MustHaveMenus Blog

4 Simple Tips to Increase Customer Retention

marketing BLOG image_5.25.16Retaining a customer is a lot easier and less expensive than attracting a new one. Once diners are in your seat, give them the opportunity to talk up your restaurant to their social network of friends before they even pay their bill. The potential reach can be priceless when raving fans spread the word for you.

Here are four enticing tips to engage with your customers:

1. Get Creative with Collateral

Give your customers something to hold their attention between putting down their menu and picking up a fork, such as an eye-catching table tent promoting an upcoming event or a menu insert containing interesting highlights or factoids about your restaurant’s humble beginnings. And before they head out the door, make sure they have souvenirs they can take with them—a check presenter insert with a special offer to encourage a repeat visit, a nicely designed loyalty program card or prominently-displayed takeout menus with your social media handles.  

2. Solicit Social Sharing

Invite your diners to snap a pic of their meal to share via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat. Invent a theme and create a #hashtag to engage a stream of comments. Or, get specific by tailoring a social media campaign.  Located in a college town neighborhood? Dive into Snapchat. Distribute custom coasters to promote your restaurant’s snapcode. Invite diners to follow your stories and ask them to snap back drool-worthy photos of their favorite menu items for a chance to win rewards, coupons and VIP invites to special events.

3. Openly Ask for Opinions

Since everyone has one (an opinion, that is), casually ask if the new charcuterie plate won them over or if the suggested pinot grigio complemented the clams, while their experience is still fresh.  Even if they enjoyed the atmosphere and the food, solicit ideas to help make their next dinner outing even more memorable.

4. Promptly Respond to Feedback

When customers leave feedback on Yelp, TripAdvisor, Urbanspoon and other social outlets, be sure to respond in a timely manner. Let them know you value their comments, whether positive or negative. The attention will keep your customers around for the long run, and could even turn a negative comment into a glowing review.

Repeat customers are a restaurant’s bread and butter, typically providing the majority of revenue for businesses and the bases for building loyalty. Loyal customers come back more frequently, bring their friends, spend more per visit, and voluntarily promote your restaurant, becoming the best brand ambassadors you could hope for.

Turn Your Takeout Menu Into A Marketing Tool

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Takeout is a great way to expand your business and increase your sales. After all, there are only so many tables in your restaurant, and during peak times, people don’t always want to wait for one to open.

In 2013, 60 percent of Americans said they ordered food for takeout or delivery at least once per week. While the demand is huge, many restaurant owners don’t realize that their takeout menu serves much more than its utilitarian purpose. A well-designed takeout menu is arguably your restaurant’s most valuable marketing tool, even ahead of social media and online advertising.

So, how exactly do you create a pamphlet that catches eyes, communicates your offerings and sparks taste buds? Here are a few tips:

Create a Great Cover

The cover of your takeout menu is your first impression. If you’re using an edge-to-edge photo in the background, be sure that it is in high resolution so there is no distortion or pixelation. If you’re using a design, don’t let it get too overbearing or distracting. Of course be sure to include your address and phone number.

Be a Brand

Customers connect to brands, and become extremely loyal to the brands they love. Your brand should be conveyed through your menu design, not just with your logo and colors, but in the overall style of the menu. A takeout menu for an Italian restaurant should have a much different aesthetic than that of a Mexican restaurant. This is why MustHaveMenus allows you to find restaurant menu templates by category.

Customize Your Template

A template is a wonderful tool that can help you to create a menu relatively quickly. Don’t stop at the first iteration, though. Customize your menu to the best of your abilities so that it stands out from the stack.

Tell Your Story

Surely your restaurant has a story behind it. And believe it or not, customers want to hear that story. Let your entrepreneurial and creative visions shine by offering a brief narrative (2-4 sentences) of how your restaurant started, why you started it, how it has grown, and why it’s unique. Include this narrative in a dedicated space somewhere on your takeout menu so that customers know they are supporting a truly meaningful establishment.

Highlight Best Sellers and Specials

Both for profitability and marketing, your takeout menu should include a few standout items. Bring attention to best sellers and specials by stylizing the text in different colors, bold or italics.

Share the Ingredients

People want to know what’s in a dish before they order it. Beyond minimizing the amount of questions you receive about items, short descriptions highlighting the fresh, quality ingredients you use can help to inspire customers and make their mouths water.

