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Dinner Menus Go Digital
Of all the industries impacted by COVID-19, few had to pivot harder than restaurants.
Expanded delivery and takeout options. Cocktails to go. Outdoor dining (even in the winter). Even “contactless menus.”
To eliminate multiple guests handling the same menu, lots of establishments started posting their menus on websites and putting QR codes with links on tables. Guests scan the code with their phone’s camera, and the menu pops up.
Menus have long been a major marketing medium for restaurants, and there are proven “menu engineering” tactics from appetizing photos to item layout used to maximize orders and profits.
For instance, most restaurants limit the number of options in any given section to seven or less. Presenting too many choices can overwhelm and confuse guests. When they’re stressed, diners tend to order less and default to dishes they’ve had before.
Another tactic is to downplay cost by eliminating dollar signs. Most menus write the price with just a number, or even spell it out along with a fancy description of the food.
May I Analyze Your Order?
Restaurant owners point to benefits of online menus over paper, like reduced printing costs and environmental impacts. Plus, digital menus can be updated in seconds, cutting down on botched orders and frustrated guests.
The advent of online menus creates opportunities for digital marketing efforts as well. Pageviews, clicks and conversions all become applicable and impactful stats, and websites can store data on customer choices and preferences to highlight a specific dish or push an upsell next time around.
As fleeting as they may seem, these digital touchpoints are valuable to any brand seeking a stronger relationship with their clients and customers. Modern tools can aggregate and analyze this data, and the right minds can translate it to drive sales.
Yet those opportunities can’t come at the expense of a positive experience. Not all restaurant guests have embraced digital menus and the analytics that come with them.
Still, if you can strike the right balance, there’s an opportunity for all brands to capture similar actionable data, whether it be through surveys, trade shows or email marketing.