your customers to have a “night-in” dinner or brunch with a few of their favorite dishes from your restaurant’s website. Spread the word by utilizing low cost, targeted advertising with Facebook. It’s an incredibly powerful tool for increasing awareness and has great potential for driving mobile orders on your website. Studies show that 69% of consumers are already using mobile devices to order food online and 95% of them return to order again. This means you can increase customer loyalty with minimal effort and little cost.

Here’s how you can use Facebook advertising to drive those online orders to your restaurant.

Page Post Link:  A page post link is the most common type of Facebook ad and is ideal for both driving traffic to your restaurant’s website and inspiring likes for your restaurant’s Facebook page. The ad layout allows for a title, large image, text and a link description. The page post link displays not only in the right column and the news feed, but also on mobile, making it suitable for inspiring potential customers to order their meal from your online ordering menu directly from their mobile device.

Target Your Audience:  Facebook lets you choose the audiences of your ad by location, age, interests and more. Here are some specific approaches to hone in on your audience:

Geo-Targeting:  Reach your target audience by country, region, state, city, and even zip code. Start with potential customers who are within walking or short driving radius of your restaurant, as they may be more likely to swing by after work or on the weekend to pick up their online order. With Facebook’s local awareness ads all you need to do is set a budget and the area you want to reach. It offers customers the option to send you a direct message, call to place an order and/or get directions.

Demographic Information:  Millennials, ages 18-34, are currently the largest users of mobile/online ordering. Target this age range to get in touch with customers who already prefer ordering food from their smartphones and tablets.

Interest & Behaviors:  Identify your ideal customers based on their affinities and the Pages they already like. If you are a vineyard restaurant, for example, you could target Facebook users interested in Napa Valley, wine tasting, or wine parings. You could even target fans of certain pages, such as “Sonoma Wine Country Weekend.” To help you along, Facebook gives you keyword recommendations in the interests section of the ads create tool. It will even show you the potential reach of each keyword.

Research indicates that mobile ticket order totals are 30% higher than the industry average ticket. Making a small investment in Facebook advertising could give your mobile orders, revenue, and customer loyalty a real boost. 

Start promoting your restaurant’s online ordering using social media. Don’t have an online ordering menu yet? Click here to start earning extra income, risk-free. 


Rosa’s Pizzeria Celebrates 5 Years and A New Menu Design

Rosas-Pizzeria-CASE-STUDYAt the approach of Rosa’s Pizzeria’s fifth year in business, General Manager Aaron Wind had a vision for a menu redesign but didn’t have the time to do it himself. He wanted to be able to work with someone who could take direction and create exactly what he envisioned, cooperatively and quickly. Working with independent designers in the past proved too expensive with less than desirable results.  

MHM: What prompted you to create a new menu?
Aaron: As we entered our 5th year in business, it became apparent that we needed to upgrade our entire line of menus.

MHM: Why did you decide to change your menu building process?
Aaron: We were fortunate that our business had grown and we needed our menu to reflect the look and feel of our restaurant, today. We had been using a generic template since 2011. It didn’t allow for customization at all. Everything from getting the text edited correctly, allowing room for graphics to making columns was a challenge. And we wanted something that looked like a menu instead of an office document. Traditional printing services don’t understand the nuances of menu building: font sizing, columns, graphics, enhancements, copying and editing text–those options were never on the table before until MustHaveMenus.

MHM: What were your concerns using our Design Services (DS) and what ultimately gave you confidence that they could meet your expectations?
 I chose to use the Design Services because I simply don’t have the time to build the menu myself. I was confident MHM would be able to create a great product based on their website/samples I had received. My main concern was about the attention to detail not working face-to-face with someone. However, it became immediately apparent that this was not going to be an issue. Within 24 hours of sending over my current menu (at the time), I had a draft on a themed template that I had selected. It didn’t work like I imagined. After selecting a new theme, I received another draft less than 24 hours later, which had been customized to fit my menu options. I appreciated that the thoughts I had exchanged via e-mail were being expressed on the menu design and that my desire for perfection was embraced and not seen as an annoyance. They ended up delivering in a big way. We ended up creating a whole new line of menus; an in-house menu, a kids menu, a dessert menu, and to-go menus.