Incorporate Photos

Speaking of making mouths water, what better way to convey deliciousness than with photos? But that doesn’t mean you should try to squeeze in a small, poor-quality cell phone photo of every menu item. Instead, add a few professional, high-resolution images for the perfect dash of visualization.

Work with a Professional Designer

If you’re not fully confident in your design skills and/or don’t have the time to design your own menu, it might be best to hire a designer for the job.

You can incorporate all of the above tips into any MustHaveMenus template, or have one of our designers create a beautiful custom takeout menu for you! Learn more about our menu design service, now available at a special price of just $199.

Custom Menu Design Peaks Traffic and Revenue for County Seat Restaurant

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Tracey Cifers, owner of County Seat Restaurant & Gathering Place, has been a MustHaveMenus customer since 2007. And she’s been delighting her clientele with custom menu designs ever since. With Powhatan County’s population just over 28,000, being the local go-to gathering place for three generations is a brand to be proud of. Tracey makes the time to “revel in her brand” through frequent menu creations. The result? Increase in the frequency of regular customers, new customer acquisition, and a boost in revenue.


MHM: You’ve been a customer since 2007. How did you come to find MHM?
Tracey: I think I just stumbled across it searching the internet for easy do-it-yourself menu creation. It’s a great option for people who like to be creative but aren’t graphic designers. I used to just scrap and piece together menus in the past. It not only took forever but they also didn’t look very professional. I love to reinvent our restaurant from time to time. It freshens our brand, re-engages our customers and attracts people visiting the area. You can always recognize a newcomer by the way the mispronounce Powhatan
(a dead giveaway that they’re not from Virginia). 

MHM: What do you like the most about using MHM?
Tracey: I love how I can enter all my information once and then switch between design themes to see which I like best. It’s so easy to do. I have done our main menu over about six or seven times, moving menu items around, experimenting using borders and highlighting certain specials. I also like the fact that all of my graphics and files are in one place. I can grab a menu I’ve previously designed, change the theme and I’m done. Simple and cost effective.

MHM: What enticed you to change your menus so frequently?
Tracey: I think it really speaks to showing our customers our sense of pride of place. My mother started this restaurant 23 years ago with one cook, a cashier, and a waitress. Now, we have 30 employees and do over $1 million in sales. That comes from loyal customers. We want to show our appreciation by continuing to be the gathering place they’ve come to expect. We know half of our customers by their first name. They love that!   

MHM: How have your customers responded to your menu designs?
Tracey: Whenever I create a new menu I put it on our website and post it on Facebook. Our customers get really excited when I introduce a new menu. What’s really interesting is how frequently a customer will order something they’ve never ordered before simply because it’s in a different spot or I’ve put a box around it.They think we have all new menu selections but it’s the same items we always have. We’ve even seen a rise in the orders of some of our more pricey dishes by calling them out with graphics.

MHM: How has changing up your menus impacted your business?
Tracey:
Every time I introduce a new menu there is a two-week spike in our restaurant traffic and revenue. We’ve noticed that our regular customers (50% of our clientele) come in more frequently and we also attract between 5% to 10% of new customers.

MHM: What other features do you use on MHM?
Tracey: I create a lot of flyers on MHM. I can design a flyer in just 30 minutes. It brings in a lot of additional business. I’ve used flyers to promote our happy hour, maybe a theme night or holiday. It creates an immediate “wow” factor. I created my first takeout menu just last week. I can’t wait to see the results.

MHM: Why did you decide to use MHM’s Design Services for your latest menu?
Tracey: We decided to update three menus at the same time, breakfast, luncheon and dinner menu. I was really pressed for time. They were able to do in a few hours what would have taken me days to accomplish, with all the changes happening at once. The MHM Design Services team was very helpful and fast. But honestly, I really enjoy carving out the time to create menus myself.

 

3 Reasons Online Ordering Drives Customer Loyalty

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 three main reasons why online ordering drives customer loyalty:

1. Convenience

The number one reason why customers love to order online is because it’s convenient. In fact, delivery and carryout 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.

2. Efficiency

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 of the phone, their order is placed, paid, and in preparation.

3. Accuracy

Human error is a part of running a restaurant. Sure, you never want to get an order wrong. But quantitatively, if your staff takes enough orders, mistakes will happen. With online ordering, the chances of an incorrect address or item are virtually non-existent. Everything is systemized, and the customer’s order is relayed right to the kitchen.

