5 Tips for Designing Menus That Lead to More Orders

Your menu is the marketing cornerstone of your restaurant. It significantly influences customers’ ordering decisions.

By implementing a few design and item placement basics, you can navigate customers purposefully through your menu to influence their ordering choices.

Here are six quick tips to help you structure and design a menu leading to more orders and maximized profits.

#1: Analyze Your Menu Items

First, look at your existing menu. Ensure all items on it are performing well and are profitable. Make any necessary cuts or adjustments before moving on to the redesign phase.

  • Trim the fat: According to RestaurantBusinessOnline, streamlined menus mean happier customers. Create a lean and mean menu that offers your customers a variety of dishes while removing unnecessary or unprofitable items.
  • Stick with your brand: Remove items that no longer appeal to your demographic or are mismatched with your overall concept.

#2: Place Items Strategically

According to Gallup, the average diner takes only 109 seconds to scan a menu (rather than reading front-to-back).

You can strategically place items on your menu that will make an impact and quickly influence customer selection:

  • Hit the “sweet spot”: The top/top right-hand portion is the prime location for your best performing items.
  • Position items purposefully: When scanning, people notice the top two items in a section, and then the last. Place your highest-margin items in these spots. Menu Engineers  suggest no more than seven items per section.

#3: Highlight Items You Want to Sell

Use the below “eye magnets” sparingly to call attention to targeted menu items of your choice, which subconsciously encourages customers to order them:

  • Borders
  • Shaded or colored boxes
  • Bold or specialty fonts
  • Graphics, illustrations, and photographs
  • Asterisks
  • Negative or “white” space around a section

#4: Write Imaginative Descriptions

Well-written descriptions can increase sales up to 30%. Grubhub offers these suggestions to inspire customers to order, and paint an accurate picture so they know what to expect:

  • Keep it Brief
  • Appeal to Customers’ Senses
  • Speak to your Demographic

#5: Practice Subtlety in Pricing

By softening prices on your menu, you can guide your customers to make choices based on ingredients, quality and technique—and not on price alone.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Eighty-six the $: Use a little psychology and remove dollar signs from prices.
  • Be discreet: Put prices after the descriptions, and don’t ever use leader dots—they reduce items to mere price tags.
  • Choose “charm” prices: Ending a price with .99 or .95 makes it seem more affordable and friendly to customers.

These few tips will help you increase your profitability, while actually making your menu easier for customers to digest.

Learn how to take great food pictures that can increase a menu item’s sales up to 30%.

Ready to reach new customers and grow your business with Grubhub? Sign up today!

Photo: Pexels

Is a Bigger Menu Really Better?

In the restaurant industry, size always matters. From meal portions to dining area square footage or take-out containers, the right size can make or break a customer’s experience. And the same applies to restaurant menus.


How to reduce Grubhub order cancellations and improve your diners experience

Learn how to reduce order cancellations on the Grubhub Marketplace improve your customer’s experience.  

Canceling your customer’s orders can create a poor experience for them. In fact, our data shows that when orders are canceled, customers are significantly less likely to order from the restaurant that canceled their order. 

To help Grubhub restaurant partners reduce order cancelations, we’ve put together this short guide that explores why order cancellations occur and how you can prevent them. 

Are you a restaurant interested in reaching new customers and building your takeout and delivery business? Sign up with Grubhub for Restaurants today!

Why does your restaurant cancel orders?

To understand how to tackle this issue for your restaurant, you need to understand why your restaurant is currently canceling orders. This information is found in your Grubhub for Restaurant account by navigating to the Financials tab and selecting “Transactions”.

Screenshot of transactions within Grubhub for Restaurant platform

At the top of the page, you can choose the range of time you’re looking at, as well as Filter by the type of transaction you’re looking for.

Select “Prepaid Order Adjustments” from the dropdown to limit your search results, also view your results a month at a time (such as “last month”), to see Cancellations during that time frame.

