Need To Make A PDF Menu? Here’s An Easy Way

No Excuses

Do you remember when cordless phones were cool?  If you wanted to order takeout, you could call the restaurant from the staircase instead of standing in the kitchen where the phone was hanging on the wall.

Fast forward to now and you can call from your cousin’s staircase in the next county over thanks to those trusty sidekicks we call mobile phones.

In other words, there are no longer any legit phone excuses because the technology has improved so dramatically that virtually nothing is impossible.

The same thing is true for restaurants and readable versions of their menus that can be accessed via their website.  There are NO EXCUSES for not doing something about having a readable menu accessible from your website!

There are 2 basic ways to add your menu to your website:

  1. Dedicated pages on your website
  2. A downloadable PDF version of your menu accessed by a link (button or text link)

The first option is only feasible for operators with an internal web person or team, or that have an external team like ours in place, or if they personally have experience in web.  Otherwise, it’s a whole new expertise that they’ll need to learn.

The second option however, can be done by anyone that has an internet connection and knows how to access a browser.

DIY Restaurant Menu PDFs

How to create an easy PDF menu for download

Before I go any further, I want to give the disclaimer that this is a no-frills menu PDF.  It will not necessarily look like an agency did it for you (but then again, if you’re good, it might).  And I am not endorsing Google Docs in any way.  But since they offer a free tool that gives businesses options while saving money, I felt this was a good option.

We’re developing a guide for designing much more intricate menus, so be on the lookout for that in the near future.

  1. Using Google Docs, choose “Create” + “Document”
  2. Name your document (e.g. “Summer Menu”)
  3. I would suggest a two-column format.  Unfortunately, with Google Docs, there is no way to just click a button to go into two-column mode like in Word.  So, the easiest way that I’ve found to workaround this inconvenience is to use a table.  Click the “Table” option, hover over “Insert Table” and highlight two columns by as many rows as you think you might need
  4. Use the first row to name the respective columns (e.g. Salads | Burgers)
  5. Use your “tab” button to navigate between cells
  6. Type the name of the menu item, then press “Enter” on your keyboard to add the description and pricing (optional)
  7. Continue doing this until you’ve added all of your menu items
  8. If you need additional rows, click “Table”, “Insert Row Below”
  9. If you want to add some color to specific items (cells), highlight the cells that you’d like to change the color for, and click “Table”, then “Table Properties”.  Click the drop-down arrow underneath “Cell background color” and choose the color you’d like to change the highlighted items to
  10. Highlight specific sections of text that you’ve typed to change the size or color to make menu item titles pop
  11. Add a Header and Footer to add some extras like your logo and other nutrition information that doesn’t quite fit into the menu item format
  12. Add additional pages as necessary by clicking “Insert”, “Page Break”
  13. When you’ve finished adding and formatting all of your information, you have a couple of options.  But we’re only going to talk about how to get your menu PDF now.  Click “File”, “Download As”, “PDF Document (.pdf)”
  14. When the ‘save as’ dialogue box comes up, just choose where you’d like to save your new menu PDF.

Then all you need to do is store the menu PDF in your media library on your website so that people can access it by using the link for where it’s stored.

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