Online Menu Redesign

My role

Sole product designer


Tupelo Honey Cafe


September-December 2021
The problem

Guests struggled to use the online menu which decreased the table turn-over rate

I worked as a waitress after restaurants opened back up during the pandemic. When Tupelo Honey switched from physical menus to online menus, I found myself having to help nearly every table navigate the new online menu.

I witnessed first-hand how the menu’s drawbacks negatively affected guests’ dining experience. This also slowed down the speed at which servers could turn tables, thus decreasing the restaurant's revenue potential.


A quick and convenient digital menu

  • All menus are visible
  • “Scroll to top” button for convenience
  • Shortcut to the sides menu

Catered to the guests’ needs

  • Star icon next to popular items
  • Stronger visual hierarchy
  • Seperate vegetarian and gluten-free menus

Landing page redesign

  • Pop-ups integrated into hero section
  • “Order online” and “Make reservation” removed from user flow

60% of guests asked for help with the menu

I used each table I served as an opportunity to gather data through surveys, observations and interviews. I distributed 30 surveys to which 12 people responded and also conducted 18 interviews.

The goals of my research were to:

  • Learn about who I’m designing for, their motivations and needs
  • Identify the different ways people navigate the menu
  • Understand the problem from the guest’s perspective

I identified 3 main user pain points from my research:

  1. 1. No feedback after performing an action
    After selecting a location, the page reloads for the user to then select a menu. Users think they already did this step and get stuck.
  2. 2. Excessive scrolling
    Five long menus with large food selections make it difficult for guests to find what they want
  3. 3. Finding other menus
    Some users don't realize the drop-down menus are buttons so they only browse 1 out of 5 menus

What are other restaurants doing?

I compared the online menus of three restaurants for my competitive analysis to familiarize myself with online menus and explore possible solutions.

  • Menus are sometimes PDFs
  • Geolocation, drop-down menus and images are used
  • BJ’s Brewhouse has a menu filter feature

I mapped out the user journey of a guest navigating the current online menu to help me identify additional pain points and opportunities for improvement.


Using my research insights and user journey, I came up with possible solutions and opportunities for improvement. I used a feature prioritization chart to help me plan the order of which features to design were most important to users.

If I was working on a team, I would have collaborated with developers and used this chart to decided which features were feasible.

How can this menu provide a better user experience than the current one?

From my competitive analysis I found that most online menus use drop-down navigation, but this was essentially the pain point that I was trying to solve: making all menus visible. I had to find a solution that didn’t obscure other content or require excessive scrolling.

The goals for my first round of testing were to answer:

  • Can users easily select their location?
  • Can people easily navigate the menu?
  • Will people use the filter feature?

For my wireframes, I used inspiration  from websites I analyzed in my competitive analysis. There were no constraints for this project so I was able to come up with creative solutions to test and validate with users.

Assumptions I made:

  • Users would prefer an interactive menu instead of a PDF
  • Guests would use geolocation
  • People would use the filter feature for dietary needs
  • People would want photos on the menu for every item
  • The restaurant would benefit from promoting a food item on the main menu

3 major design changes

The solution


fewer clicks


reduction in browsing time


faster to open menu


For the UI of the website, I repurposed the company’s brand colors. Originally, the CTA buttons were orange and yellow, so I changed them to blue and white to be accessible. I chose fonts that were welcoming and fun, like the restaurant’s mission statement illustrates: “... Bring friends and family around the table.”

Project reflection

What I learned

My biggest struggle during this project was stepping out of my comfort zone. I was afraid of inconveniencing guests or showing people a design that wasn’t perfect. Completing this project taught me that in order to create a human-centered design, I have to take leadership to get the research and results I need.

What I would do differently

I would have looked at more upscale casual restaurants that resembled Tupelo Honey’s brand for inspiration and in my competitive analysis. That would have saved me time ideating the right solutions instead of creating a design that wasn't relevant for my audience demographic.

If I had more time

  • Explore alternative solutions to the list of locations
  • Include a nutrition fact sheet menu
  • Find a better solution to communicate the state food code manual disclaimer at the bottom of each menu

Thanks for reading!