How can a digital menu add value to your restaurant business?Author: Ben Luxon
The menu is one of the first things that customers will review before going to a restaurant. Because of this, digitising your menu gives people an opportunity to preview your food and a well written online menu will act as a marketing tool to entice new customers.
However, having a digital menu is about far more than just allowing customers a preview. It is essential if you wish to implement new and efficient processes such as table ordering or your own restaurant app.
In this article, we take a look at 8 benefits of having your own digital menu both in-store and online and how it can improve customer experience and restaurant sales.
Benefits of having your own digital menu
A more detailed menu
With a digital menu, you can offer more detail about dishes without overwhelming the customer. For example, you could include ingredients, nutritional information and even preparation time. You can organise the menu so that details are hidden or select specific information to display upfront.
Also, by using categories and search functions you can allow customers to more easily navigate the menu. Done well this improves customer experience and saves time.
Make it easy for people to place orders
Traditionally customers are at the mercy of their server. If it’s a busy period this could mean waiting in line or sitting at their table impatiently. With a digital menu you can employ table ordering strategies to enable customers to place their order as soon as they are ready.
Once they’ve ordered they can then pay through the app or table ordering service. This allows staff to focus on other aspects of the restaurants, reducing wait times and improving customer experience.
We’ve already mentioned table ordering, which as the name suggests, gives customers the power to order and pay for food from their table. You can employ QSR codes which can be left on the tables for slick customer experience. A digital menu though will enable you to launch kiosk ordering, a mobile, and online ordering as well. The benefits of this include increased order volumes, better control across franchise branches, and more.
Reduce human error
Enabling customers to place their orders themselves through a digital menu reduces the chances of an error being made when the order is being taken. During busy service periods, miscommunications between staff and customers can result in time-consuming and costly errors. By removing the possibility for these errors to occur your staff can focus on ensuring great food and customer service.
More efficiency and reduced costs
By removing the need for a server to take the order manually customers can instead place their orders at their own leisure. Often this results in a faster order being placed. In addition, your customers don’t have to queue up at the till to pay, streamlining this element of the process. Thirdly, this also frees up your staff to do other valuable tasks such as delivering food or drinks, answering customer questions, or managing stock.
Finally, you can automate certain processes such as the switch over from the breakfast to the lunch menu and integrate stock controls into the menu meaning an item is automatically taken off once the ingredients run out.
Increase AOV with upsells
By attaching enticing food photography to the menu items you can allure customers to particular dishes. Secondly, you can push promotional deals and combos to increase sale volumes. Finally, you can strategically offer upsells like sides or drinks at particular parts of the ordering process to encourage increased spend.
Connect to your stock management system
Connecting your menu with your stock management will help give you clearer data on the volumes sold as well as enabling you to automatically remove items that are out of stock.
The reason this is so important is it means you can more accurately predict how much stock you need to order to minimise waste whilst keeping the most popular items in stock.
Promote special offers and build customer loyalty
We’ve spoken a lot about how a digital menu could be used in-store. However, having an online menu or a dedicated restaurant app also extends your ability to communicate with customers way beyond your front door.
For example, using a restaurant app you could notify guests about upcoming events, new menu items or special deals. You can also cross-promote your platforms, ie. promote your Instagram page through the app.
The ability to effectively communicate with loyal customers will enable you to keep them coming back for more as well as empowering you to reward those customers who are particularly loyal.
Having a digital menu will impact more than just your online food sales. It can if implemented correctly, increase footfall by positively presenting your food offering to new people. It feeds into a table ordering service which not only will enable you to streamline customer service in the restaurant, improve service efficiency, and reduce staff errors, it will even empower you with better data to reduce wastage and improve profitability.
As a final point, a digital menu is essential to help provide a safe, socially distanced dining experience during COVID-19.
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