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 Tips for Creating a Profitable Menu

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Marylise Tauzia, VP of Marketing of Revel Systems, offers six strategies for creating a tasty, profitable menu. Revel Systems offers a full-featured point of sale system that is cloud-based and made specifically for the iPad.

With spring and summer fast approaching it’s important to have ideas for an enticing menu on deck. If you are in the midst of opening a new restaurant or quick-service eatery, you’ll definitely want to be able to appeal to anyone who walks in for a bite. And your menu is a primary revenue driver.  

Even if you’ve been operating successfully for years, keep things fresh with new menu items or modifications to favorites to reflect seasonal options. MustHaveMenus has hundreds of menu designs with tons of features to help you enhance menu choices, specials and favorites. We see LOTS of menus, of course, so here are a few guidelines to get you going.

1. Strategically Selecting Menu Items

Striking a balance between offering the most tasty dishes and drinks and maximizing profit should be your top priority when creating your menu. You’ll want to identify which items are the most profitable and make sure that you have a strategy for promoting them. You might want to spice up your beloved, fancy grilled-cheese sandwich by adding goat horn peppers, but you’ll need to be sure that you’re tracking cost-effectiveness and the portion for each sandwich. There’s a lot that goes into the backend of menu creation, and an intelligent point-of-sale system with reporting and ingredient tracking can step in and help you measure profitability.

2. Highlight Menu Categories or Specialty Items  

Layout of your menu can have a huge influence over what customers order. Now that you’ve created a strategy for your menu items, you’ll want to design your menu to draw attention to certain items. Thoughtful menu design is imperative not only to your business’s branding, but also to the bottom-line. It may be that you don’t want people to miss the entrees or even a “dinner for two” special. Or perhaps you want to create a box for designated seasonal specialty options so that you can simply rotate them easily throughout the year. Regardless of your intention, highlighted boxes around a category or option will ensure that attention is directed to that point on the menu.

3. Organize Your Menu By Popularity

It’s always a good idea to sort your menu by your most popular items. Your repeat customers are looking for their favorites, and your word-of-mouth, new customers are going to be curious about those items. Like highlighting specials or seasonal items, sorting each category according to best sellers, and then organizing your menu visually so that most popular categories are easy to find. Most people tend to scan menus and land at the top-right corner, which is where you’ll want to place the items you don’t want customers to miss.

4. Use Relative Pricing

We won’t call this a “trick”…. But one way to give your customers more perspective in comparing menu items that seem more expensive than others is to put items more similarly prices in proximity to one another. For example, a halibut entree for $26 doesn’t seem so expensive when followed by a more comparatively priced $30 T-Bone steak, rather than a $15 pot-pie. Relative pricing may seem manipulative but everything has a context so it’s a good idea to establish the context of your menu.

5. Make specialty menu items available only certain days of the week

This is a great way to drive traffic to your restaurant on some of the slower nights. Maybe Wednesdays are the only nights the chef makes his great-grandmother’s secret puff pastry beef stew. For example, Georgetown Cupcakes in Washington, D.C. only offers their Red Velvet cupcake on Wednesdays. They have a line down the block just for that flavor. Other flavors are limited to certain days, as well. It keeps the customers coming back.

6. Highlight an area of the menu just for food sensitivities

With dietary restrictions or preferences on the rise, it’s important to give special diets a place on your menu. Just a decade ago, gluten-intolerance levels were at 1 in 2500 worldwide. Today, it’s at 1 in 133. That’s a significant jump and indicator that food sensitivities shouldn’t be ignored on your menu. Offering items that are dairy or gluten free will ensure that everyone who walks into your establishment has options. Even if your theme is old fashioned barbecue, you can still offer sides that will accommodate certain diets and even a meat or gluten alternative entree.


If you want a design specialist to handle the creative side of your menu our MHM Design Services team can highlight profitable specialty items and other menu features starting at $199.

7 Ways to Guarantee A Great Restaurant Brand Experience

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These are the seven variables by which your restaurant brand is accessed. It’s important to keep in mind that your brand is not what you think it is but what your customers think it is—from the moment they walk in the door, the welcoming they receive, the choices on the menu and the food they ingest to the surrounding ambiance. The ultimate goal is to earn loyal customers who can trust that their experience is a repeatable one.

