In this piece, Joe Martinez shares five reasons digital menus are a restaurant’s most powerful tool and offers seven ways to leverage them for success.

While the core focus of any restaurant might be to serve delicious, lip-smacking food, restaurants still invest a lot of time and money on paper menus and chalkboards. These two have been dominating the restaurant industry since even before the Queen Victoria era. That’s how long it’s been! So, don’t you think it’s about time for a change? This is when digital menus step into the ring to provide restaurants and customers with a completely unique and exciting experience.

Let’s admit it. The typical customer experience at restaurants is boring. The waiter comes to note down the order, returns with the food and just comes back with the check. With the world being completely conquered by technology during the pandemic, norms started becoming more digitized. However, some of those norms are still here to stay and for good reason.

Restaurants started investing in digital menus which customers can access simply by scanning a QR code. QR codes definitely glowed up from being used for tracking car parts to being used to open millions of impressive digital menus around the globe. Both restaurants and their customers have embraced these nifty black and white barcodes and digital menus have now become a standard dining feature even past the pandemic. It has also been a savior for restaurants dealing with the current labor shortage.

With this trend setting in, it would only make sense if we discussed the numerous benefits of befriending a digital menu. So, let’s dive right into it.

1. Bring in bigger checks

We all love a big check, don’t we? Customers who order via digital menus tend to spend more. They are more likely to opt for add-ons and extras when they order digitally. Additionally, they have also claimed to feel more at ease when browsing the menu. This comfort results in bigger checks. The average order value of restaurants that employ QR code menus has increased by as much as 22%.

2. Save money, save trees

Paper menus are incredibly expensive. Even the smallest change to the menu calls for a complete rewrite and reprint. Let’s also not forget the harm to the environment that the papermaking process causes. When using QR code menus, only the QR code has to be printed. The most recent version of the menu is always available using the same QR code, regardless of how many modifications are made. No additional printing is required and nearly 12 trees per year are saved due to using digital menus.

3. Provide more detail

Restaurants can provide more information about their meals on a digital menu without overwhelming the customer. For instance, the ingredients, nutrition facts, and even the preparation time can all be mentioned. The menu can be arranged in a way so that certain elements are hidden and some of them catch the customer’s eye straight away.

4. Update the menu anytime, anywhere

The ability to immediately update digital menus whenever you wish without having to think about printing new menus is one of their main advantages. Out-of-stock items can be removed immediately, and today’s specials and promotions can be publicized then and there. The latest version of the menu is accessible to customers immediately after the changes are made.

5. Leverage valuable customer data

Customer data is your restaurant’s hidden treasure. It is up to your restaurant to find ways to access it, a digital menu being one of them. It’s extremely vital for business as it helps restaurateurs understand their customers on a deeper level. For example, what sells (and when), popular food pairings, special requests customers regularly make and many other details. These insights help restaurateurs make accurate decisions that will keep them ahead of competitors.

Now that we’ve explored some of the main benefits a digital menu provides, it’s extremely important to know how to market one. One of the first ways a restaurant interacts with a customer is through the menu. A menu can act as a great marketing tool for restaurants, but you need to know how that can be done efficiently.

Here are seven ways that you can promote your QR code menus:

1. Share the QR Code Image on social media

Social media is a great place to start marketing and increase awareness. Your restaurant would be able to reach a wide audience and people would get to know about your tech-savvy restaurant in no time!

2. Display it on the restaurant door or window

Placing the QR code on your restaurant window or door would get it noticed by any passing person. They would be able to scan and access your menu easily. The dine-in guests can also view the menu before they enter thereby quickening the ordering process.

3. Print it on food packaging

Having the QR code for the digital menu printed on food packaging will allow customers to view your menu at their convenience. It’s a great way to boost customer retention.

4. Include it on business cards

Business cards are generally handed over to customers who make a purchase. They immediately go into the customer’s wallet or bag once handed to them. Hence, having your QR code printed on your restaurant’s business card is a great way to remind customers of your restaurant, which could result in repeat purchases.

5. Display it on banners

You can print the QR code of your digital menu on a banner and place it near your restaurant. In this case, this menu is more visible to many passing customers and it’s a great way to grab people’s attention.

6. Display it at the drive-through

Customers would be able to scan the QR code to view your menu before reaching the drive-through counter. This can help serve more customers and reduce wait time. It would also be a unique experience for the customer and can help differentiate your restaurant from the others.

7. Include it in confirmation emails

You can include the QR code in the reservation confirmation email when a customer wants to make a table reservation. Customers will then be able to access your menu from home or at work and be ready with their order once they arrive.

With all of that being said, it would only be right to shove all the paper menus and chalkboards in the garbage can and invest in the more efficient and eye-catching option: digital menus. Not only do they help provide a unique dining experience, but they also help in increasing revenue, profits and customer satisfaction.

It would be safe to say that the digital menu is a restaurant’s most powerful tool yet!

(2022, October 06). Joe Martinez. Retrieved from