Q&A: PDF of your menu or nah?

Q: Should I have a PDF of my menu on my site or should I type out the whole menu?

A: Both.

Before you think this is a cop-out answer, this is honestly what I advise my clients to do because you know what? You don't want to lose your customer just because you have only one or the other. MOST people do not like PDF menus they have to download or open in a new window. On the other hand you probably want what people see on your website to reflect the look and feel of the actual menu you hand out. So REALLY, the answer now is: what is your priority here? Aesthetics? Or practicality?

I preach practicality - when it comes to a restaurant's website, most people will (first and foremost) seek out the following information:

  • What the hours are
  • Location/addess
  • Menu

This information should be easy to find and easy to read especially on a mobile device because odds are, people are looking your business up on their phones. If you make them work, you'll lose them.

Adding a PDF of your menu means it'll take an extra step to open and not all PDFs are easy to read especially on a small screen. But I get it - this is a lot easier a step for restaurants that change their menus a lot, and much less tedious than having to update the text on a web page every single time.

Menus that are typed out may not match the look your actual menu goes for and if you're looking for consistency with your "brand" then I get that too which is why I recommend having both. Most customers will want to see it right away without having to click and download or open in a new window. A few others may not be as picky so offer both and let them pick!