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What Are The Pros and Cons of Using Digital Menus in Your Business?

What Are The Pros and Cons of Using Digital Menus in Your Business?

In an effort to support the environment and speed up various processes, businesses nowadays make an effort to join the paperless train. Some are successful at reducing their paper consumption while others fail, but as new technologies emerge, we may finally get to live in a world where papers are obsolete.

Pushed by the pandemic, businesses started using electronic signatures and software tools that allow partners to enter a legally binding contract without being in the same room (or on the same continents, for that matter). Plus, we can now keep our notes, ideas, and dreams in the cloud, where they belong.

Most business processes that involve the use of paper are now possible electronically. Also, they are safer, faster, and take a lot less space in our wallets, offices, or houses. Still, there is one industry where it seems rather difficult to let go of paper – the foodservice industry.

Paper menus seem to be around since time immemorial, right? Well, it seems that the pandemic may have changed this as well. Digital menus have certain advantages over paper menus like contactless orders, they are easy to replicate, and so on, which is why many businesses are considering the switch. If you’re one of them, check out below the pros and cons of using digital menus in your venue.

The Pros

Visually Attractive

Digital menus can display HD photos of plates, drinks, and anything else being offered. Plus, you can upload several pictures for each item to tempt customers into choosing something that caught their eye and charmed their taste buds. Also, you can add an extra information section that users can access when they want to know more about the dish or beverage.

You can also highlight specific items in the menu by changing the font/color/design. Plus, you can operate these changes in real-time without additional costs.

Full Integration

Digital menus can be fully integrated within the business process starting with the order and ending with the payment.

For instance, a tool like Untappd digital beer menu can help you create contactless menus that allow customers to place an order without having to wait for your staff to come by. And, once they decide to leave, they can simply ask for the bill and pay using the device at their table (no need for contact with the staff).

Therefore, by using digital menus you can save money on the staff and reduce the time between when the customer sits at a table and when he/she places an order.

Quick Editing

Digital menus can be changed in real-time, without too much hassle. This means you can promote your special offer loud and clear using the space available on the display. And, once the offer expires, the menu will stop showing it and return to its initial state.

Easy to Access

Customers no longer have to browse through pages of dishes and beverages. Also, they don’t have to share their menu with the people they are seated with, passing it from hand to hand (not exactly sanitary).

Nowadays, some restaurants use QR codes to allow customers to easily access the menu using their phones. Other restaurants have built-in devices on the table that allow customers access to a wide range of features.

The Cons

Added Expenses

Before you can think about lowered costs with the staff and smoother processes, you have to invest in the system and the implementation. Plus, if you’re using devices (usually tablets) the expenses tend to add up.

However, once you go through the initial investment, you can start planning for the benefits mentioned above. The ROI is pretty good and the change tends to lead to increased customer satisfaction.

Unhappy Staff

Digital menus reduce the amount of work waiters get to do, which means you won’t need as many on your team. Therefore, you may have to deal with a period of unrest among your people, before things can start going smoothly.

Key Takeaways

At the end of the day, the decision is up to the business owner, but if you choose to stay with paper menus, you may miss out on the latest marketing trends. Digital menus are the next step all great businesses should take!


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by Rebecca Jones // Contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.