Creating Your “Food Menu”

What is a site for an eatery of sorts (restaurant, bakery, coffee shop) without a proper menu with all your offerings? Weird at best, annoying most of the time.

In the end, this is what you’re trying to sell and impress people with, right? It’s what defines your personality and way of doing things, so please let us reinforce the importance of having a clear approach toward it.

Osteria comes with a handy system to create and manage your menus with ease. We believe it’s a solution that saves you a lot of time, energy, and probably money. Let’s dive right in.

Quick tip: The Food Menus are based on the Jetpack plugin, therefore it is mandatory to make sure it is enabled and activated.

Adding Menu Items and organizing them

The following steps will guide you through the process of creating a restaurant menu:

  • Log in into your WordPress Dashboard
  • Start with defining your menu sections like “Breakfast”, “Lunch” and so on; so go to Food Menus → click on Menu Sections and add as many sections as you like; you can skip this step if you don’t plan on having any sections;
  • Now it’s time to add menu items; you can use Food Menus → Add One Item to add a single menu item or Food Menus → Add Many Items to quickly add multiple menu items; it’s up to you and the level of control you desire;

Quick tip: If you go to Food Menus → Menu Items you will see all your sections and menu items; also you can rearrange the menu sections (drag and drop) as a whole or each individual menu item.

Showing your menu on your site

Now that you have your menu all set up, it’s time to show it to the world. There are two ways you can do it:

  1. You can create a page and assign it the Restaurant Menu page template (from the right side, in the Page Attributes box) — this way your entire food menu will be automatically added after the page’s content (if there is one);
  2. Alternatively, you can use a shortcode, play with the various options and let your creativity fly.

The [nova_menu] Shortcode

So the shortcode is called [nova_menu]. If you use it just like that you will get the default behavior, just like you would with the first option above.

But the beauty is in its flexibility! The [nova_menu] shortcode supports a variety of options that will allow you to display parts of your menu (like a specific section), change the styling of the menu, highlight certain menu items, and so on.

Let me walk you through each option so you can get a handle on it:

  • display_sections=“true”: use this option if you would like to display the section headings (by default they are hidden);
  • display_labels=“false”: use this option if you would like to hide the menu item’s labels (by default they are shown);
  • display_content=“false/full”: use this option if you would like to either hide the description of each menu item or show it’s full content (by default we show the excerpt);
  • featured_label=“some_label_slug”: use this option to set the label that should be used for highlighting menu items (by default we search for the ‘featured’ label);
  • style=“dotted”: use this option if you would like to change the style of the menu;
  • include_section=“section_slug”: use this option if you would like to only show menu items from certain sections;
  • include_label=“label_slug”: use this option if you would like to only show menu items with certain labels;

Just to put everything into perspective, here is a working shortcode with all the bells and whistles:

[nova_menu display_sections="true" style="dotted" include_section="breakfast, lunch" display_labels="false" featured_label="chefs-pick"]

Highlighting Menu Items

Let’s face it: not all food is created equal and some deserve more attention. Or you just want to sprinkle a little bit of marketing and “amplify” some menu items.

We rely on the menu item’s labels to know what to highlight. By default we will highlight all menu items with the ‘featured’ label — so if you want to keep it simple, just add this label to whatever items you wish.

If on the other hand, you want more control, with the help of the [nova_menu] shortcode (and its options) you can use any label you like as the “featured” label. Moreover, you can highlight the menu item’s title by putting it into square brackets (Eg: [Chef’s Choice]).

This article applies to Osteria, as they share the same underlying structure.

Updated on April 18, 2017

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