Once you’ve looked through why orders are being canceled at your restaurant, you can use the below information to reduce cancellations and find other actions your restaurant can take.

Common types of order cancellations on the Grubhub Marketplace

  • Special Requests/Editing an Active Order
  • Missing an ingredient
  • Your kitchen is at order capacity
  • New orders aren’t showing up

Reduce order cancellations by addressing the problem–before it happens

How to overcome special request cancellations

Rather than canceling, you can adjust the order using our streamlined order adjustment options.

Adjusting an order in the moment is an easy solution that keeps you fulfilling orders and serving delicious food to your customers while managing their expectations. Learn more about how to adjust active orders by removing an item you might not have available, adding an additional item a customer is asking for to replace it or modifying an item within the order.

What to do if you run out of specific menu item

Change the availability of a menu item if you run out. If you run out of any ingredients, you can hide those menu items until they are back in stock.

When your kitchen 86es an item or ingredient, it’s easy to quickly adjust your menu to avoid customers ordering the item. Whether you’re out for 10 minutes, or the rest of the day, hiding the item from customers can ensure they won’t order something and be disappointed it can’t be made.

What to do if your restaurant is too busy for more orders

Click “Stop taking orders” Within the Grubhub for Restaurants platform.  You can temporarily suspend new orders on Grubhub by clicking this red button. When you’re ready to take orders again, click the green button “Start taking orders.”

Sometimes, a customer brings a group of 50 people to your restaurant without giving you an adequate warning. Although it means an increase in business, it may mean your kitchen is at capacity for 30 minutes to an hour. To avoid canceling orders from hungry customers excited to taste your food, you can easily toggle “Off” on Grubhub until your kitchen has the ability to take on new orders.

New orders stopped coming in

 Keep your Grubhub tablet powered up and turned on. If you’re open, keep an eye on your Grubhub tablet. If you’re not taking orders, be sure to click “Stop taking orders” or update your hours. Simply turning off your tablet does not turn off your restaurant on Grubhub–ensure your restaurant is not taking orders, and not just missing notifications for them.

If orders aren’t confirmed within 15 minutes of being received, Grubhub will cancel the order for you. This happens because we want to ensure Customers receive their food within the timeframe they expect it. This means it’s important to ensure your tablet is powered up and turned on. If you’re not sure if the tablet is working, you can send and confirm a test order to double-check.

Send and confirm a test order. Once you log into your Grubhub for Restaurant account, scroll to the bottom of this page to send yourself a test order. If you’re currently working with a POS integration, please contact Care for assistance with your tablet.

What to do if you continue to experience order cancellations

Order cancellations happen sometimes, but our goal is to help your restaurant reduce them. As your partner, and a partner to over 150k restaurants, we know how negatively order cancellations can affect your business when they occur. 

Frequent order cancellation can result in your restaurant being temporarily paused on Grubhub.

We pause your restaurant to ensure your relationship with your customers stays intact. We know if your kitchen has a pipe burst–turning off Grubhub might not be top of mind.

We have your back and will make sure your restaurant is offline when it looks like your restaurant can’t confirm orders.  And we’ve made it quick and easy to unpause yourself once you are in a place to start confirming orders again.

Get back online

Once you’re ready to start taking orders again, you can unpause your restaurant at any time. If you received an email from us about your restaurant being paused, you can follow those instructions to bring your restaurant back online.

Otherwise, log into your Grubhub for Restaurants account and select “Start taking orders”. If something doesn’t seem to be working for you, always contact our Care team. We’ll be more than happy to help you get your restaurant back up and running again.

Creating a Unique Selling Proposition For Your Restaurant

Resonate with diners and differentiate yourself from the competition by honing in on what makes your restaurant unique.

The following strategies will help you discover and pitch your unique characteristics to capture your ideal customer.

Find Your Niche

Start by crafting your restaurant’s unique selling proposition. If you can’t immediately pinpoint or differentiate what you do best and how that differs from others, sit down and think it through.

