How to Write Food Descriptions for Your Online Menu

Learn how to write mouth-watering food descriptions for your online menu, including examples of creative food descriptions to inspire you.

4 min read

Which would you rather order: chocolate cake with vanilla frosting or homemade triple-layer chocolate cake with fresh vanilla buttercream frosting? 

When your customers are placing an online order, they aren't able to ask you or your staff for details about a particular item — so the more information you can provide in your description, the more likely they are to select an item they will enjoy (and come back for). 

Here are a few ways you can spruce up your menu descriptions.

Menu maker tip #1: Get specific about ingredients

Is your produce locally sourced? Is your meat organic? They don't have to be, but these are the kind of details customers appreciate and look for, especially if they are health- or environmentally-conscious.

OKAY: Cheeseburger

BETTER: Grade A, pasture-fed, organic beef with cheddar from Bloom Street Farms

Menu maker tip #2: Use descriptive adjectives

An adjective or two can go a long way toward making a dish sound as good as it tastes. Adjectives can be simple or a little fancy — you know your customers better than anyone, so you're the best judge of what words will work best. 

SIMPLE: Fresh, juicy, flavorful, hearty, sweet, smoky, tangy, wholesome, comforting, mild, peppery, seasoned, homestyle

COMPLEX: Succulent, aromatic, fragrant, infused, robust, velvety, tantalizing, earthy, exquisite, full-bodied, mellow

If the item is inspired by a certain cuisine or locale, include that too. 

OKAY: Spaghetti with red sauce

BETTER: Hearty spaghetti with our homestyle Sicilian marinara made with fresh tomatoes, basil, and garlic.

Menu maker tip #3: Include serving sizes where appropriate 

For appetizers, sides, shared plates or family-style entrees, it's helpful to include the number of items or an estimate of how many people it will serve so your customers know what they're ordering (and can add items if necessary). 

OKAY: Vegetable samosas

BETTER: Two crisp turnovers filled with a savory mix of potatoes, peas, herbs and spices.

Menu maker tip #4: Keep it brief

Sometimes it's easy to get carried away, especially with a favorite menu item. While it's important to be descriptive, avoid writing a whole story about an item. 

OKAY: This fresh whole bass was caught fresh by a fisherman named Tommy who lives down the street. It is accompanied by roasted seasonal vegetables and spices from the Sunday farmer’s market on Main Street (10 am - 2 pm). Choose between couscous and a wild rice blend from the chef’s mom.

BETTER: Fresh-caught whole bass served with roasted, locally-grown roasted seasonal vegetables. Served with couscous or Ma’s homemade wild rice blend.

Menu maker tip #5: Edit your food descriptions

Log into the Merchant Portal to update your menu or sign up with DoorDash today to get started. Analyze sales before and after you make the change to see if revenue grows. Get more tips on menu optimization from our post on online ordering websites.


Jen Brown
Jen Brown


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