Why Holiday Shopping and PDF Menus Don’t Mix

It’s holiday shopping season – which means millions of people in North America are spending more time out and about in malls or dense shopping areas where stores are plentiful and the best restaurants are in high demand.  It also means that there is a lot of on the fly searching going on via people’s mobile phones for the right place to shop or eat.
For most of us, holiday shopping  is a pretty stressful task to begin with and anything that makes it more difficult to get the job done is going to make us (even more) annoyed.  So when I pull out my iPhone to find a place to have lunch, while struggling to keep my two year old nearby I don’t have the patience, or ability, to try to zoom in and squint at a pdf menu on a restaurant’s website or that I found on a search engine.  For me, it’s not a matter of judging the restaurant for having a hard to read menu, I just end up dismissing it altogether in favor of a place I can be confident will have what I am looking for.

As consumer behavior evolves and mobile devices become an integral part of shopping experience, it’s more and more essential that your information is mobile friendly.  For restaurants that means turning your menu into a digital menu which is easy to read from anywhere.

I mean, which of the following two restaurants are you more likely to choose from your phone?

Mobile Menu

Want to make your business’s menu mobile-friendly? SinglePlatform can help!

[Study] Digital Menu Trends Show Importance of Mobile

It is widely known that the number one thing that people are looking for when deciding on a restaurant is a menu (source: YP.com) , so it’s no surprise that as people are accessing the internet more and more from their mobile device it’s also how they choose to evaluate new dining options as they are ready to make decisions.  At SinglePlatform we provide the digital menus that power many of the top listing sites and mobile apps that consumers use to find their next great meal.
We recently took a look at some of our own data to uncover four key trends:

1. Mobile searches are extremely important, and are becoming even more prevalent.   In the past 45 days we are seeing that mobile is getting closer, and in some cases surpassing web search as a means to find menus online.  For example, 62% of menus viewed in New York in that timeframe were viewed on a mobile device and 57% of menus viewed in Charlotte were on a mobile device.  That means that you need to get your menu in a format that people can easily read on a mobile device – whether that is on your web site or on search and social apps.

2. There is a 33% increase in menu views on weekends.  It’s no secret that more people dine out on weekends and digital menus on search sites and mobile apps are reaching active consumers – those trying to make a dining decision right away.

Menu Views by Weekday (% of total)

  • Monday: 10.62%
  • Tuesday: 12.55%
  • Wednesday: 12.98%
  • Thursday: 13.91%
  • Friday: 17.35%
  • Saturday: 17.44%
  • Sunday: 15.14%

3. Top locations for viewing menus include New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington DC, and Los Angeles. Not surprisingly, the more food options a city has, the more likely people are to be searching for a place to dine that they don’t already know.  In competitive marketplaces like these, it’s essential that restaurants keep their information and menu up to date so potential diners can easily find you. 

  • New York
  • Chicago
  • San Francisco
  • Washington
  • Los Angeles
  • Bethesda
  • Houston
  • Boston
  • Seattle
  • Denver

4. Smartphones rule the day.  When it comes to mobile restaurant searching, the top devices used are smartphones.  In fact, over half of mobile menu views (52%) occurred on an iPhone.

  • Apple iPhone
  • Apple iPad
  • Motorola MOTXT912B Droid Razr 4G
  • Apple iPod
  • HTC 9292 EVO 4G
  • Samsung SCH-I535 4G Galaxy SIII
  • Samsung SPH-D710
  • Samsung SGH-T989 Galaxy SII
  • HTC ADR6350 Droid Incredible 2

So, what’s the big takeaway?  You need to take control of your online presence by keeping all of your information up to date and mobile friendly.  Otherwise you could be missing out on tons of traffic searching for a great local business.

About this data:  Menu view data was pulled from a sampling of SinglePlatform menus across our publisher network between October 19, 2012 and December 2, 2012.