Here are some characteristics that may apply to you:

Qualities Your gourmet cuisine has been recognized with awards and reviews.

Sustainability You only use organic, locally-sourced ingredients and grow your own herbs.

Value You offer the best prices in your area.

Service From wait staff to online ordering, you’ve perfected the art of great customer service.

Signature Dish There are one or two dishes you have created that are completely original.

Traditional Fare Your food is made from family recipes, or you use ethnically-specific techniques or spices.

Ambiance Your dining room’s décor and atmosphere is distinctive (i.e., intimate, hip, family-friendly)

Convenience You’ve streamlined operations to offer easy online ordering and fast delivery times.

Who Is Your Customer?

The next step is to determine who your unique offerings will resonate with. Don’t try to be all things to all people. This dilutes your strengths and prevents you from targeting your ideal customers.

For instance, a family-friendly atmosphere and menu, and discounted prices may not appeal to affluent empty-nesters looking for a refined dining experience. Nor will these characteristics attract millennials craving health-conscious, ethnically diverse cuisine.

Conversely, busy families will be attracted to dining rooms where they’ll feel comfortable bringing their fussy youngsters. They will also need to satisfy their need for kid-friendly menu items and value.

Whatever your assets may be, diners are out there tailor made for you.

Messages That Stand Out

People make decisions about where to eat every day, with increasingly more options to choose from. Here are some ideas to help you craft your unique selling proposition to tell your story effectively and make your restaurant irresistible:

Sum it up. Create a one or two-sentence phrase that communicates your uniqueness. Make your value proposition clear to the customer (unlike a slogan, which is typically just catchy, without necessarily expressing value). In other words, state what’s in it for the customer. Use this phrase in your marketing messages.

Create Concise Messages. When communicating your unique selling point, get to the point quickly! For instance, 40-character Facebook, and 100-character Twitter posts have shown to have higher engagement rates.

Be creative. Find a way to express your unique selling point in a memorable way, using your own distinct brand personality. Perhaps a series of YouTube videos will help you set the tone for your brand. Or, check out Grubhub’s guide to starting an email marketing program.

Follow Through

Here are several things you can do to make sure every aspect of your restaurant lives up to your promise:

Menu. Make any necessary tweaks so your menu reflects your brand personality in content and style. For instance, delete items that don’t align with your brand. Also, use colors, fonts, images and descriptive copy that appeals to your target customer. Check out Grubhub’s some simple tips on menu engineering.

Innovation. Adjust operations to deliver on the expectations you’ve set. For instance, if your value proposition is to make customers’ lives easier, have systems in place to back that up: online ordering and tracking, alternative payments, etc.

Training. Make sure your unique selling proposition resonates internally with your staff. Set clear objectives and guidelines to help them represent your brand successfully.

These techniques will help you fully utilize your inherent strengths to attract and retain a customer base that values and rewards your uniqueness.

Learn 4 ways your restaurant can personalize the dining experience.

Creating a Unique Selling Proposition For Your Restaurant | Grubhub for Restaurants

POS Systems Raise The Bar On Customer Satisfaction And Profitability

It’s no secret that modern POS software offers streamlined and efficient restaurant management features.

However, when these POS systems are integrated with online ordering capabilities, restaurant operations are raised to a higher level. Here’s how to enhance customer satisfaction and increase profitability.

Elevating Customer Satisfaction

All-in-one POS systems are a customer’s best friend. They provide these pathways to faster and more efficient customer service:

  • Speed and Accuracy: POS systems enable staff to enter and process orders quickly, with less chance of human error translating orders to the kitchen. Dine-in customers get their food faster and just the way they ordered it.