MHM: Was the cost of membership worth the benefit of working with DS?
The cost of membership was easily worth it. I’ve spent much more money in the past for much less talented design help. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what it would cost me to pay an independent designer to do this task, but I know it certainly wouldn’t have been in my budget. The turnaround time was exceptional. Oftentimes, I would request changes and they would be done within hours of when I submitted them. That was my favorite part of the experience: how personal it was but at the same time, incredibly efficient. We completed an entire set of menus from start to finish in less time than I’ve spent creating a single menu at a traditional office print center in the past. I am so pleased that I chose to work with Must Have Menus.

MHM: What stands out the most for you about your MustHaveMenus experience?
 What I appreciated the most was how quickly the Design Services team was able to work on my menus and make changes when I requested. They were very detail-oriented and executed to perfection the vision I had in my head. I was just so thrilled with the level of customer service and the speed and efficiency in which they produced my menus. It felt like I was their only client and they had a vested interest in the menus themselves. I have received wonderful feedback from my guests already — commenting on how clean and easy to read they are, as well as the nice use of colors.

MHM: How do you see MustHaveMenus’ role in the future?
 I can’t imagine using anybody else for my menu needs going forward. It’s such a relief knowing I have a business partner that will alleviate a lot of the stress that goes into menu creation in the future. I now look forward to updating my menu in the future to keep up with guest demands, seasons, food cost and everything else that goes into creation. I look forward to a long partnership with Must Have Menus. Thank you, MHM!



Convert Online Visitors to Restaurant Customers

Stocksy_txp244031f0zoa000_Small_594317Visitors are flocking to your website, the number of your followers is growing, but seats in your restaurant are still not filling up any faster. Turn your focus towards converting website visitors and social media fans into customers. 

Offer an Incentive in Exchange for an Email: Give website visitors a reason to sign up for your email list. A coupon for an appetizer, compliments of the chef, might be all it takes to convert a website visitor to a potential customer, and ultimately, into a loyal patron. Plus, now you have permission to share your content with them via email, the perfect medium for sending regular newsletters, new menus, on-site events and food pairings, live entertainment, special offers or media write-ups.

Post a Promotion: The same advice goes for your social media channels where it’s easy to post a time-sensitive offer. On Facebook, for example, just create an offer at the top of your page’s timeline. Fill in the pertinent details, preview the post to the left, and click create offer. Then try “boosting” your post to maximize its reach. A mere $25 investment could triple the eyeballs on your post and increase the odds your offer will be redeemed. You can also reuse the same offer content on your Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat accounts. Try “Take 25% off on National Donut Day” or “Complimentary dessert with your 1st mobile order.” Make it relevant to your restaurant and give it an expiration date to create a sense of urgency for your fans.

Create “Gateway” Experiences: Invite potential customers to experience your restaurant by creating “gateway” experiences. Does your eatery offer happy hour? How about a tasting menu or prix fixe dining option? Make sure these experiences are prominently displayed on your website and shared through all of your content channels (email, social media, onsite, etc.). Create table tents to promote upcoming promotions and specials, or think outside the box by placing this type of content on the thank you page that populates after one signs up for the email newsletter.

Make Online and Mobile Ordering Easy: If the visitor perusing your mobile website starts to salivate over your lunch menu, why not give them the opportunity to order their lunch right then and there? Online and mobile ordering is great for customers looking for something quick and convenient, especially during the busy workweek. The decision-making is done, and payment accepted, all before their food is ready to go. If you need to create an online menu, Click here to get started.

Sometimes your virtual visitors just need some extra motivation to give your restaurant a go, but once they have savoured their breakfast, lunch or dinner at your restaurant, enticing them to come back for another bite will seem effortless.



