In a recent post, I outlined key content elements for effective digital menu design. And, while the actual content your customer sees on the menu page is critically important to the customer experience, the way the menu functions is equally important.

To create an engaging digital customer experience for your foodservice program, your digital menu must be not only attractive and informative, but also easy to find and easy to use.

Five essential approaches for making your digital menus more functional:

  1. Make your digital menus easy to find.

    If your customers have to click through several layers of your website to find your menus, they’ll likely become frustrated or worse — they may simply give up. One way to ensure they can find your menu right away is to use slide-out menus. Slide-out menus allow you to place a small “menu” tab on any web page ― such as the homepage of your website or on an employee intranet page. Customers simply click the tab, and a digital menu slides out, offering a friendly mobile app-like experience, right on the web page. This is a great way to find space on your website for your digital menus without detracting from the design of the site.

  2. Use responsive design.

    The modern consumer expects to be able to access your digital menu from any device. It’s essential that your digital menu design is responsive, which means that your menus display and work properly on any device. This requires your menus to be designed so that the appearance and layout of your digital menus automatically adjust according to the size of the display screen on the customer’s mobile device. Be sure that your digital menu software determines what type of mobile device is accessing your digital menus and presents the customer with the appropriate design.

  3. Don’t forget about voice menus.

    Modern consumers not only use everything from computers to handheld mobile devices, they increasingly use virtual voice assistants, such as Amazon Alexa. To truly create a convenient digital customer experience, ensure that your digital menus respond to voice commands through Amazon Alexa-enabled devices.

  4. Offer PDF printing for those who want it.

    While some of your customers may want to access your menus via voice command, some will want to view and print a PDF version to post on their refrigerator or on a bulletin board. The key to providing a convenient PDF experience is customization. Your digital menu software should allow you to offer options, such as language translation, dining locations, timeframe (day, week, month), text size, and only the menu items they want to see (based on meal types, allergen information, etc.).

  5. Offer full ADA compliance.

    It’s important to ensure that your menus are compliant with standards put forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act. One of the best ways to do this is to use digital menu software that adheres to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Following these guidelines makes your content available to a wider range of people with disabilities and improves overall user experience.