    Adding online ordering to the mix, digital diners place orders themselves (from their own device) which are seamlessly integrated into your restaurant’s POS system for a simpler, more accurate ordering experience.
  • Flexibility: Levering the technology of POS systems and online ordering, restaurants can provide a more customized experience for diners. Customers can easily split checks, leave tips, and pay for their food with online payment apps or EMV chip cards. They can even redeem loyalty rewards from their smartphones (rather than printing ahead of time).
  • Better Service: With faster and more efficient ordering and processing, every customer gets better service. In the dining room, servers have more time to take care of customers. Take-out customers get in and out faster, and delivery customers can track the status of their orders online. Even providing email receipts and easy ways to leave feedback helps improve the customer experience.

Raising the Bar on Restaurant Profitability

Here are some of the ways POS systems can benefit a restaurant’s bottom line:

  • Accurate Staffing. Many advanced POS systems take the guesswork out of scheduling, tracking employee time, and staffing. Employees clock in and out through the POS and managers can manage staffing and payroll—all based on sales volume and other data provided by the POS.
  • Intelligent Stocking. POS systems can track and manage inventory levels based on need. This helps restaurants reduce food waste and only order what they need, when they need it.
  • Faster Turnover. POS combined with online ordering cuts down on the time and staff needed to receive and process orders. Whether orders are initiated by a customer online or input from a server, there is faster, more direct and accurate communication with the kitchen. And, you have more time to make the great food that keeps customers coming back.
  • Menu Flexibility. With a modern POS, you can add/remove seasonal items and change daily specials without the expense of printing cards or reprinting menus. Integrating Grubhub allows these changes to be automatically reflected in online menus as well. Both customers and staff are instantaneously appraised of menu changes and additions.

With the dynamic duo of a modern POS system and online ordering capabilities, you will have more control of your operations at your fingertips, allowing you to hit and maintain the highest levels of service and profitability.

Download Grubhub’s free whitepaper to help you make the most of your restaurant’s POS.

Image: Unsplash

5 Things That Make Diners Come Back

As a restaurant owner, you know that retaining existing customers costs less than recruiting new ones.

The secret to bringing diners back lies in perfecting the customer experience. Here’s how:

#1: Serve Great Food

Your passion for serving great food is probably why you opened a restaurant in the first place. Here are just a few reminders on how to keep customers hungry for your food:

Get Back to Basics. Taste, temperature, and presentation deliver the quality customers expect.

Refine Your Menu. Make any necessary modifications or deletions to create a well-conceived, streamlined menu. Keep it simple for customers to read and manageable for your kitchen to produce.

Be Consistent. Regular customers often return for the same dishes. Keep them satisfied with consistency.

#2: Practice Great Customer Service

Customer service is often the differentiator that sets your restaurant apart from the rest. If your servers use these techniques to take care of diners, they’re more likely to return.

Smile and Listen. Customers like to be served by familiar servers that are friendly and competent.

Be Respectful.  Always be respectful of customers, even if they are not.

Go the Extra Mile. Patrons will appreciate someone who goes above and beyond to take care of them. Also, learning repeat customers’ names and preferences will make them feel welcome.

#3: Keep it Clean

Nothing turns off customers more than a dirty restaurant. In fact, lack of cleanliness is linked to low customer retention.

Here are a few areas to keep spic and span:

Restrooms. A third of customers will never come back to a restaurant if the bathroom is dirty.

Tableware. Make dishes and plates sparkle to keep customers happy.

Packaging. Grubhub advises using appropriately-sized delivery containers with proper seals (keeping sauces separate) to help food arrive looking clean and appetizing.

#4: Perfect the Art of Solving Problems

How you handle inevitable customer complaints can lose customers for good, or convert them into more loyal patrons than if they hadn’t experienced a problem at all.

Here are some tips:

Online Reviews. Respond quickly and sincerely to every review—good and bad. Grubhub offers these tips.

Ask for Input. In delivery packages, a printed flyer asking for customers to call with feedback can avoid a bad online review and help earn that customer’s continued patronage.