Why Consumers Choose Online Ordering

Online ordering is one of the most powerful tools that restaurant owners can use to ride the digital wave. By allowing customers to order online, you can generate a whole new stream of business that wouldn’t otherwise be accessible. Not only that; the customers you reach are also more likely to become regulars.

Your online menu is your first impression in a competitive marketplace. Customers will undoubtedly compare your menu against other restaurants before coming to a final decision and taking the first step toward becoming a loyal customer. Here are four reasons why online ordering drives customer loyalty:


The number one reason why customers love to order online is because it’s convenient. In fact, delivery and carry-out are often the leading factors in their decision.

But those options alone won’t win you their business – not these days. Online ordering has turned what was once considered a convenient phone call into a pain point. In a world that revolves around text messaging and emailing, customers now want to place an order on their phone or computer. Online ordering makes it easy for them to order food without disrupting their day.


There’s no better way to win a customer’s heart than by lightening their schedule, and online ordering does just that. Think of all the time-consuming steps you’re eliminating from the dining experience: waiting for a table, waiting for food, waiting for the check…And if you offer delivery, you’re saving them even more time. With just a few clicks of the mouse or taps on the phone, their order is placed, paid, and in preparation.

Getting Started

Implementing an independent online ordering system can be a daunting and expensive project, but we’ve made it easier and more affordable than ever. Online ordering now comes with a MustHaveMenus membership, so you can maximize your takeout sales using a clean and easy-to-use dashboard that integrates with your MustHaveMenus account. Ready to take your business to the next level? Click here to get started.


6 Essentials of a Restaurant Website

Much like the sweet smell of cinnamon rolls might tempt a passerby to walk through your restaurant doors, a well designed and optimized website can entice a potential customer to do the same.

Your restaurant’s website is your online hub, your information center. It’s your space to represent your brand and share your story. Make it magnetic. Lure visitors in with delectable photos and easy-to-browse menus, call them to action by providing links to make reservations or order food online, and make it enticing to stay in touch with links to your social media accounts and email newsletter sign-up.

These are the six basic ingredients your website restaurant needs to start attracting dream diners to your dinner table:

Stocksy_txpc8fcb434YnU000_Small_4865511. Big, Bold Photos

Imagery is key, especially when it comes to food. Be sure your home page includes a slideshow that showcases your dishes, restaurant atmosphere and friendly staff in their best light. Hire a food photographer if you can, or simply snap pics with the latest smart phone.

2. A Clean Layout

Keep your text to a minimum and make it easy for your restaurant goers to read. Once a visitor reaches your website, they will only give the page a brief scan before deciding to click on the oh-so-important menu. Make sure the headline is in a larger font size than the rest of your content, and break up any blocks of text with delicious-looking photos.

3. A Responsive Designoo-phone

Make sure your website is responsive (optimized for mobile viewing), including your menus! Google recently made an update to their algorithms factoring mobile-friendliness into how it ranks websites. It’s now more important than ever to make sure your customers can consume your content on all of their devices.

4. Easily Accessible Menus

Your restaurant’s menus need to be one click away from any page of your website. If you’ve hooked potential patrons with stunning photos and a clutter-free design, they will take the next step to click on the menu link and find out more about the food. All of the menus you offer should be displayed and up to date, from happy hour grub to prix fixe dinners, wine lists and weekend brunch.

MustHaveMenus offers everything from menu design, to print, to online publishing and online ordering. Get started today to make menu management a snap!

5. Calls to Action

Once you’ve sealed the deal with your mouth-watering menus, give your website browsers the opportunity to take a bite. Do you offer takeout or delivery? Include a link to order online. How about reservations? Make it easy to reserve a table right from your website, whether viewed on a tablet, smart phone or laptop.

facebook-logo6. Conversation Starters

Invite your website visitors to join your conversation. Include links to your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts in the header and/or footer of your website. Create an incentive for users to sign up for your weekly or monthly email newsletter. Complimentary appetizer anyone? How about a $15 tasting menu? Make it fun for your customers to stay in touch and be a part of your story.


