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Creating a Successful Online Menu

Have you been window shopping for a dining place, look at their menu and found nothing appetizing or appealing to you enough for you to walk in that restaurant?


I'm sure everyone of you has experienced this. Have you ever wonder why or what is lacking in that menu that has thrown you out to another dining place immediately?


In the Hommyliciouz app, the menu is also your shop front, your restaurant renovation, the ambience you create. Make it visually appealing to the eyes and customers will stay and increases the likelihood of an order.


Creating a successful online menu can be at your fingertip when you understand the following 9 contributing factors. Read on to ensure you have an effective menu that maximises your revenue and produce return customers


successful menu

1) Name of food


The name of the food is a short description that should inform the potential buyers immediately what the food is. Give accurate and meaningful short elaboration.

For example,

Katong Laksa

Home cook recipe Chili Crab


Tip: You can also include important details in the Name for example

a) If this is only available on the weekend, you can put “Nasi Lemak Weekend Only”

b) If this is for 2 pax, you can put in “Omelete rice (2 Pax)”

c) If there is premium ingredients used it should be included in the title, for example, Lobster Nasi Lemak or Crabmeat Char Kway Teow.


2) Description


In an online menu, it is very important to have a good description of your food. This is because there is no waiter or waitress to answer the questions of your customers. There is nobody from the kitchen who can assist to cue you in on special items used or if you have any story behind the particular dish.


Therefore, inputting sufficient details are essential to capture your potential customers' attention.


Below are some tips that you may want to follow:


a) Preparation method and time - if the food has elaborated preparation effort and time, it is good to emphasize that in the description.


b) Ingredients used – if premium ingredients are used like abalones, lobsters and crabs, it should be mentioned in the description. For example Char Kway Teow with Crab Meat.


c. Healthy cooking - No msg, no colouring or natural colouring, no preservative should be mentioned.

Tip: Use Emoji to emphasize titles and better illustrate a point – Can go to this site to find appropriate emoji and paste to your description.


d. Specify Allergens - It is also good to specify the use of notorious allergens like Nuts in ingredients to inform potential customers with allergies to avoid this food.


Example of Tingkat Menu as follows


⭐ SPECIAL MENU

Day 1 – Lunch: Fish slices soup w/ Rice

Day 1 – Dinner: Chicken slices w/ Black Fungus

Day 2 – Lunch: Pork slices w/ Black Fungus

Day 2 – Dinner: Chicken w/ Black Fungus and Mushroom

Day 3 – Lunch: Bee Tai Mak Fish Ginger Soup

Day 3 – Dinner: Ginger Fried Pork

Day 12/30 – Lunch: Homemade Rice Wine Chicken

Day 12/30 – Dinner: Pig Trotter in Black Vinegar


⭐Trial Meal à $35 Only

TM1: Pig Trotter in Black Vinegar, Sesame Oil Chicken, Green Vege, Fragrant White Rice, 200ml Roasted Brown Rice.

TM2: Ginger Sliced Pork, Sesame Oil Chicken, Green Vege, Fragrant White Rice, 200ml Roasted Brown Rice.

⭐Single Meal (Lunch or Dinner) à From $300 only

First 3 days special menu followed by normal menu.

7 days --> $300

14 days --> $500

30 days --> $1,050


⭐Double Meal (Lunch and Dinner) à From $550 only

First 3 days special menu followed by normal menu.

7 days --> $550

14 days --> $850

30 days --> $1,788


➡️Lunch - 10.30am-1pm

➡️Dinner - 4.30pm - 7pm


Example of A-la-carte menu


🍃 NO MEAT BOWL comes with choice of *1 Base, *4 Supplements, *1 Dressing


🌟 BASE (B)

1) Japanese buckwheat noodles

2) Japanese udon noodles

3) Japanese green tea noodles

4) Brown rice with Furikake

5) Fusilli (pasta)


🌟 SUPPLEMENTS (S)

1) Hard-boiled egg

2) Sauteed brussel sprout with fried seaweed

3) Thyme roasted cherry tomatoes

4) Broccoli

5) KIng oyster mushroom

6) Sweet corn

7) Kimchi

8) Pumpkins

9) Edamame

10) Herbed white potato

11) Stir fry cauliflower

12) Pan fried tofu

13) Shrimp paste fry lotus root (Spicy)


🌟 DRESSING (D)

1) Roasted sesame,

2) Yakiniku (garlic soy sauce)


Example of Bakerz Menu


White Lotus with Melon Seed - Regular price $9.90


100% Home Made by Joy Kitchen

MINI MOONCAKES AVAILABLE FOR CURRENT ENJOYMENT PRIOR TO ORDERING FOR MID AUTUMN FESTIVAL.


My white lotus paste for mooncake is with Erythritol to reduce the quantity of sugar used.


100g size each. 6cm diameter


Varieties available, based on last year's top sales:

✔️ White lotus with melon seed ($7.25 each)

✔️ White lotus with melon seed & yolk ($8.90 each)

✔️ Coffee with melon seeds ($7.50 each)

✔️ Coffee with cream cheese ($9.90 each)

✔️ Nyonya mixed nuts ($11.50 each)

𝐴𝑙𝑚𝑜𝑛𝑑, 𝑤𝑎𝑙𝑛𝑢𝑡, 𝑚𝑒𝑙𝑜𝑛 𝑠𝑒𝑒𝑑𝑠,

𝑤𝑖𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑚𝑒𝑙𝑜𝑛, 𝑤ℎ𝑖𝑡𝑒 𝑠𝑒𝑠𝑎𝑚𝑒,

𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑠𝑖𝑚𝑚𝑜𝑛, 𝑡𝑎𝑛𝑔𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑛𝑒

✔️ Yam with melon seeds & yolk ($10.90 each)


𝗠𝗶𝗻𝗶𝗺𝘂𝗺 𝗼𝗿𝗱𝗲𝗿 𝗶𝘀 2 𝗽𝗶𝗲𝗰𝗲𝘀 (any combination)

Orders will be in boxes of 2's or 4's.


