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Digital menu – inexpensive alternative to the classic menu

Prices in restaurants change every few years or even more frequently if the market situation makes it necessary. Instead of printing menus on paper and having them bound in a folder every time, modern restaurateurs are increasingly opting for the digital alternative. Find out here about the advantages and disadvantages of digital menus and what is important when creating them.

Advantages of the online menu

An online menu offers a number of advantages for restaurateurs. It not only saves money by dispensing with printing and binding. It can also be updated very quickly should the pricing or composition of the offers change. In line with the digital till, the digital menu can therefore be an effective way for restaurateurs to reduce costs and save time.

The digital menu also reduces the workload of service staff. This is because the electronic version is usually installed on a tablet with a direct ordering function so that service staff no longer have to write down orders by hand and enter them into the till. Instead, the order is entered directly at the table and is then forwarded automatically.

Some restaurants also allow their customers to make their selection directly on the tablet, which is handed out at the table when they arrive. The process is also beneficial for guests, as waiting times are significantly reduced thanks to the direct digital transfer to the bar or kitchen. When guests use a tablet ordering card to put together their meals at the table, they also have the feeling of being in a modern restaurant.

Many customers even tend to spend more when ordering directly from a tablet than if they have to call the service staff to order each time. This significantly reduces waiting times, which is reflected in higher sales figures . Sales can often be significantly boosted by introducing a digital menu, especially when ordering drinks.

Digital menu – disadvantages

As with many other digital innovations, the digital menu also has disadvantages. It does not convey the classic feeling of holding a real card in your hand. Especially guests who value tradition and style prefer to browse through a real menu and order personally from the waiter after making their selection.

Tablets for digital ordering must be purchased and kept up to date with regular updates. The acquisition costs and running costs should therefore not be neglected. New appliances are also required every few years and service staff generally need more time to learn how to operate them.

Here you will find an overview of all the advantages and disadvantages in table form:

Advantages

  • Time- and cost-efficiently renewable
  • Ideal for restaurants with changing dishes and frequent price adjustments
  • Saves time when ordering and passing on to the bar and kitchen
  • Customers get food and drinks to their table faster
  • Increase in sales
  • Modern impression
  • Versatile entries also possible for allergies and intolerances
  • Easy to disinfect
  • Can also be operated with QR codes via customer smartphones

Disadvantages

  • Real menu has more style
  • Often reflects the character of the location less individually
  • Impersonal order placement
  • Technical failure possible
  • Higher acquisition costs for tablets
  • Updates and maintenance required
  • New service staff must first familiarise themselves with the service

Create a digital menu for free?

Would you like to create a digital menu so that you no longer have to print out menus when the menu changes or prices change? There is suitable software to help you do this.

Whether you use freeware to design your own menus or invest in professional software depends on your design requirements. The digital menu is available free of charge or as paid software at mostly fair prices.

If you want to use freeware to design your own menus, tools for static menus are particularly suitable. If, on the other hand, the menu is to function interactively, there are special software programs that have been developed for the catering industry.

Instead of a free digital menu, you can create your menu using purchased software, which offers many functions for interactive menu selection and numerous options for individual design.

Alternatively, you can also use the free online menu card design tool and then add it to your website as a digital menu. This gives guests an insight into the menu before they even enter the restaurant.

Creating a digital menu – practical tips for implementation

The menu is the figurehead of every restaurant. Accordingly, you should invest a lot of care in the design and elaboration of the menu items. With the following tips, you can create a digital menu that will impress your customers in the long term and encourage them to order.

Professional design

A high quality digital menu determines what the customer orders and how they perceive your restaurant. It is therefore essential to place your brand and your concept here and adapt the digital design very individually to it.

Easy handling

The structure of the menu items should be as simple and clear as possible so that even less technically experienced guests can quickly reach their destination. The map should also not appear overcrowded . A small but fine range is usually the better choice.

Tonality

The approach should suit the target group. Therefore, choose a creative language for the names of the dishes that best suits your main clientele and invites them to try them out. If the name of a dish sounds very tempting and modern, it will be ordered more often. It is important that everything on the digital menu is also easy to read. Don’t forget the older guests, who often have problems with a very small font. Non-everyday dishes should also be well explained to avoid misunderstandings.

Consider the special features of the diet

Whether vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, without glutamate or other ingredients – special requests can often be easily accommodated in the digital menu. Suitable dishes for allergy sufferers can also be clearly identified in this way. Anyone affected by intolerances and allergies should be able to see at a glance which dishes are suitable. It is even better if guests can give the chef a hint via the digital order so that he can omit the corresponding food from the preparation.

Conclusion:

Sales can be boosted if restaurateurs rely more on digital tools. Businesses with frequently changing prices and dishes in particular can switch to the digital menu. For restaurants with an older or very traditional clientele, a classic version can still make sense. The digital alternative doesn't give you the feeling of browsing through a real menu and choosing a dish at your leisure.

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