Point of View: Online Menu Testing for Restaurants... UB + UX = $$

"What a great online shopping experience - I believe I'll buy less!"

User Experience research (UX) is a high-tech sounding approach to evaluating “a person’s emotions and attitudes about using a particular product, system or service.” UX testing is often applied to website design, helping to evaluate questions related to functionality: Is the site easy to use? Can users quickly and easily find what they want? Are they satisfied with the experience?

All great questions, no doubt. But, considering what’s at stake for restaurants via online ordering,
UX testing is not nearly enough. While it’s important that consumers enjoy using your site, how can you optimize your digital strategies to grow sales?

Restaurant Digital Ordering Up 250% in Five Years – Did You Get Yours?

The NPD Group estimated more than 2.2 billion digital orders in 2017; furthermore, NPD reports that digital food orders (for pick up or delivery) has grown by 250% in the past five years!* And, if you’ve ever witnessed a pack of hungry teens ordering pizza via smartphone, you understand the trend toward digitally ordering meals will likely not soon fade.

Foodservice World, the question associated with online survival is clear: Are you doing all within your power to make online ordering a revenue powerhouse for your restaurants? It is imperative to use sound and reliable research techniques to inform the ongoing development and evolution of your online ordering website and/or app. Ironically, many long-term leaders of the industry — real innovators of the on-premise dining experience — have chosen UX research for their online ordering websites. But we’ve found that, in most cases, UX is not enough.


When selling online, an easy, satisfying user experience, is only one part of the equation. Something important is missing…

UX + UB = $$

UB is “User Behavior.” Simply understanding and identifying that a digital experience is user-friendly may benefit the consumer — but it may be at the expense of sales. You must find the sweet spot: A solution that satisfies customers while also maximizing average ticket ring.

Traditional UX testing helps to understand if a website experience is satisfying to consumers, but it does not predict their buying behavior. With Decision Insight’s Digital.IQ suite of products, you can accomplish both. By replicating a website or app, our proprietary test and learn platform allows restaurateurs to understand the impact of:

  • Site layout/hierarchy
  • Messaging & Imagery
  • Default settings
  • Pricing
  • Item Bundling
  • Deals and Promotions
  • New item introductions

*source: Wall Street Journal, 10-15-17

Online Menu Testing for Restaurants

Bonus Learning — Hungry Consumers Make Quick Decisions Online

One theme discovered across many, many studies: Consumers are inherently lazy — or more precisely, make quicker online buying decisions — especially when they’re hungry! Placing premium or profitable items in easy-to-find places will increase orders of those items. If you want to understand how your online ordering platform affects your customers’ buying behavior, call Decision Insight.

Contact Leslie Downie at Decision Insight to discuss UB research and how we can help optimize online restaurant menus.


DiningIQ Solutions

DiningIQ is our proprietary suite of virtual restaurant research solutions. During DI’s 30+ years of restaurant research, we have seen a multitude of factors that affect how and what customers order. Ultimately that impact is manifested in product mix (proportion of orders across menu items) and average ticket price.

Best-In-Class Research

There are three primary strategies to growing sales in the restaurant world: 1) Attracting new customers, 2) Enticing current customers to visit more often and 3) Motivating current customers to spend more during each visit.

Cost Effective

DiningIQ menu-order exercise provides measurement for all three strategies – including the behavioral output needed to gauge the effectiveness of each solution on average ticket price.