Revel in your unique identity. 
Before you decide to base the theme of your restaurant on food alone, ask yourself, “What story are we trying to tell?” People love to get behind passion about one’s heritage or fulfilling a lifelong dream. Do you want to share your mother’s Italian cooking? Are you a celebrity (even if just in your small community)? Or maybe you want to be the best little Sandwich Cafe in town. Whatever you decided, leverage it every way you can—the name of your restaurant, the interior decor, and the theme of your menu design. Engage customers by telling your story on social media and providing a link to your online menu. Check out some additional helpful tips on boosting your brand on Menu Shoppe’s blog. 

Greet customers quickly and courteously.
Immediate acknowledgement is important. If your host/hostess is on the phone taking a reservation, preventing them from making a proper introduction and greeting, they can still make eye contact and smile or cover the phone to say a quick,
“I’ll be right with you.” As soon as they can, they should thank the customer for coming to your establishment, Thank you for coming to Sendar’s Restaurant, I’m Rebecca. Will you be joining us for dinner? Customers appreciate being greeted, especially when it is sincere. Besides, both you and the customer are aware they could’ve selected that other restaurant.  

Train staff on image.
93% of how we are perceived—and how we perceive others—is based on body language. This involuntary, nonverbal assessment occurs every time we enter a new situation. Because the spoken word accounts for only 7% towards influencing their perception, you’ll want the first person your customer comes in contact with to pass the initial non-verbal scrutiny filter: appearance and body language.

Train your staff to be aware of not only their own body language, but also how to interpret non-verbal cues from customers; are they pausing too long when the host/hostess informs them there are no window tables available? Do they look away or purse their lips? Being quick to suggest enjoying a glass of wine at the bar, if they’re not in a hurry, will often quell their disappointment. Be willing to make it a complimentary glass of wine if it will help make the rest of their evening a positive experience.

Be consistent from the door to the dining table.
The customer will notice the details you attend to as equally as those you missed. What ambiance are you creating? If it’s quiet and intimate then you want to be sure that when your server pulls out a chair, the legs won’t scrape on the floor, disrupting the very atmosphere you aim to provide. Is the music in line with the setting you are trying to create? Is it too loud? Err on the side of too soft. Are your menus inviting to pick up and peruse? Are they inside a genuine leather menu cover or a café style menu cover? Whether your customers are coming to engage in social interaction at a pub or looking for an intimate dining experience, you want to deliver better than they expected.

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Menu Shoppe’s genuine leather menu covers.

Accommodate your customers.
Let’s face it, we all have our likes and dislikes. Add to the mix food allergies, dietary restrictions, vegan diets, and the latest food trends, it can seem like a lot to address. Providing easy replacements for sides and sauces will let your customers know you are flexible and willing. Be open to their suggestions for future substitutions and tell them you will gladly pass them on to the chef. You might even consider highlighting a “special substitutions” section on your menu. Most people committed to their health and dietary regime don’t mind paying a premium for quality choices. They may also feel embarrassed calling attention to their food issues by asking a litany of questions.

Provide intuitive service.
Naturally, your servers’ mannerisms might be more familiar with regulars than with new customers. And the degree of server interaction will vary between serving a couple having a romantic dinner as opposed to a table of conference colleagues. From the pacing of the meal, how frequently your server checks in, down to filling the water glasses before the customer asks, timing is key. It’ll make the difference between an exceptional experience and a satisfactory one.

Show your gratitude.
Gratuity goes both ways. Encourage your servers to ask questions before putting the check on the table. When the customer looks at the total it represents the dollar value of their dining experience. And that is the best time to show your gratitude by thanking them for choosing your restaurant and that you hope to see them again. Include a comment card that won’t require too much time to fill out. Make sure other staff acknowledge customers with a smile or a “thank you” on their way out. Gratitude is golden. 

Take the first step towards creating a brand identity that you can revel in, your menu. Our Design Services can help customize one you’ll absolutely love!

You’ve Got Online Ordering – Now Get More Orders!

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You’re an ahead-of-the-curve restaurateur. You understand the importance of a strong online presence for your restaurant. You also know that a whole new generation of guests will want to do more and more with your business online, including ordering takeout and delivery from the web.

You have everything you need to succeed:

  • A streamlined, mobile-friendly website
  • The MustHaveMenus Online Ordering app installed
  • Any specials or promotions applied to your online ordering menu

And yet, you still haven’t received your first online order. Or maybe you’re just not getting as many as you’d like. It turns out, there’s a couple of important factors that can increase your business – and the most important one is letting your customers know what you’re offering!

