Virtual menus are in demand among restaurant owners as they reshape how customers engage with restaurant offerings, streamline the workforce, and provide seamless and interactive dining experiences.
88% out of 500 respondent restaurants implied that they were switching to digital menus during the Wakefield Research Poll in 2020.
So, rather than offering paper menus that require customers to skim through pages, you can display online menus instead. With one tap on their tablets or smartphones, they can access the details of your menu offerings outright.
Apart from electronic menus perched on your counter, a digital menu QR code placed in a table tent is also a good option, allowing customers to scan and view your menu on their phone screens.
This implies that adapting this technology has become imperative, and using it in improving restaurant operations is now a necessity and not a luxury.
In this article, we’ll look into the advantages of using an online menu and how it helps revolutionize the restaurant industry.
What is a virtual menu?
A virtual menu, or digital menu, is an electronic version of a restaurant’s traditional paper menu that can be accessed through a computer, tablet, smartphone, or any capable device.
In just a few clicks, customers can view the list of meals along with descriptions, costs, and images using their own devices.
It can be in several formats: PDFs, web pages, or a QR code menu that redirects to an online menu once scanned.
It’s a helpful tool for upgrading overall restaurant operations as it provides real-time updates, interactive integrations, personalized options, etc.
Virtual restaurant menu: 10 advantages of using one
To know what you can get from using digital menus in your restaurant, here’s a list of benefits for you to check out:
Enhanced customer engagement and experience
Your customers will no longer have to wait for available staff to take their orders or make impulsive decisions when ordering because of the pressure when they’re in line.
All they will have to do is browse the food items at their own pace, which will make their dining experience more relaxed.
Aside from that, it cannot be denied that menus through virtual presentation elevate your restaurant’s operation by having:
- Rich visuals and multimedia
A digital menu allows customers to view high-quality graphics of your dishes to get a better idea of what they’re ordering.
You can also add detailed food descriptions, modifiers for those who have dietary restrictions, prices, and other details about your food and drink offerings.
This all-inclusive menu enables you to give your guests the information they need when they order. It helps build connection and trust among them, making their dining better.
- Interactive features
Not only do digital menus help make your food items look appealing and enticing with their high-quality pictures and the like, but they also offer interactive elements that engage customers when they dine in.
You can incorporate clickable icons where they can find additional information about their order or pop-up commemorative holidays where they can send out their greetings in exchange for special deals and discounts.
- Customization and personalization
Providing personalized recommendations based on your customers’ preferences is one of the exciting features of digital menus.
You can categorize your dishes according to their dietary restrictions, favorite flavors, or previous orders.
This way, it will be easier for them to choose efficiently without reviewing your food items individually or calling your staff to explain your menu items.
This customization level can upgrade your customers’ dining experience, leaving the impression that your restaurant knows them personally.
Adding to this customization experience, generating food menu QR codes is a good inclusion. With these, you can integrate your digital menu, payment options, feedback forms, and promotions, which will make dining seamless and top-tier.
- Alternative payment options
Offering a variety of e-payment methods, such as PayPal, Venmo, or Stripe, gives your customers the freedom to pay however is most convenient to them.
This can increase customer satisfaction and the possibility of returning to your restaurant.
Real-time menu updates
If you want to change your menu, having a virtual or digital version lets you update the details quickly.
For example, during the Christmas season, you can update your menu with a holiday-themed breakfast set or weekly promos.
Or you can have virtual vegan menu options featuring plant-based meals, which include salads, burgers, pasta, etc.
This feature guarantees that your guests are always aware of the most recent deals that your restaurant is offering.
Offers multilingual options
Some of your guests from outside your area may become frustrated if they can’t grasp the language on the menu.
It can take time to translate and explain your offerings to visitors from other countries.
However, using digital menus can help overcome language barriers thanks to their multilingual language options, which enable you to serve a wide range of customers.
Virtual restaurant menu promotes accessibility and inclusivity
Speaking of a broad customer base, having menus accessed virtually can help your restaurant promote inclusivity, especially for guests with disabilities and special needs.
It can accommodate those customers with eyesight conditions by setting up a digital restaurant menu QR code with a braille sticker that has instructions like “Please scan this” with a tactile square on the sides.
This is one of the successful projects of Braille House—a non-profit organization dedicated to providing a tactile support system for those who are blind and have low vision by using a QR code contact tracing system.
