6 Tools to Add Menus to Mobile Apps

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menuOnline menus drive more traffic to restaurants than coupons and giveaways combined, with 33% of consumers in a 2014 JiWire survey saying they’re more influenced by seeing menu information in a mobile ad than special offers or the location of an establishment.

With smartphone usage on the rise, it’s important for restaurants to get their menus in front of mobile users. Unfortunately, many restaurant owners are unsure of how to add menus to their existing mobile websites and apps. This task can be especially challenging for restaurants with seasonal menus that frequently change, and those that still post menus as PDF files on their desktop sites.

Here are six tools that restaurants can use to add integrated, mobile-friendly menus to their websites and apps.

1. Splick-It: Build a mobile app with integrated menus and ordering features.
Splick-It is a merchant solution platform that restaurants can use to create customized mobile apps that include menus. In addition to basic mobile menus, Splick-It’s platform enables restaurants to offer mobile ordering and payments, along with digital loyalty and rewards programs. Merchants retain full control over the content in their mobile apps through Splick-It’s web portal, which means managers are able to update the prices and items on their mobile menus as frequently as they wish.

2. MustHaveMenus: Design menus for smartphone users.
Online menus with too many bells and whistles can take a long time to load on mobile devices, which is why MustHaveMenus provides its users with a way to design text-only versions of their menus made specifically for smartphone users. Restaurants that enable MustHaveMenus Places can create free mobile-ready websites that include text-only menus. These menus automatically sync with a restaurant’s traditional menus. For example, any price changes that a business makes on its regular menu will be automatically adjusted on its mobile menu at the same time.

3. ChowNow: Quickly edit your menu across mobile apps, websites, and Facebook.
ChowNow creates customized mobile apps for restaurants. In addition to including basic logos and branding elements, mobile apps created by ChowNow have integrated menus and online ordering features. ChowNow-powered menus are designed in a way that makes mobile ordering a seamless process. These same menus can also be embedded on a restaurant’s website and Facebook page. Merchants retain full control over their menus, quickly adding, deleting, or editing individual items at any time. Businesses can even add new menus, like happy hour or brunch menus, to their apps using ChowNow’s DIY tools.

4. OpenMenu: Publish one menu everywhere.
Manually making menu updates to a website, mobile app, and social media pages can take hours. OpenMenu aims to streamline the process by developing a “global menu platform” that restaurants can use to edit their menus on branded mobile apps, websites, Facebook, and Twitter. When restaurants add images to their menus, OpenMenu handles the resizing and distribution of those files. The vendor also offers a one-click menu translation tool. Restaurants that don’t already have a digital presence can use OpenMenu’s DIY tools to create their own websites and mobile sites, as well.

5. Menuetta: Use a single CMS to manage menus on multiple platforms.
Menuetta is a custom marketing platform that offers a way for restaurants to cut down on the time they spend managing menus on their websites, mobile, and social media pages. The company provides an integrated marketing solution that includes CMS for mobile sites, desktop sites, and printed menus. Menuetta creates mobile sites for its clients that include app icons that customers can download to their phones and smartphone-friendly menus that don’t involve downloadable PDFs. Menuetta also offers cloud POS integration.

6. Olo: Add mobile menus and online ordering to a branded app.
Olo gives users the choice to create branded mobile apps through its platform, or to integrate its tools into their existing apps and websites. Designed for multi-unit restaurants with 10 or more locations, Olo is primarily a SaaS ordering platform. However, menus are a key part of any online ordering interface, and as a result Olo offers a number of menu management tools for restaurants. For example, Olo’s tools can help frequent customers identify their favorite items on a mobile menu, or customize orders from their smartphones. Olo also provides its menu information to GrubHub for partner restaurants.

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.