Early Bird B - 22 July to 7 Aug - $7.25

Early Bird C - 8th Aug to 31 Aug - $7.90

Early Bird D - 1 Sep to 10 Sep - $8.50


Tip: If you have a lengthy description, you may choose to type in a computer first then copy and paste to the app. You can use Microsoft “Your Phone” app to copy on a computer clipboard and paste it into the phone.


3) Notes:

Unlike description that emphasis on food-related information, notes is for a special arrangement that is not able to specify in the mobile app system.

Such information may include special delivery arrangement, minimum order quantity and price or you want the customer to contact when it is out of your availability date and time.


The following are some of the special messages that you can add to the note for your customers.



4) Number of dishes and variety consideration


Customers like to see variety and options in the food that you offer. It is therefore important to create multiple food items in your menu and at least 3 items under the same category will be appealing to customers.


For tingkat meal, you can easily create variant as follow

7 days meal, 14 days meal and 30 days meal.


For A-la-carte, you can create variants easily too. For example, if you are selling noodles, you can have Dumpling noodles, mushroom noodles, chicken noodles etc.


If you are selling cakes, you can put them in different sizes as options too.


Try to put variety in the same category. For example, if you are selling Japanese Cuisine, try not to mix other food in. For example, if you are selling sushi, try not to also sell Prata. It's hard for customers to relate the 2. Unless you truly believe this is your specialities.


Customers like to buy food as a meal, you can increase the chance of order by creating options for them to complete their meal. Example add to soup, rice etc as extra dishes. Add fries to your burger, add dumplings to noodles. These are options you can charge a premium.


5) Photos


Use photos of the exact food you are cooking as much as possible. If you are not a good photographer or you do not have photos of your food that is appealing, you can get copyright photos from these 2 websites: Unsplash and Canva.


Remember that the photo helps you to sell your food and it is very important that it is visually appealing and makes you have the sense of drooling and wanting to eat. If you look at the photo you created and you don’t have this feeling, it is not a successful photo. We have some tips on taking good photos in our own blog here.


Choose high-quality photos of sufficient resolution. 500x 500 pixels or above is good. Choose photos with bright appetizing colours.


If you are selling bakes like mooncakes and macarons, the packaging makes a difference too as usually, these are gifts. Take a photo of the food in the packaging too.


6) Availability


Ideally, your food should be available daily so customers who crave your food can have it any day they want.


I understand that you may be just a part-time home chef and it is not possible to cook daily.


The second best for customers is to have food available at regular intervals so that customers can remember when they can buy your food. For example, Special Satay Rice Saturday Only.


And you sell this consistently on Saturday. If your food is only available for one day, it is best to indicate in the title, so that customers will know when they can order it. For example, Special Malaysia Nasi Lemak 31st August Only.


7) Preparation time


Keep Preparation time shortest possible. Usually, customers do not want to wait 3 days to savour the food that they are craving unless the food understandably requires tremendous time and effort in preparation or that it is for a special event. Example buddha jump over the wall for Chinese New Year, mooncakes, birthday cakes, Christmas log cake. For hot food, try to keep it to not more than a day, less than 3 hours is best. This will increase the chance of orders from customers.


Delivery arrangement consideration - While it is best to keep preparation time shortest possible, the delivery arrangement takes time and if you need a 3rd party to do the delivery, it is best to have 24 hours preparation time or more so that delivery can be scheduled effectively.



8) Price


There is a blog we previously wrote on price here. I am not going to elaborate too much but as a start, price it modestly to cover the cost or small profit to gain customer base and review first and after that, you can adjust price higher when you see customers like your food. Customers are tech-savvy and sensitive to reviews from other customers too so it is important to build up your good reviews.


9) Profile Photo


Last but not least, in fact, one of the most important images is a profile photo.

By default, the profile photo is the Hommyliciouz logo. You are strongly encouraged to change this to your restaurant or brand name. This is the identity and brand of your restaurant you want to build. Create designs that represent your style as a home chef.


Summary

I hope you have benefitted from my sharing of the 9 contributing factors of creating a successful menu. An effective menu determines the success of your cafe or home-based business. A great menu will highlight your food and expertise. Customers will understand the value of your food and are more willing to pay for the price you set.

About Author


I grew up with my grandma and one of my favourite times when I was young was in the early morning. I could get out of the house with my grandma patronizing the wet market. She would buy fresh ingredients which she would cook for the day. Her love for her family is poured into the food she prepared daily and can be felt by every generation she cooked for. Now with my own kids, I hope they can grow up being able to enjoy healthy home cook food too. As much as I enjoy cooking for my family, I find it a difficult juggle between my 9 to 5 job and preparing meals for my family. At the same time, at the weekend, I could spend more time cooking and I wish I can share my speciality for other people to enjoy.


I knew that in this digital world that we lived in, there has to be a better way and that’s the motivation for me to start Hommyliciouz .


The objective behind Hommyliciouz is to create a connection among people within communities where the passionate chef could provide fresh, home cook meals that are healthy and affordable.


We truly hope that you can enjoy this platform sharing love through cooking.


CEO of Hommyliciouz

 

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