By following this recipe for your restaurant website, the search engines will take notice and so will your potential customers. Once they click, they’ll find themselves admiring your flavorful photos, scouring every detail of your menus and ordering online so they can savor your food first-hand.

Stay in Touch with Your Customers

One of the best ways for your restaurant to stay in touch with customers is to think like a publisher.

Put yourself in the shoes of your favorite regional or city publication and plot out an editorial calendar just like they do. Reserve May for a feature on rhubarb, August for dining al fresco and December for special holiday menus. Like the local glossies portray the authentic feel of their own city, keep your stories unique to your restaurant.

In addition to the star story, keep several mainstay columns that customers can expect to read every time they visit your website, receive your email newsletter or scan through their social media feed. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Dish of the Month

Halibut & Chips on the menu this month? Write a blog post about where you source your halibut, your secret tip for crispy breading and what beers on tap pair perfectly with the dish.

Customer Favorites

Poll your customers on what their favorite dish is and why. You can make an informal ask in the dining room, pose the question in a Facebook post or just by paying attention to what your guests are saying online. Repost through your social media channels or create testimonials to include throughout your website, in blog posts or featured in your email newsletter.

From the Kitchen 

Purchase a larger commercial mixer for the kitchen? Shout about it! Your customers will be thrilled with a shorter wait as you crank out twice as many of your award-winning donuts. Profile your pastry team, take behind-the-scenes photos and share stories of how new flavors are created in the kitchen.

Fan Food Photos

Encourage your clientele to snap pics of their food and share via Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with a hashtag unique to your restaurant. Once a month, share a roundup of top photos and be sure to credit your customers for their photos.

Press Quotes

Named to a “Best Breakfast Spots” list in a local publication? Write a summary on your blog and link to the article, re-tweet the magazine’s mention and post an Instagram photo of your restaurant’s name in print.

Creating, distributing and redistributing interesting content is essential for keeping your diners interested, and attracting new ones to your place. No need to wait for the media to mention you. Go ahead and convey your own rich and delicious story.

Online Ordering is Here!


Would you say no to more takeout business? We didn’t think so.

That’s why we’re excited to give you a sneak preview of our new online ordering app! Soon, you’ll be able to manage your online orders in the same place that you manage your menu design, print, and publishing – with MustHaveMenus.



Getting started will be easy. Just enable your existing menu for online ordering and you’ll be off and running! Our app automatically pulls data from the menu you’ve designed with us, so there’s no need to enter it separately, or wait for someone else to do it for you.

(Haven’t designed a menu with us yet? It’s easy to get started.)



The admin view makes it simple to review your incoming orders, and make sure everything happens on time. You can even edit your online menu to be different than your printed menu – hide items you don’t want available for takeout, change prices, and add photos to any item.




We’ll make it easier than ever for your customers to do more business with you.

A limited release of online ordering will be available to a select number of members in early July. Want to get your name on the list, or just want to know more? Fill out the info on this page, and we’ll get in contact soon!

The Natural Next Step to Grow your Business

shutterstock_231684511It’s  a great time to be alive; we live in a time where the technology and resources to build some of the best and most exciting solutions to our conundrums are readily available. And more and more, people are turning to their phones to make use of this technology.

Today, we have more mobile devices than people on Earth! This means a great deal for you and your customers.

You already know that it’s important to have a website and to have your beautiful menus published, up-to-date, and easily readable online for your customers. But, as people expect more and more functionality and convenience from their mobile and online experiences, isn’t it time your menu did more? These rising expectations correlate directly with what we are doing here at MustHaveMenus, where we are working everyday to build an all-in-one solution for restaurants around the world.

We want to help you succeed in this new, do-it-all-on-mobile landscape. That’s why we think the natural next step for you, and us, is online ordering.

Our new online ordering product will provide all the tools and insights you need to set up and manage online takeout orders for your restaurant or food service, and will integrate seamlessly with your existing menu on MHM. (Don’t have a menu with MustHaveMenus yet? It’s easy to get started.)