Be Professional. Really listen to the customer’s complaint, don’t be defensive, never raise your voice, and always present a solution.

#5: Give Incentives

Offering incentives for return visits helps build long-lasting relationships.

Here are just a couple of suggestions:

Coupon Codes. Everyone loves to receive a discount. Restaurants that partner with Grubhub can reward both loyal and new customers with coupon codes and other promotions.

Buy One, Get One. People often bring in friends with BOGO offers. You just might pick up an additional new steady customer.

Loyalty Programs. Most Americans participate in at least one restaurant loyalty program. Loyalty program members feel more connected with the brand and also spend more than non-members do. Grubhub suggests utilizing your POS system, or customer-facing digital rewards programs through social media to reward customers for loyalty.

These tips will keep your customers coming back for more, while helping you grow your restaurant and become more profitable.

Read more about making memorable customer experiences.

Ready to reach new customers and grow your business with Grubhub? Sign up today!

Image: Flickr

Simple Yet Effective Ways to Show Staff Appreciation

As a restaurant owner, you know how hard your employees work. You want to keep them happy and motivated, while creating an environment where they will enjoy their work and want to stay.

The key is making them feel appreciated. Here are some great ways to do just that:

Encourage Peer Recognition

Recognition from management is important, yet studies show that peer-to-peer recognition programs increase employee engagement and retention, and customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Here are three easy ways to encourage peer-to-peer recognition:

Share. Hang a whiteboard in a heavily-frequented area where employees can easily give praise to a fellow worker for a job well done.

Give. Have a rotating award that gets presented to a different employee every month. Each month’s winner is the one to pick the next recipient.

Click. Utilize a free cloud-based peer recognition app where team members can recognize fellow employees using their smartphones—via badges or a points system for redeemable prizes.

Value Their Opinion

Asking staff for feedback builds unity, pride in your brand, and it’s also a great way for employees to voice concerns and help you improve your restaurant as well.

Here are a few things you should be asking your staff about:

New Menu Items. Hold a pre-launch tasting session. This will create a fun and inclusive opportunity for staff to share their opinions, give input to help perfect the dish, and motivate them to sell the product.

Tools & Equipment. Check in with your staff periodically to see if their  work tools either support or hinder them. Grubhub reports that 89% of restaurants that deploy an elevated POS system have raised staff productivity and streamlined business performance.

Customer Service. Your front-of-house staff and delivery team deals with customers all the time. Pick their brains a bit to see if they have any ideas to improve customer service. Chances are, they do.

Friendly Competition

Show your staff your appreciation with a competitive rewards program that awards employees for meeting key objectives you set.

It’s easy; set your goals, create a rewards system around them, and give out great prizes for the top achievers.

Here are a few contest ideas to get you started:

Sell the most featured entrée.

Create a branded hashtag and get the most people to post a picture with it.

Get the most customers to write a review and mention your name.

Combine Recognition with Charity

Looking for a way to reward an especially compassionate employee while building good will within your community?

Host an event to raise funds for the charity of that employee’s choice. Advertise the event along with the employee’s name. Donate a portion of sales to the charity. According to Grubhub, socially-conscious businesses reap many rewards.

Here are some benefits of hosting a charitable event to recognize an employee:

Recognition. First and foremost, you are honoring that team member. They will feel great about themselves and the charity, and you’ll feel good pretty good too.

Good will. Through print and social media, table cards and word of mouth, the positive news about your good deed will spread throughout your community.

New business. There is a strong possibility that your charitable event will attract new customers, while encouraging loyalty due to your social consciousness.


Remember—one of the best ways to make your employees feel appreciated is to help them be more productive and efficient on the job.

Don’t bog them down with clunky ticketing processes and antiquated equipment. With streamlined and efficient tools, your staff will soar (and your profits will too!)

Check out the many benefits of POS integrations.

Ready to reach new customers and grow your business with Grubhub? Sign up today!

Image: Flickr

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