Lose the PDF Menus
We actually have nothing against PDF menus, but much more how they’re used. In the majority of cases they are the primary and only source of a food menu on a website. As food is usually the reason people go to restaurants, why do they need to download a file to see what you serve? Furthermore, if you carry local specialties or have a niche cuisine, you’re only losing out on search engine opportunities.
Many clients may not know where to find a dish, but know what they want (i.e. they search for “Veggie Pizza, Berlin”). It’s important to take the time to set up a menu that is accessible to various devices (mobile, tablet & desktop) as well as search engines (like the example below).
To make matters worse (yes, it gets worse), many PDF files restaurants carry are just poorly optimized (or simply a PDF export from Word), which can lead to massive files (10mb anyone?). Most mobile users can download and view PDF files, but you can’t expect many to stick around for large downloads.
- Your primary food menu should be in HTML.
- Your secondary (and optional) food menu can be in PDF.
- If you’re hosting a PDF menu, keep the file size down and make sure it’s up-to-date.
- Find a solution that’s easy to update.
Accessibility comes first, give everyone a chance to access your menu in a reasonable time-frame (c. 10 seconds).