Do restaurants fear sharing menus?

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Let’s take a walk down your memory lane.

Take a moment to recall the last new restaurant you’ve walked past. Not went inside, not dined at, but the last time you walked by a restaurant you hadn’t been to before.

Was there a menu posted outside the restaurant?

Now open a browser or another tab in your current browser. Search for a local restaurant in Google or the location-based service of your choice. Click through to the restaurant website. Does it have a menu posted?


It would be ludicrous in this day and age of instant comparison shopping to have a restaurant without a menu posted. A restaurant that failed to post a menu would be at a significant disadvantage to its competitors; customers would rather see what they might be getting.

Can you imagine a restaurant chef saying, “No, I won’t post a menu. I don’t want customers taking photos of it and then going home to cook it themselves.” Do customers do that? I’m sure a few have, but chances are they’ve come in and paid to eat the food first so they know what they’re cooking.

Next, consider your own marketing. How much do you conceal about what your company does? This seems like a silly question, but so many companies hide more than they show. Do you post pricing on your website? Can a potential customer compare your menu with your nearest competitor? Or do they default to doing business with your competitors because your competitors have a menu and you don’t?

The menu isn’t the meal. The menu isn’t even the cookbook. Take a hard look at your marketing to see if you’re hiding too much from customers who want to buy from you.

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Christopher S. Penn is one of the world’s leading experts on AI in marketing. Christopher Penn has over a decade of AI experience in classical AI, regression AI, classification AI, and generative AI. Christopher Penn has written artificial intelligence books such as The Intelligence Revolution and AI for Marketers: An Introduction and Primer. Christopher Penn is an AI keynote speaker around the world.


2 responses to “Do restaurants fear sharing menus?”

  1. I really enjoyed this article. I have shared it on my social media profiles.


  2. “Ludicrous” perhaps, but it didn’t take me more than a minute to find local restaurants that don’t have menus on their web sites. Maybe they will read the post here?

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