Generating more takeout sales will be easier than ever.

We’re excited to help boost your growth and keep you competitive. Interested in being an early adopter, and generating more takeout orders? Our ahead-of-the-curve customers can get started today. Contact us for more information.

3 Things to Do to Improve the Dining Experience

Extensive series in a barbeque restaurant.  Multi-ethnic group includes Caucasian, African American and Indian models.  Friends having fun, and a family as well.

When you run a restaurant, you’re not just in the business of feeding people. You’re in the business of creating an experience—one that will keep your customers coming back again and again.

Here are three simple yet powerful steps you can take to improve that experience, and to get your restaurant’s diners back to the table more often.

1. Empower Your Front-of-House Staff

When employees know they have your trust, they’re better able to earn your customers’ trust in turn. Give your servers and other front of house staff the power to make up for minor problems without needing to run it by management, and let them comp a dessert here and there just because.

You can still set the guidelines, but give your waitstaff freedom and flexibility to work within them. Let them know you trust them to make the right choices for your restaurant, and they’ll wear their new empowerment with pride—and translate it into five-star service for each and every table.

2. Make a Better Menu

Davis_Ale_House_MenuToo many dining establishments see menus as a means to an end, rather than a core part of the dining experience. Your menu is your customers’ gateway to everything you have to offer; if it’s unappealing, confusing, or plain old dull, you’re creating low expectations for the entire meal.

There’s no cookie-cutter method to effective menu creation; every restaurant needs to figure out what their clientele wants in their meal and their experience, then design their menu accordingly. With a carefully customized menu, you’ll clue customers in to exactly what they can expect. They’ll be ready for their experience to match up to the menu’s promise.

3. Build a Stronger Brand

Many restaurateurs hear the word “brand” and immediately think of tacky color schemes and logos stamped on every square inch of their building. While logos (used correctly) and color schemes (good ones) are important branding elements, they’re just the beginning.

Effective branding ties everything together, creating a cohesive experience that starts at your restaurant’s exterior and stays strong through service. A strong brand gives you control over how your customers see your business and respond to your marketing efforts, and helps them build a relationship with you rather than seeing you as just one more option when they’re feeling hungry.

A good brand involves everything you do, from menus to decor to how your staff interacts with customers. It informs everything your restaurant does and communicates, during open hours and in your offsite outreach. You can start building a better brand and menu today by getting started with MustHaveMenus, or reading some of our other articles for specific, actionable tips that will take your restaurant wherever you want it to go.

How MHM Handles 5 Million Menu Updates Monthly

5 million menu updates every month. This is the number we’ve come to, and it keeps growing.

Our restaurants power their websites with our high-resolution, print-ready, mobile-friendly menus, plus MHM for Facebook. This means that we have to eliminate processing delays to ensure no lost business for our restaurants.

When a menu is updated, we take a number of steps.

  1. Create a point-in-time snapshot so you can go back to an old version.
  2. Replicate your new menu data and back it up.
  3. Process the menu design and graphical images, and reprocess your online services that are linked from your website.

Yes, this happens over 5 million times per month.

MustHaveMenus is able to do this instantaneously, without any waiting for long network updates and menu reprocessing. Your menus, PDFs, mobile menu, and Facebook pages stay online and receive the latest changes, even if your menu design changes, or you add new ones.

We’ve implemented a number of backend systems to keep restaurant menus up and running for fast response times and during heavy loads. For instance, our Menu Builder 2.0 is actually sprawled across a network of NoSQL database nodes, called Couchbase, which lets thousands of restaurants simultaneously update their menus at once. More than that, we’re able to grow and keep up with all of the new demands of our restaurant members.

(For the technically inclined, we chose Couchbase over Mongo for it’s MVCC approach to data-writes, plus it’s auto-sharding cluster management.)


If you have not put your restaurant menus in the cloud with MHM, let us help your business and bring new eaters. It’s easy to get started.

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