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CO-WRITTEN / PARTNER | Staff Reporter, Australia
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14 reasons why you need to ditch your paper menus

TabSquare stressess that the the menu is a very prominent piece of marketing material.

(Editor's Note: Original article from TabSquare here.)

At some point in our dining experience, we’ve all been presented with a grubby, torn or faded paper menu which we hold gingerly as we try and decipher what’s on offer. No matter how good the food is, a sub-par menu always leaves a lingering question mark in our mind about how much attention the venue gives to their operation.

An out-of-date menu with spelling mistakes, for example, can leave you feeling frustrated. So too can pages of irrelevant options. And it can be hard trying to work out which dishes pair well with others.

The same poor customer experience can apply to the ubiquitous specials boards, which can range from amazing artworks through to out-of-date and barely legible scribbles.

The lesson for restaurant owners and managers is that your menu is a very prominent piece of marketing material, which can either boost or damage your brand and your customers’ dining experience. It makes good business sense to give it the attention it deserves by making sure it offers everything a modern, tech-savvy diner expects.

This extends to order-taking, where it’s not uncommon for wait staff in a busy and noisy restaurant to mishear an order item from the menu or miss one completely. Or even forgot to mention the specials of the day.

Expectations are increasing among modern consumers - and particularly millennials - who demand a seamless, personalised dining experience, with every detail at their fingertips so they can make an informed decision.

Here are 14 ways that a digital menu can lift your restaurant’s profitability and efficiency:

1. Quick and easy to update
Digital menus give you the freedom to alter and change your menu options as needed. You can easily add dishes and remove unavailable options instantly.

2. A great marketing tool
Make the most of your branding and promote dishes you choose by integrating them with your digital menu.

3. Upsell seamlessly
A digital menu drives up average cover value through its interactive user interface by recommending dishes, suggesting meal add-ons and promoting high-value items, best sellers and specialties. The platform also allows the communication of promotions and events with customers during their visit and can engage with them after dining.

4. Save money on printing
With no need for traditional paper menus you can save money on printing costs. Say goodbye to grubby and worn out menus as well as the time and stress of arranging reprints.

5. Streamline ordering
Digital menus facilitate the entire customer experience from beginning to end. They accept orders, process vouchers, present the bill and accept payments at the table. They even take customer feedback.

6. Manage customer expectations with wait times
Let your customers know how far away their food is automatically.

7. Reduce staff costs
A digital menu becomes a personal waiter, relieving the burden on overwhelmed staff so they can focus on customer service and other value-added activities.

8. Reduce ordering errors
Digital menus reduce the chance of ordering errors as the customer inputs their choice directly. This eliminates the need for order taking by the busy front of house staff and cuts down on human error.

9. Schedule easily for times of day
Easily switch your menu for breakfast, lunch or dinner instantly with a click.

10. Improve customer satisfaction
Digital menu solutions store customer preferences and collect their feedback so you can personalise and improve their dining experience. They also generate detailed customer behaviour insights, including customer interaction with all products, and item placement.

11. Integration with payment systems
Digital menu offerings can easily be integrated with existing POS systems, meaning that you can keep your current, preferred system.

12. Imagery and better descriptions
You can display pictures of each menu item, integrate your branding and provide in-depth dish descriptions with a digital menu.

13. Stay on top of menu labeling
Digital menus let you stay on top of constantly changing menu labeling regulations, including displaying detailed ingredient lists and calorie counts. By letting you update your menu quickly and easily, digital menus let you comply with local laws.

14. Reduce costs and lift profitability
Reduced printing and staff costs - together with increased table turns, upselling and cross-selling - provide strong benefits to your business’s bottom line.

(Download TabSquare's eBook and find out twelve ways you can prepare your restaurant for the digital age by clicking here.)

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