1. Turn your takeout menu into a sales force
One of the easiest ways to let your guests know that you have online ordering is to add a small note on your takeout menu. Use the footer space, or even the front panel to announce this exciting new option!

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2. Post about it on social media

Your guests have liked you on Facebook and followed you on Twitter – they love your food, they love your atmosphere, and they want to be the first ones to know about anything new. So don’t leave them in the dark – post a link to your online ordering page, and do it often!

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3. Update your voicemail message

One simple and very effective way to let your customers know about online ordering is to add it to your voicemail message or your on-hold message (if you have one). That way, if your customers call in after hours or when you’re busy, they’ll automatically find out that they don’t even need to call for takeout anymore – they can just go to your website!

 

These are three simple actions you can take to increase online orders for your business. To learn about even more marketing ideas, just click here. Need some help getting started with online ordering? Give us a call at 800-452-2234 or contact us here. We’re excited to work with you, and help you boost your business!

Relaunch of New York Restaurant Chooses MHM for Custom Menu Design

Blog-CASE-STUDY-image-Spillane'sAfter 25 years in the food and beverage industry, General Manager Carey Chaney has seen a lot of change. That experience translates to an invaluable business savvy along with an in-depth understanding of a restaurant’s need to keep up with changing customer desires and sophistication. More importantly, she knows when it’s time to refresh. When Molly Spillane’s decided to re-launch their brand, Carey embraced the expertise of MHM’s Design Services team.


MHM: What was the main motivator in re-launching Molly’s brand?
Carey: Customers are more informed and concerned about their diet now. Their expectations are higher—better quality food, greater value, and superb service. When I started at Molly’s the menu didn’t reflect those standards. There was no menu accommodation for gluten-free, dairy-free or organic choices. People are much more discerning, now. They know the difference in quality, freshness, etc. and what is healthiest for them. If we don’t provide those choices, there are plenty of other restaurants that do. If a customer doesn’t see that we are willing to take care of their needs, they’ll go someplace else. And they won’t come back.

MHM: What criteria do you think is important when creating a menu based on customers higher standards? 
Carey: Menus now have to have a fresh look coupled with an eclectic offering in order to serve everyone’s needs. And that has to extend through the brand at all touch points. When we decided to refresh the menu we realized we needed to revisit the entire restaurant experience from the minute they walk in the door to dessert.

MHM: What happened as a result of the menu redesign?
Carey: Once we started looking at redesigning the menu and realized how the change would reflect on Molly’s brand, we began reviewing the entire dining experience, striking five points: 1) Greet quickly. 2) Accommodate discerning palates. 3) Deliver good quality. 4) Provide the best value. 5) Offer seamless service.

MHM: How familiar were you with MHM when you embarked on the re-launch?
Carey: 
When I joined Molly’s, the owner already had an account set up. They had been utilizing the MHM platform for all Spillane’s menus—at Molly’s alone, we revise our menus one to two times per week, including our beer and dessert menus. Spillane’s also has three other locations that use MHM to design their menus: Mickey’s, Maggie’s and Nellie’s. Each restaurant has its own select menu items at that location. Spillane’s restaurants have been around for nine years. Molly’s is the newest at six years.

MHM: How did your previous menu-making method differ from MHM’s online platform?
Carey:
 At the last restaurant I managed, someone did the menu design in-house and then shipped it out to get printed. It took a week and a half. We had to be really good at planning ahead but it didn’t allow for any changes unless we did the whole process again. Our menu is five pages, including the cover. We create them as single, one-sided copies.

With MHM, I can bang out a customized menu in just 30 minutes. It’s pretty easy. At first, I spent a couple of weeks getting comfortable with spacing, margins, mixing a variety of fonts, and feeling more confident playing with backgrounds, borders, coloring and graphics. There are a lot of options to explore! I tried three or four themes I liked. Now I can make changes immediately, print it out and it’s done. We don’t use MHM’s printing feature only because it’s easier for us to print them in-house simply because of the frequency of menu updates.

MHM: Why did you decide to have Design Services create the menu instead of doing it yourself? 
Carey: With the Molly relaunch, we had just a three-day window to create an upscale menu with more offerings. Not only were we changing the menu in three days, we were changing our serving sizes, retraining our servers, and familiarizing everyone with the new menu offers, all in an effort to take our service and standards to next level. I felt my attention should be on the staff and servicing and trust the menu design to MHM.

