Restaurant Owners: Get Listed on Google’s First Page with an Accessible Menu
June 15, 2012
(This article was originally run in the Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association (ORHMA)
Newsletter, see link below.)
As an avid Restaurant customer my Wife and I love to visit different Restaurants and try different
types of food, in the past before I lost my vision I could read the menu myself and order such things
as Alligator, Kung Pow and so on. It was a pleasant experience, my Wife would read her menu and I
would read mine.
Unfortunately after I lost my vision I was no longer able to do it, I cant see large print , read Braille
and too many online menus aren’t accessible to my screen reader. I didn’t want to burden my Wife
by asking her to read the whole menu to me, that is when I decided there had to be a better way
and so I created aMENU to bridge this gap.
As many Restaurant owners in Ontario are aware the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
(AODA) is now the law. As Owners might also be aware they need to allow those of us who have
Assistive Devices such as screen readers the ability to access their Goods an Services, menus for
example, many people cant read Braille or see large print.
Like all Disabled people, Independence is of the utmost importance, I dont want your Server to read
the menu to me and while they are expected to, I can appreciate your Staff not wanting to read it to
me either, especially if it is a very busy time of day and I want them to go over it twice, something I
did when I was able to see.
That is why I created www.amenu.ca, a way of achieving Independence for those who want it, a
website where Restaurant owners can have their menus posted in an accessible format (they can
update it themselves if they wish) then it can be accessed with Assistive Devices (screen reader,
smart phone etc). For that matter anyone could access it with a Mobile device.
But did you know that an Accessible menu will also increase your Search Engine ranking?
Over the last 4 months I have been watching my Stats on the site and was quite unexpectedly
amazed at how the traffic to the Boston Pizza menu ( www.amenu.ca/boston-pizza/ ) had grown and
so to did the Google search ranking.
I initially posted the menu in mid January of this year where it started off at 11 hits for the month
and was no where to be found in a Google search for ” Boston Pizza menu “, February went to 43
and again, no ranking on Googgle.
March things started to turn around, the visits jumped to 351 for the month and a Google search for
the same string as above started at 8th place then to 6th.
Visits skyrocketed in the next 2 months, April brought in 1,504 and as of this writing May registered
4,261 visits and ranks in second place, right behind Boston Pizza’s main site. Type in Boston Pizza
accessible restaurant menu and it is first.
By my calculations at least 2 thirds are repeat visitors, now that they know an easily accessible
As an Accessible web developer I have long known that Accessibility is good for search engine
ranking but was pleasantly surprised at these results.
Not all restaurants have a profile like Boston Pizza, however, getting your Restaurant ranked high in
a search engine will undoubtedly increase your customer base and after all, in this digital age of
accessibility getting your Restaurant in the top 10 is not only good for business, you are also
complying with the AODA.
So far this year, Chef and Owner Hans of Macy’s Diner and Delicatessen, has had 466 visits to his
accessible menu( www.amenu.ca/macys-diner-delicatessen/ )many of them click throughs from the
aMENU link on his own site.
On May 23 of this year 360 The Restaurant at the CN Tower added their Accessible Summer 2012
In an earlier trial period within 3 weeks they were on Google’s first page and I fully expect that to
happen again once Google knows it’s back. In most searches for the menus available on
www.amenu.ca you will find they rank with, or higher than other similar websites that have been
around for a lot longer.
To view a presentation visit www.amenu.ca/presentation today and get your Restaurant ranked on
the first page of Google, increase your Client base and comply with the Law at the same time!