Smartphones like Android and Apple offer voiceover and talkback modes for visually impaired users to complete transactions after scanning the QR codes.
Aside from that, it can also help guests with communication difficulties, who mostly rely on lipreading, hearing aids, or sign language to relay their messages.
Most of the time, they would write down their orders or point to the menu.
With an online menu, there’s no need for them to approach servers to order. They can browse them on their smartphones using a digital menu QR code.
The same goes for those who have physical disabilities—there’s no need for them to wait in line to order food and pay their bills. With just a swipe of their fingertips, everything gets taken care of.
Safety and hygiene
It’s no secret that the diners’ top priorities these days are safety and hygiene due to the pandemic.
By reducing in-person ordering and traditional meal directories, smart and user-friendly software like contactless virtual restaurant menus address these concerns upfront.
Adding this technology to your business operations will not only provide your customers peace of mind but it will also demonstrate your dedication to their well-being.
Above all, it reassures that everyone can eat in a secure place.
Reduced clutter and more table space
Without physical menus, there’s more room for dining essentials like plates, utensils, and condiments, creating neater and more organized eating spaces.
It is also helpful for working individuals who can use the space to put their laptops and other things to do their tasks while waiting for their food to arrive or for those moms with their toddlers providing enough space to put their bags and other stuff.
Not only does it help your customers maximize their time, but it also allows you to showcase your consideration for these specific groups of people.
Upselling and promotion opportunities using a virtual menu
Restaurants can boost sales and revenue by strategically highlighting specials, recommending add-ons, or suggesting food combos.
It is much easier to maneuver since your customers do not have to fumble with a physical menu to find drinks they want to add to their main dishes.
It’s already integrated into the menu software, which you can categorize according to their preferences or dietary restrictions.
Suppose you have difficulties in customizing your offerings to make them profitable, you can use menu engineering to help you determine what aspect of your design process should be improved.
This strategy also involves examining food prices, identifying profitable dishes, and deciding which should be reconsidered or removed from your list.
You can place your profitable food items where your guests can see them.
Special promotions or loyalty programs can also be displayed on a digital menu, guaranteeing that your customers know the incentives and offers that are accessible to them.
For example, Customers who dine at the restaurant more than three times a month can earn and redeem rewards points that can be converted into merchandise or discounts.
Reinforcing marketing opportunities
Your restaurant marketing can be more efficient with a digitally operated menu. This tool can link your website, social media accounts, and promotional materials, providing an avenue for customer engagement and advertising.
You can use pop-up graphics or embed advertising videos in your online menu.
Because it can be accessed through smartphones or any capable devices, your loyal patrons or new customers can explore your offerings in the comfort of their homes or anywhere.
You can also integrate a food ordering system where they can place their orders and have them delivered to their front door.
This adds to your marketing opportunities by providing convenience to your guests.
Implementing a virtual menu app with inventory management in your restaurant offers a significant benefit.
It can obtain important information about the popularity of a particular food item by using digital platforms to monitor customer preferences and ordering habits.
With the help of this real-time data, you can better manage your supplies, keeping the proper amount of in-demand ingredients on hand while avoiding overstocking less popular ones.
It can result in reduced food waste, better cost management, and higher menu profitability in your restaurant.
Online menus also make it easier to communicate with suppliers, allowing for prompt and effective ordering procedures.
Restaurants that use these to match inventory to customer demand not only improve their satisfaction level but also streamline operations since they can always find their favorite dishes.
Overall, incorporating digital menus into inventory management suggests a dynamic movement in the direction of data-driven decision-making. It will eventually lead to a more financially sound and sustainable restaurant operation.
Feedback loop improvement using digital menu QR code
An efficient food service survey guarantees a great connection with your customers.
With their dining narratives, you will be able to know what aspect of your restaurant they enjoyed and what needs to be improved.
But getting customer feedback is challenging for particular reasons: your survey questions might be too long and too complex to understand, or it may have something to do with your survey format.
While paper surveys can be helpful for specific demographics and places, online surveys are convenient as your guests can access them through your social media accounts.
Moreover, using a menu QR code with feedback integration allows customers to express their ideas and opinions directly.
This provides them with a channel where their suggestions are acknowledged and facilitate the ongoing development of your menu and your overall restaurant operations.
In a nutshell, gathering customer feedback is a secret ingredient in creating unforgettable dining experiences. It serves as a conduit between your restaurant and its patrons, converting their comments into observable improvements.
How to create menus virtually?
