The modern world we live in today has even the menus digitalized. In many restaurants, it is not rare to see the menu on a table with QR codes displayed. But what exactly are these digital menus and why would they be used by restaurants like this one? The answer may surprise you!
Digital menu is the full restaurant’s menu which is accessible via QR code by scanning the QR code with a smartphone’s camera. Digital menu boards are always at the table so the customer can inspect the menu as soon as they are seated. Digital menus enable fast and easy updating, pricing, upselling, and marketing.
Let’s take a closer look at how a digital restaurant menu actually works so we can understand it better so we can dive into the benefits as well.
How does a digital menu work
There are 3 steps that need to be taken into consideration before you have a fully functional digital menu system in your restaurant and those are Equipment, Software, and Content. Let’s start at the beginning.
– Media Player
You will be needing a media player in order to get your menu to show up on the displays. The media player will transfer the menu content from the software to the display so the customers can actually see it. You will also need WI-FI content so the media player can get the menu content from the software and show it on the display
As stated above, you will need proper displays to show your digital menu. You want to get one with high durability and as long warranties as possible. In addition, you should get a board that can show the menu vertically and horizontally because you never know how you want to actually display the menu after you have tried it in a couple of ways.
After you have your equipment in order, it’s time to get your Digital signage software such as Screen Cloud or NoviSign. Digital signage software is a tool that allows you to create the content and upload the content for the menu and make it look like you want! The best thing about the softwares are that they are cloud-based so your whole team can access the information from any device and control it from there.
The last piece of the puzzle is the content itself. Now that you have the required equipment and the software needed to operate, you will need some eye for design. And make no mistake, this is the most important part of the whole digital display configuration because this is ultimately what the customers will see and base their purchases based on what is shown in the display.
Make sure that your content is before easy to digest because that is the number one thing that customers look at on the menu. Second, invest in high-quality but realistic pictures and videos as well!
You should also keep your restaurant’s branding in mind and think about the fonts, colors, and other recognizable factors for the menu so it will look like your restaurant.
In general, that’s really how digital menus work and don’t get discouraged because I know, it may seem a little overwhelming but nearly all software providers have exquisite customer support and training programs!
As interesting as the technical aspects of a digital menu were, but how on earth does it benefit the restaurant? That is what we are going to find out next, let’s see 11 benefits of a digital restaurant menu!
Benefits of digital menu boards
Fast and easy to update
The best thing about digital menus is that you can easily update all the foods, prices, typos, and anything that is in there. Imagine if you had printed out all the menus and then you notice a misspelling, you would need to replace all the menus and print new ones. With digital menus, you can simply open up the software and update it from there in a matter of minutes.
Gives easily accessible information
There are so many special diets nowadays such as veganism and all the different allergies so I know their feeling of the constant asking and wondering.
Those days are over! Most digital menu Softwares come with a filter function that will allow to specifically choose dishes between a single category. This will be more fast and easy for the customer, therefore resulting in a much better customer experience.
Another great benefit of digital menus is that you can add a picture to each of the dishes which will help the customer choose and it will result in bigger profits as well. With a traditional menu, there’s no way that you could add pictures of all the foods available. Digital menus simply have larger space for the information.
This is backed up by various studies that when the customer sees the actual picture of the food it makes ordering and deciding so much easier for them.
Digital menus make marketing easy
Because the menu is so easily altered, you can constantly change and even schedule different limited-time offers, holiday-based promotions, or just mix things up and see what works the best.
You can even display marketing videos and high-quality pictures which isn’t just possible in a traditional one.
Digital menus save money
Say goodbye to menu boards, expensive promotional designs, and printable paper without talking about all the time that it saved from the tasks.
After you have integrated your digital menu with your POS system, designed the layout of the menu, and gotten the displays you are set forever. After that, you simply can adjust anything remotely and you won’t need to buy menu boards, paper, or pay fees for designers. Using digital menus will save money in the long run!
Upselling made easy
Upselling is an important aspect of any restaurant business and with a digital menu, it is easier than ever. Let’s take a few examples and you can choose which one is more tempting.
Imagine that you have arrived in a restaurant with your friends and you have a great conversation going on. The waiter comes and asks for the orders and after that, the waiter tries to upsell something after you have specifically said what you want, not so tempted to order extras right?
You have just scanned the menu’s QR code and have placed your order but wait! A beautiful picture of some nachos and a special dessert pops out of nowhere with an easy click ”add” button next to it. You are forced to take the extras because you are hungry and pictures are worth 100 times the waiter’s upselling efforts.
It isn’t that hard to decide right? Digital menus will do the upselling on the employee’s behalf with an increased success rate.
Integration with other systems
Did you know that you can integrate your digital menu with other systems in your restaurants such as inventory management systems and POS systems? This way you can automate the menu to function in a such way that if you run out of specific ingredients and you place the information in your inventory system, the digital menu stops showing that specific dish!
In addition, you can see extremely valuable data about your customer’s ordering habits, movement inside the menu, the top interesting and non-interesting food items, and much more! When you have this kind of data you can make your menu the best one it can ever be by altering it in such a way as it indicates, which will maximize your profits!
It goes without saying that automating your restaurant’s tasks will reduce the needed work power and with a digital menu, you can reduce it even further.
If all your tables have self-order digital menu boards, that saves up a ton of time which can be used elsewhere so you can improve your restaurant’s efficiency.
Another great impact that digital menus have when waiters don’t need to be there taking orders is the mistakes. When the customer’s orders will go straight to the kitchen, the chases for delivering the wrong foods will be greatly reduced!
When looking back on all the mentioned benefits, it is no wonder that when the marketing is improved, accurate data is taken to use, upselling is on point and it is just better in every way than a traditional menu, the revenue will skyrocket with it. In fact, digital menus create a 31.8% increase in overall sales! If that number doesn’t get you excited then I don’t know what will.
When the increased revenue is compared to the lower menu maintaining costs, the gap between the previous and current profits is quite large.
Reduces wait times
When everyone can order straight from the tables and they can see the options from the counter, the wait times will be greatly reduced in addition to much shorten lines at the counter.
This is a huge win for both customers because the food will be served faster and for the workers, because the orders are more organized than ever and the operation will flow in a more natural and smooth way.
Meets health regulations
Many restaurants would like to show their nutritional value because it is in such high demand nowadays. In fact, there are so many people that are more conscious of the calories and macros that it might be the whole reason on how the customer chooses a restaurant.
Displaying nutritional value isn’t quite possible with a traditional menu board but with a digital one, everything is so much more easy and customizable that there is no problem including it in each menu item.
In addition, the ingredients might change within a recipe so digital menus make it so easy to simply go and update it within the next five minutes instead of printing all the new menu boards and going into the archives searching for that specific part that needs altering.
Improved customer experience
When going back to the benefits above you can only imagine how much the whole restaurant’s customer experience is improved with a simple altering that will make life easier for both the customer and the workers!
In fact, a study about mobile ordering showed that less than half of the asked customers would still like to place orders from a waiter in the restaurant even when most people like interacting with the waiters. This really shows how big of an improvement digital menu boards actually are!
Therefore I highly suggest that if your restaurant isn’t using digital menu boards, you take action and make it a reality as soon as possible.
In this article we learned quite a bit about digital restaurant menus, especially what on earth is it, how does it work, and all the incredible benefits that it carries.
Whether you work in the restaurant industry or not, you are a customer sometimes and at least I have noticed the effect of a digital menu personally, and how I end up ordering more each time and actually enjoy the whole experience way more when easily ordering from a digital menu.
I suggest that you take a closer look at digital menus the next time you are in the restaurant and then you will fully understand the forces behind them.