As well as there being some excellent WordPress restaurant themes out there, which make creating a professional looking website for a dining establishment a fairly simple task, there are also some great plugins for creating a menu for the websites of eateries.
Amongst the featured plugins are free options, premium standalone options, and free plugins that integrate with premium services such as Locu. If you want to display the list of offerings from your business, whether that is food, drinks, services or anything else, one of the plugins on this list should meet your needs.
OpenMenu WordPress Plugin
This is the official plugin for use with the OpenMenu service which allows you to manage your establishment’s menu in one place online. Using this plugin you can easily create custom menu posts, use widgets to display specific information or insert your menus into pages and posts, or as part of your theme.
The plugin uses WordPress shortcodes to allow you to very simply add a menu to any part of your WordPress site. It also allows you to offer deals or coupons for your eatery, helping to generate business from your website. The OpenMenu WordPress plugin also allows you to add your own QR codes for display on your site for making it easy for your potential customers to view your information about your menu and restaurant via their smartphone.
The OpenMenu plugin for WordPress is free, but does require an account with the OpenMenu service of which there are a number of price plans including a free option. This makes using OpenMenu on your WordPress site a no-cost option with a number of solid features for building a restaurant website.
Restaurant Menu Builder
This affordable premium plugin is available from Code Canyon and is ideal for those wondering how to create a restaurant menu using WordPress. The plugin can be used to add professional and attractive menus to your site which can be displayed using a 3D effect, with turning pages, mimicking a real offline menu.
To make menus, the plugin creates custom post types which allow you to add food items to your WordPress site using the familiar post editor. For each item you can use the custom fields to add pricing options and other information about the dishes on your menu. You can even display as many or as little of the ingredient used in your meals to help your dinners make an informed choice when selecting their food.
The mobile friendly menus can be inserted into posts and pages using shortcodes. The parameters of the shortcodes allow you to select which items to display using the menu categories. Your online menu can also contain information such as the location and opening hours of your restaurant making the Restaurant Menu Builder plugin not only useful for presenting the different dishes on offer but also letting your prospective dinners know where to find you.
Locu for Restaurant Menus
This free plugin works with the Locu service so you will need an account with them in order to make use of this option for building a menu for your WordPress site.
Once you’ve signed up with Locu and verified your venue you can either create a price list or use the information that is already online about your establishment. A great thing about the Locu service is that they will convert a PDF or Word document into an online price list for display on your WordPress site within 24 hours of it being uploaded. This is great for those who have been putting off creating an online menu due to the time and effort required in doing so.
The Locu plugin for WordPress then allows you to insert your menu into your site using a shortcode. While this service is ideal for those wishing to create an online restaurant menu it is equally adept at creating menus or price lists of other businesses such as bars, spas, salons and diners.
Customizable WordPress Restaurant Menu
This is another standalone premium plugin available at Code Canyon for building food menus on your WordPress site.
The Customizable WordPress Restaurant Menu plugin is easy to use and allows you to create multiple menus for your site, each with their own sub-menus. The use of sub-menus allows you to display menus within menus, such as breakfast options underneath a set meal, or steak sauce choices under each type of steak.
The menu items can be displayed on posts and pages using shortcodes. The use of shortcodes and their parameters allows you to show full menus or partial menus at your discretion. This menu builder plugin for WordPress uses AJAX to ensure quick and easy browsing of the options on your menu.
This is a popular choice and the plugin has been recently updated to iron out any problems and ensure compatibility with the latest versions of WordPress.
WP Restaurant Menu
This is a free plugin for building menus in WordPress and despite not being downloaded many times, has a popular feedback rating at the plugin repository.
The WP Restaurant Menu plugin is ideal for bars, restaurants and even salons, who want to display items with prices. The menus you create within your WordPress site can be displayed on posts and pages using shortcodes or added to themes using the template code.
The design and appearance of the menus is fairly basic, but this just means that it is easier for you to customise and update using CSS and your own ideas.
The item lists are responsive, meaning they display just as well on smartphones as they do on laptops and desktop computer, helping to ensure those searching for somewhere to eat on the road can find your establishment and browse the offerings.
While this isn’t as fully featured as the premium options covered here, it is free and does do what it sets out to, which is to display a price list and descriptions easily and simply on your WordPress site.
Easy Restaurant Menu Manager
This plugin is available as a free option or as a premium version with additional features. Once installed, you can begin using the newly added Menu Manger menu item in your WordPress dashboard to begin populating your lists. Like most of the other options on this page you can use the Easy Restaurant Menu Manager to create lists for not just eateries but also bars, pubs, hairdressers and other establishments where price lists and menus are used.
Menu items can all be categorised by using taxonomies such as appetisers, desserts or drinks and snacks. Adding prices is optional and descriptions can be added at will. If you want to modify the design and layout you can do so by editing the CSS directly through the plugin rather than meddling with your theme files.
The premium version of Easy Restaurant Menu Manager allows you to attach pictures to menu items and choose between single and double column layouts for displaying your items. With the extended version you can also add icons to your dishes to indicate if they are vegetarian options or how spicy they are. You can upload your own icons for creating any kind of signifier you need for your menus. There is also a daily specials widget addon available for this plugin.
Adding an online menu to display the offerings available at your restaurant, bar or other type of business has never been easier with these plugins. Thanks to the low cost of the standalone premium plugins here serious businesses should really consider investing in one of them to display their dishes and drinks in the best possible light.
However, for those with time on their hands, and the desire to create their own designs, the potential for customisation available with the free WP Restaurant Menu plugin might appeal.
It is also worth pointing out that If you are designing a site for a restaurant or bar from scratch, using a purpose built WordPress theme could be a good idea, especially as these themes often come with built in menu building capabilities. However, for those who wish to simply add a menu to an existing site, one of the premium plugins on this list is a great way to accomplish your goal.