Making menus virtually is similar to creating a special version of your food directory that people can access on their smartphones or any capable devices.
To guide you, here’s a step-by-step guide you can follow:
1. A computer or tablet is required.
First, you need this device to create a digital menu. If you don’t have one, you may ask someone who does to help you.
2. Use a menu software or website.
You can use specialized software or websites that offer simple-to-use tools for adding images, text, and even color changes to improve the appearance of your dishes.
An example of a special menu software that can best help you create your menus virtually is MENU TIGER. This digital menu provider expertly provides a sophisticated restaurant menu system to improve your restaurant’s operations.
3. Create menu sections.
After deciding on the software to use and creating your account, consider the food categories you offer, such as drinks, appetizers, main dishes, and desserts. You can divide them up into sections. This will make your menu organized.
4. Add food items.
Input the names of the dishes you serve under each category. You can also include any images you may have, similar to organizing pictures in an album.
5. Put descriptions and prices.
Include the small details that can be helpful to your customers, such as ingredients and their prices, to know more about your food.
6. Save and review your menu.
Once you have input everything, save your menu on your computer or the webpage. If it’s necessary, you can go back and make adjustments afterward.
7. Generate QR codes.
You will now need to generate a QR code. It functions like a unique code that directs customers to your menu when they scan it.
There are QR code generators available online, but if your digital menu software offers a generated QR code menu, it would be better.
8. Print and display your QR code menu.
Print the QR code, then post it in visible locations such as on tables and counters in your restaurant. Your diners will find it quickly and access your menu in this way.
Make sure to put a piece of instruction on how to scan a menu QR code for customers, especially the elderly.
MENU TIGER: create your menu virtually with this interactive menu software
Having an intuitive tool for creating a digital menu can streamline restaurant operations, increase sales and revenue, and provide excellent service, making it a crucial starting point for restaurant improvement.
MENU TIGER—a digital user-friendly menu system that provides what you need in just a single software.
You don’t need other software to generate QR codes or monitor customer feedback. It is already packaged in this smart menu system.
To know more about what MENU TIGER offers, here’s a list of features to look out for:
Building your online menu and website
With our feature-rich and intuitive online menu builder, you can create, modify, and improve your menu anytime. It is quick and effective to navigate for all kinds of restaurants.
Break down communication barriers with this language menu translation integration that caters to foreign customers, making your menu more accessible to them.
Setting up a personalized website to boost sales
Develop and design your restaurant’s website to increase its overall visibility. You can integrate your social media platforms, promotional materials, and blog articles about your dishes.
You can also make your website’s ordering process user-friendly to draw new guests.
Collect orders and payment hassle-free
Efficient order-taking process
With menu QR codes, guests can scan, order, and pay without waiting in a long line at your counter.
From your admin panel, you can handle orders and integrate the software with your POS system.
Customers are used to having instantaneous access, so having them pay conveniently and efficiently should be one of your priorities.
With MENU TIGER’s variety of online payment alternatives like PayPal and Stripe, this is made possible.
Customer feedback collection
You can collect customer reviews by integrating feedback survey forms that can be downloadable in a CSV format.
This data can be used to improve your overall restaurant operations.
Upsell menu items and boost sales
Offer tailored deals to your guests by setting up promos and discounts to expand your customer base and increase orders.
You can change and update the promotions on your website whenever you’d like.
Generate sales reports
With the help of your restaurant management reports, you can formulate and construct wise decisions for managing your business.
Other software integrations
Zapier is an internet solution for operations that links your apps and services.
This Zapier integration for restaurants offers workflow automation that streamlines administrative duties.
This will give your restaurant staff more time and flexibility since it already automates your other software integrations.
Canva, on the other hand, is a free web-based design tool that lets you make, modify, and produce visual content. Now, you can quickly add menu QR codes and images of your food to your design templates.
Start making your first virtual menu with MENU TIGER
Using digital menus in your restaurant is an innovative step to elevate your customers’ dining experience, not only a technological advancement for your business.
The advantages are numerous, ranging from cost savings to guest involvement and safety considerations. Having interactive menu software that allows you to do all of these is a must.
To help create your first online menu, MENU TIGER has all you need.
It’s the best tool if you’re looking for restaurant software that allows you to add food items, build your website, use e-payment and taxation integrations, and even include design and digital operation software. It’s all available in this intelligent menu technology.
Kick off your revolutionary journey by signing up and creating your account today.