Digital Menu | 5 mins read

Why Your Restaurant Should Be Using a Digital Menu

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Lauren Christiansen

By Lauren Christiansen

What is a Digital Menu?

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A lot has changed in the restaurant industry over the last few years. Breakthroughs in technology are improving restaurant processes and minimizing errors, which helps increase sales. From employee scheduling apps to digital signage to reservation software, everything is now digitized. These tools also align with evolving consumer needs, as more customers expect and demand digital experiences. It's a win-win for the hospitality industry and its customers.

One highly sought-after piece of technology is digital menus. While digital menus have been around for some time, COVID-19 made them even more popular. This is due to the increased emphasis on germ reduction and sanitization. Digital menus are an interface that enables patrons to see and browse menu options. Unlike digital menu boards, digital menus are available through a customer's mobile device.

Digital menus save money on printing costs and allow patrons to see the most up-to-date menu choices. Furthermore, patrons can access the menu from anywhere, at any time. Most restaurants offer digital menus to innovate and increase operational effectiveness.

4 Top Reasons Why Restaurants Should Use Digital Menus

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A restaurant's primary purpose is to serve delicious food to customers so they keep coming back. While it's critical to revamp menu options to impress customers, there are other ways to increase customer satisfaction. It's the little changes and improvements that count.

Digital menus facilitate a better customer experience and appeal to a wider audience. They are a cost-effective, easy alternative to digital menu boards. They are also more useful, as customers can access them through mobile devices. Read ahead for the top reasons that restaurants should use digital menus.

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1. Digital Menus Improve Communication

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Digital menu designers can incorporate whatever animations, videos, and color schemes they want. This captures an audience's attention, as humans are more likely to remember images than text alone. Designers can communicate messages more effectively than they would in a regular print menu. Digital menus also facilitate more efficient utilization of negative space and enable designers to emphasize important content.

Not only does this optimize communication between the restaurant and customer, but it also influences the choices that patrons make. For example, designers can use menu engineering techniques to highlight profitable items. As a result, restaurants can increase revenue.

2. Digital Menus Save Time

In the busy restaurant industry, time is a precious commodity. Traditional menu printing takes up valuable time and hurts efficiency and productivity levels. Thankfully, digital menus help solve this problem. It's easy to make quick content updates on a digital menu from any location, at any time. Furthermore, there's no additional cost to do so.

Only one person needs to be in charge of these updates. This takes up much fewer resources than traditional printing, which typically requires 2-3 people. Typos and other mistakes are also quicker to fix as opposed to reprinting entire menus.

  • Digital menus shorten queue time and improve wait management by up to 35%
  • Not only do traditional menus take more time to print, they usually require an additional special or promotional menu. This takes up even more time to print, particularly if restaurants update specials regularly.
  • Menu printing cost inflation has gone from 2.1% to 2.5% in the last few years
  • As more restaurants move to digital menu printing, traditional printers are charging more in order to remain profitable

3. Digital Menus Saves Money

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Printing traditional menus is very expensive. This is particularly true if a restaurant changes up its menu items every few weeks or months. Who wants to request a new set of menus, wait for them to be finished, and then repeat the whole process 3 weeks later? Because there is no need to print more menus with digital menus, restaurants save money on recurring expenses. With high turnover rates and razor-thin profit margins, these savings are critical.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

4. Digital Menus Are More Memorable

Enhancing the customer experience is critical in the age of COVID-19. Restaurants have already taken a hit, and customers miss the traditional experience of eating out. While most restaurants have reopened, they still need to follow updated protocols. They also have to appeal to evolving customer needs and demands.

Digital menus help to do just that. Graphics, videos, color schemes, and unique content draw in an audience's attention. They also help patrons make more informed choices, which increases customer satisfaction. Digital menus are much more sanitary than print menus, which makes health-conscious patrons happy. This revamped digital experience aligns with consumer needs and ensures dining out remains memorable.

  • After 3 days, an audience retains up to 65% of visual information
  • Visuals get 94% more views than text-based information
  • Digital menu information has a recall rate of up to 83%
  • Digital menus have a 47.7% effectiveness on brand awareness

5. Digital Menus Increase Visibility of Menu

While a digital menu board is easy to see and read on-site, there are some limitations. It doesn't provide the same accessibility to content as digital menus do. Sure, customers can see the menu when they are at the restaurant, but what about at home? Digital menus help a restaurant expose its brand to everyone, at any time.

With marketing campaigns, a good website, and word of mouth, potential customers can easily access a digital menu. Digital menus also help retain more existing customers. Videos/pictures of customers and food build brand awareness and increase customer loyalty.

6. Digital Menus Run 24/7

Designers can schedule as many menus as they want per day on digital menus. These easy updates ensure the menu switches for the next meal at the appropriate time. A lot of restaurants now use 24/7 digital menus, which are more impressionable. Restaurants can upload videos of head chefs making meals, customer reviews, or tidbits on seasonal items. All of this helps draw in more customers, increase brand loyalty, and add to sales.

  • Because digital menus update frequently and run on a 24/7 basis, they bring in a 32.8% growth in repeat buyers
  • Customers spend 30% more time browsing online menu options because they have more time to do so
  • 71% of consumers believe digital menus stand out more and improve the customer experience
  • 96% of customers believe videos improve brand loyalty and increase learning

7. Digital Menus Increase Sales

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Studies show that digital menus can increase sales by up to 23%. Considering the many financial challenges facing restaurants in the last two years, this is a game-changer. The cost savings alone help rake in more profit. Furthermore, designers can change menu options, update pricing, and advertise special deals with no further investment.

Because digital menus are more accessible and enticing, patrons tend to make bigger and more informed purchases. They are also more likely to tell friends and family about this unique digital experience. This increases brand loyalty and adds to the customer base, which further improves profits.

Key Takeaways for Digital Menus

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In conclusion, here are the top reasons to use a digital menu -

  • Digital menus make it easier to communicate with customers. They also save a lot of time and resources
  • Digital menus are much more convenient and create a more memorable customer experience
  • Digital menus offer greater visibility of the menu and run on a 24/7 basis
  • Digital menus save restaurants a lot of money and increase sales up to 23%

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