Everything around us has upgraded to meet the changing customer demands. Most change can be observed in the restaurant industry where technological changes and digital transformation occur every other day. A digital presence is imperative for the success of a restaurant business today, and almost all restaurant owners have an online existence as well. But what makes your restaurant pop even more, is a digital menu. This takes things to a new level as it enhances the customer experience. So what exactly is a digital menu? How can it help accelerate your restaurant business? What are the benefits of an online menu? Let us discuss them in detail, one by one.
So what is a Digital Menu?
Old menus were basic: Just paper and plastic. But digital menus are so much more than that. If used properly, a digital menu can act as a solid competitive advantage for your business as well. Imagine having to reprint your menu and redesign them every time a change occurs in the set of food you offer. It can be quite tedious and temporary. A digital menu allows you to make changes to your food list, add new items, delete items you do not serve anymore, change pricing, and many more, without the hassle of printing them out each time and getting them laminated. As the term signifies, a digital menu is nothing but a digitized version of your physical menu, which can be accessed by the customers by simply scanning a QR code. Simple and efficient.
How is a Digital Menu different from Digital Menu Board?
Now do not confuse a digital menu board with a digital menu. The former is a bigger and grander version of a digital menu, where the contents are displayed on a plasma TV or other big platform. It is visible to all customers and displays the current specials and offers along with the other items on the menu. Unlike a digital menu, you cannot scroll through them as you please, as it moves at a pace set by the restaurant beforehand. You might also find advertisements and other promotions appear in between the display but this is not a frequent occurrence in a digital menu. When it comes to a digital menu, you can scroll through and read the dishes at your own pace without being rushed.
What are the benefits of a Digital Menu?
Now we know what a digital menu is, and how it is different from a digital menu board which is much more common than its former cousin. If you are a restaurant business looking forward to building a sustainable source of competitive advantage to stand out from the competition, it would be brilliant to invest in a digital menu. It can act as an extension of your brand identity and can be used to reach more customers in a unique way. If you are still not convinced as to whether or not to convert to a digital menu, below given are some benefits of a digital menu that might change your mind.
1. Helps you save tons of time
The biggest benefit of upgrading to a digital menu is that you do not have to spend a lot of time arranging the items and then sending them to get printed and laminated every time there is a small change that occurs in the menu. It actually takes quite some time to design and print a physical menu, whereas the time for doing the same with a digital menu is so much less. The waiters do not have to hand out the physical menus each time a new customer arrives as all the customer has to do to access the menu is scan the QR code. The bonus here is that digital menus are so much more hygienic than physical menus.
2. Gain customers and save the planet in one go
A Digital menu is an excellent way to add more depth to your restaurant brand and stand out from the rest of the competition. In a time where new restaurants pop up every two seconds, creating your own identity can be a bit of a daunting task. Offering promotions and hosting events have now become a common practice among restaurants and an effective way to create your own mark here is by creating a personalized and customized menu that is digital. The additional plus of a digital menu is that you save tees by staying away from paper menus! Isn’t it a win-win situation?
3. Enhanced customer experience
Restaurants rely heavily on customer experience and the impression they leave on the people that visit them. A digital menu is an excellent way to create a lasting impression on the customers as it is an emerging trend that only very few restaurants have incorporated into their business. You can definitely get the first movers advantage by increasing the customer dining experience and gaining more positive reviews on relevant websites. Physical menus are boring whereas digital menus are state-of-art and interactive. It is much more interesting and vibrant, making it a must-have in your restaurant. If you are someone who values quality and experience over anything else, give the digital menu a try.
4. Overall cost-effectiveness
It is a well-known fact that restaurants add new dishes, eliminate slow-moving items and change the pricing of the food items every now and then. If there is any special offer going on, or seasonal food that the restaurant wishes to offer, updating the menu is the only option. If we take the case of a physical menu, imagine the cost of redesigning and rearranging the menu items every time a new change occurs! This cost can be saved in the long rin if you invest in a digital menu once. You can change the menu whenever and wherever you like, without the hassle of changing the whole thing by spending a whole lot of money.
5. Easy to change and update
Although this is a given, this point is so crucial that it deserves a separate space in the list. Updating menus can add a lot of benefits to the restaurant. It can help you gain more sales and increase the rate of customer satisfaction. An old menu might have food items that you no longer serve or the price of the item might have been changed. It might irritate the customer to find out that the food they have ordered is no longer available or the price has gone up. This is why it is important to constantly update your menu, and what easier way to do so other than upgrading to a digital menu.
Here are some of the types of digital menus to choose from
There are many types of digital menus available, which are present in different forms and types. Choose one that goes along with the style and ambiance of your restaurant to get the best out of the digital menu.
1. QR Code
One of the most common and effective types of digital menus in restaurants is the scanning of QR codes. As one enters the restaurant, customers can scan the QR code available at their table or any visible space in the restaurant, and tada! A whole and comprehensive menu of the restaurant opens up on your phone or any other compatible electronic device from where the customers can access the menu in their own time. This allows the customers to easily read through the updated menu without being rushed by the waiter to hand back the menu card.
2. Restaurant Website
Another way to upgrade to a digital menu is by adding a menu section on the restaurant website and customizing it by adding designs accordingly. This is much more cost-effective than the actual physical menu and the admin of the website can change the menu if anything has to be added, removed, or updated. The restaurant can leave the link to their website on various social media pages and other platforms form where the customers can easily access them and view the menu along with the price of the items.
3. Tabel Tablets
Another form of a digital menu is placing a tablet on every table so that the customer can access it by switching the tablet on. This experience is almost similar to that of the physical menu but is much more efficient and easy to update.
How to get a digital menu for your restaurant?
Depending on the type of digital menu your business is looking to adopt, the method also changes. If you opt for the QR code, go to any credible QR code generator and generate a unique code for your business. Print the same and paste it on the visible spots of your restaurant and you are done. Almost all restaurants have a website nowadays, so all you have to do is add a new page that is dedicated to the menu of the restaurant and keep updating it whenever new changes come up. When it comes to tablets, just insert the digital menu in an easy-to-access mode for the customers and place them on the table. You are done.
Some of the restaurants that have successfully implemented a digital menu
As the digital menu is still a hot topic among restaurant owners and an emerging trend, it is always better to invest in one in the beginning before most of the competitors have adapted the same to their business. BurgerMan is an excellent example of how a restaurant can use a digital menu to up their business. The menu of the restaurant is available online and can be accessed by anyone who wishes to give their restaurant a visit. Kebapci is yet another restaurant that has made a digital menu available for their restaurant, pioneering the trend and gaining tons of new customers every passing day.
I’m pretty sure that you are almost convinced about installing a digital menu in your restaurant. It is cost-effective, simple, and quite efficient making it one of the easiest ways for you to treat your customers better and increase the conversion rate.