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Marketing Your Illinois Business

Marketing Your Small Business: Using Your Menu as a Promotional Tool

November 29, 2023

In today’s competitive business environment, businesses need every advantage they can get. One avenue for promotion that a lot of bars and restaurants forget is their menu and how it is presented online.

Did you know?: According to a study by OpenTable, 93% of people view online menus before dining out.

As a result, an establishment’s menu is a key indicator of whether or not a customer chooses to visit. With that in mind, here are a few ways that you can turn your venue’s menu into a true marketing tool.

Keep Your Menu Current

Having an outdated menu can hurt your reputation. Make sure your menu is up to date so when people come to your location to order a specific menu item they aren’t disappointed. Whenever you make a change to your menu, whether it be food, drinks, or even a price change, your menu should reflect that change. Keeping a consistent menu will also help build customer loyalty and trust.

Make Your Menu Visible

In order to reach the largest audience possible, it’s important to put your menu up on all relevant platforms. This way you make your menu as visible as possible, allowing you to cast a wider net in terms of attracting potential customers.

Make Your Menu Searchable

Many times, customers don’t search for an exact restaurant name when searching for places to eat. Oftentimes folks will search for specific food items in their area like “Deep Dish Pizza Chicago”. In order for your menu to appear in non-specific searches, you must upload your menu in HTML and not as a PDF. Google cannot easily “crawl” through a PDF, which is how Google automatically reads and determines content. By typing your menu in HTML (typed out directly in a web page), Google can read your menu and have it appear in search.


Your menu, if optimized properly, can be a very powerful tool that you can use to promote your venue more effectively. By keeping your menu consistent and making sure it will appear in searches, you can attract a much larger audience than you may be used to.

Looking for more ways to make a difference for your establishment? Read our other blogs on how you can promote your small business!

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