Menus are perhaps the most vital sales tool that any restaurant has. An interesting, eye-catching and well-thought out one can be imperative when customers are making a decision about whether to dine with you or not, and more importantly, if they will return.
Quirky and appealing menus are a great asset for any restaurant, but what about moving away from paper altogether? Digital menus are the next step that restaurants should consider in order to keep up with the ever-evolving technology-driven world of today.
Offering menus on tablets can bring real interactivity to the customer choosing their meal, as well as minimising any mistakes that could be made with an order – keeping your customers smiling on both counts!
With a digital menu, meals can be ordered quickly, with minimum fuss, and bills paid online – making the whole process smooth for all involved.
Digital menus can:
- Show pictures of each dish
- Promote daily specials
- Interact with customers at other tables
- Give detailed info on ingredients and calorie intake
- View bills and offer credit card payment on eMenu
- Order meals
- Provide interactive games
- Call the waiting staff
- Allow diners to customise dishes by selecting from a range of options
- Help increase sales by upselling options depending on the choices a customer makes
- Collect valuable feedback from customers
- Play music
- Be multi-lingual
All of these services can be configured to work within any size of restaurant and fit your outlets exact needs.
Aside from the various features, a digital menu really enhances the customers’ experience with a restaurant. In fact, technology is now becoming part of the furniture literally in some restaurants. With the new eTables, either part or all of the table surface has been transformed into a digital screen so customers can fully customise the look and feel of their table, as well as order their food from it or indulge in any of the services provided by tablet menus.
Inamo, an oriental restaurant in London has taken the digital concept firmly on board. Diners place orders from an illustrated food and drinks menu projected on to their table surface.
“We wanted to give guests control over the dining experience. Order when you want, get your bill when you want and call a waiter at the touch of a button,” explains Noel Hunwick, co-owner and director of Inamo, which has two restaurants in London and Izkaya in Rotterdam. “This frees the waiting staff up to be more sociable and observant on the floor, so the human element is very much still present. A great deal of charm and theatre is added to this highly functional system via features such as being able to set the ambience (by customising your table-top), view live images from the kitchen, play games, even order a cab home.”
Going Digital Tips:
- Keep it simple – having the opportunity to give customers lots of information can easily lead to over-load. Try to resist chucking everything in: keep dish descriptions short and snappy, give them the option to ‘read more’
- Photographs are key – giving customers the opportunity to see your dishes means you need to make them look their very best. Don’t settle for a quick snap taken on your phone – get some quality pictures taken and watch your customers fall under their spell!
- Promote yourselves – on a paper menu there’s limited room for any self-promotion, but on a digital platform, you can go all out! Tell your customers about your latest news, job openings or exciting events
- Capture their data – use this platform as a way to talk and listen to them, ask for their email address in return for offers and discounts, get them to ‘Like’ you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter – the power to do all those things instantly is right there in your customers hands with a digital menu
We all know that technology is constantly evolving, and there’s little you can do other than get with the programme. So stop wasting money on paper menus that end up looking torn, chewed and goodness knows what else after just a few outings. Go digital and enhance your customers’ experience and your own operation.