A menu is not just a list of the food items that your patrons can order from your restaurant. Beyond that, your restaurant menu serves different roles for both the establishment and its customers.
First, a well-thought-out and well-designed menu provides a snapshot of the culinary experience that customers are about to enjoy.
Second, a menu is a vital communication tool. And what can it communicate? A lot — from your brand and your vision to the experience that you promise your customers through the food and ambience.
Why consider upgrading to digital?
By its literal definition, a menu is a list of food items that a restaurant serves. Sure, a traditional menu printed on paper and laminated can do an adequate job.
But a menu is not just a menu. It is a gateway to an experience that is about to unfold.
And if you wish to tickle your customers’ curiosity, what better way to do that than with an interactive electronic restaurant menu?
There are a few compelling reasons why you should make the switch to digital.
1Customers’ familiarity with the platform
Although digital menus are a relatively new platform, the concept is not totally alien to most restaurant-goers. Just think about it.
Imagine how many hours the average person spends on a mobile device for work and play. The jump from a regular menu to a digital one may not be as great as you think.
2Higher Customer Engagement
You might think that your current setup already does a good job, but what’s good can always be made better.
What if you provide a better experience for your customers? What if you can make your food items more enticing and more appealing? What if you can set more realistic expectations?
These and more are possible when you make the switch to digital, enabling you to attain a higher customer engagement by taking full advantage of what digital has to offer, from vivid pictures to more informative and interactive descriptions.
Ordering a food item that has run out can be frustrating for many customers.
Something that you can do with digital menus that is impossible with traditional ones is provide real-time updates.
A digital menu can be configured in such a way that once a particular dish has run out for the day, it will be no longer be put on display. This minimizes customer frustration in ordering menu items that are no longer available. Or as the old adage goes, out of sight, out of mind.
The introduction of a digital menu in your establishment can boost your earnings in a couple of ways.
First, upselling and cross-selling items becomes easier. Through interactive kiosks, you can coax your clients to see (and try) food items that you want to push. Even before your customers are seated, they have already been primed once they get to their tables.
Second, if you are revamping your menu or if you occasionally feature seasonal food items, you can save tons of money from printing.
5A Boost in Efficiency
Digital menus benefit both your staff and your customers in one fundamental way: Waiting time is reduced.
Waiting time is substantially reduced because every table has an integrated menu where orders are placed with greater ease. Furthermore, there is minimal disruption.
And because everything is automated, the chances of making errors on the part of your staff becomes minimal. That, in turn, increases turnaround time and customer satisfaction.
6More Power at Your Hands
Information is a critical tool for restaurant owners and managers.
Because digital menus facilitate centralization, you can mine valuable customer information from each order.
For example, you can quickly pinpoint fast-moving items as well as those that move sluggishly and must be stricken off the menu.
Furthermore, a digital menu can help you determine which food items are popular during a specific timeframe. When you have information on the demands of the consumers at a particular time of the day, you can make the necessary adjustments to streamline your processes.
Innovation stimulates growth. While certain things, like the traditional menu, perform adequately, it is never wrong to look into areas of improvement that can help your business grow.
For restaurants, embracing new technologies can boost staff efficiency and at the same time improve customer satisfaction, leading to more profits for you.
AUTHOR BIO: Ahmad Alzaini is the co-founder and CEO of Foodics, a fast-growing foodtech startup. A businessman by nature, Alzaini is an app aficionado, developing businesses in Saudi Arabia within several industries.