MHM: How happy were you with MHM’s redesign? How did your customers respond?
Carey: 
Well, what I loved the most was working with Samantha in Design Services. She was great! And she made it fun. Our customers loved the new menu design. It was a masterpiece! They were very receptive to the new menu items, too. We make sure to touch base with every table in the dining room to get their feedback. It’s really important for customers to feel heard.

MHM: What other MHM features do you see exploring in the future?
Carey: 
Eventually, we will offer weekly specials and will need to create a menu for that. We also will need tri-fold menus. All the MHM benefits are great. We’re definitely getting our money’s worth out of the program.

Spanky’s Pub House Already Has Three MustHaveMenus (and A Kids’ Menu On the Way)

Blog-CASE-STUDY-Spanky-2Despite Spanky’s three-year success as a favorite Myrtle Beach destination for locals and resort visitors alike, owners Carrie and Bob Ross thought it was time to upgrade their menu. They wanted a fresh look to compliment their reputation for serving only freshly cooked pub food (no frozen-to-fryer fare like other pub establishments). Carrie admits she’s a numbers person, not a creative person. While she was happy to let go of the creative process she did not want to compromise her vision. Within a few hours of speaking with MHM’s Design Services she had exactly what she wanted…and more.


MHM: What drove your decision to use our Design Services?
Carrie: Friends of ours that own a restaurant in the area referred us to MHM. I was able to touch and feel their menu so I knew the quality was good. I had absolutely no reservations about the quality. But our friend’s menu is pretty complicated, with multiple columns, and I was a bit intimidated to attempt it myself, especially since I was looking to do more customization. The end result was beyond my skills. You have to understand, we ran a residential building business so I’m a numbers person, not a creative person. Additionally, I needed something “yesterday” and wasn’t able to give it the time needed. When I emailed Design Services they could see that I had started a couple of menus and got stuck. I signed up with membership so I could benefit from their member discounts and additional services.

MHM: What happened during your conversation with Design Services?
Carrie: They completely got me. I had tried explaining what I wanted via email but it just wasn’t translating. Once we had a chance to connect over the phone I was amazed at how quickly they were able to take my chosen template, customize it, and email me a rendition that represented exactly what I envisioned. And within hours!

MHM: How did your MHM experience differ from past menu creations using traditional resources?
Carrie: In the past, a friend of one of our bartenders would create our menus in her spare time. Timeliness was not an option. She did two menus for us. We told ourselves they were just temporary menus. The last “temporary” menu lasted 18 months. While it was free the trade off was a long drawn-out process. In contrast, after talking with MustHaveMenu’s team for just 30 minutes one Friday afternoon and providing menu information they needed to get started, we had a design layout to review by the following Tuesday. The final draft was complete within a week as compared to two and a half months with the previous scenario. The Design Services team was great to work with—friendly, responsive, and talented!

MHM: From a cost perspective, how did your MHM membership investment compare? 
Carrie: 
Our design development investment was only $100. We then decided to have a take out menu created, too. At $561 for 100 full-color 8 1/2″ x 14″ menus with lamination, plus 2,500 trifold, full-color glossy take out menus, it was far less expensive than the cost of printing at our local Staples. What we learned was by paying a higher premium for printing and losing valuable time, we ended up spending more money in the past. Our investment in MHM was well worth every penny spent, hands down.

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MHM: What other MustHaveMenus products and benefits have you utilized with your membership?
Carrie:
 Once we got the printed versions taken care of we didn’t hesitate to convert the menu for use on our Facebook page and website. In fact, the menu is our website (except for an illustration of Spanky, their 14-year old Boston Terrier mascot and the subject of their $8,000 merchandising revenue).

MHM: How were the new menus received?
Carrie: We introduced them at the beginning of November and our customers absolutely love them! We’ve gotten huge amounts of compliments. We used to have a 4-page menu in a plastic folder. It looked weathered and beaten. Our customers love how the thicker stock laminated menus look and feel—all snappy and new. It’s very exciting.

MHM: What’s next up for menus?
Carrie: 
We’re definitely going to want to create a kids’ menu. We have a lot of families that are regulars and their children are our customers by default. We realize that those children are potential customers, as they become young adults. This time I am going to try to do the kids’ menu creation myself. Since MHM has so many fun templates to choose from and they make it super easy to do, even I can be creative!

 

Use Facebook to Drive Online Orders and Customer Loyalty

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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. 

 

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