Food that tempts the eyes before it ever reaches the table; quicker, more accurate orders; computer-optimized suggestions for the perfect accompaniment—these are just a few of the memorable highlights a digital menu ordering system can bring to the diners at your tables.
Going digital unleashes multimedia possibilities that impress modern customers and bring a new edge to any restaurant or quick-service eatery. It can give the diner control over what they order, how and when it arrives, and lets them pay the way that best suits their evening.
There are at least 7 clear highlights we can think of to using a digital menu ordering system:
- Multimedia menus build anticipation
- Digital orders are more accurate
- Self-ordering means quicker meals
- Automatic matching pairs drinks and sides
- Tracking orders for patient patrons
- Discrete, flexible, functional payment options
- The menu as entertainment
The accessible nature of the tech that powers digital menus means you’ll probably come up with several more highlights within days of trying an ordering system. That’s because the best versions push everyday devices into new applications that suit the restaurant business as though they were what iPads and tablets were designed for.
The Digital Menu Ordering System, Evolved
A digital menu ordering system feels as familiar as scrolling through an online department store, even though many of us are new to seeing such devices on our restaurant tables. As with all the most successful leaps of the digital era, digital menus work because the customer-facing tech is intuitive, touch-sensitive, and forgiving to the novice.
To the customer, a digital menu is just an iPad with a fixed starting point and deep possibilities. It’s an interactive catalog that leads them to order their own meal exactly as they like it, from starters to dessert wine, and all the variations, dietary requirements, and personal preferences possible along the way.
Behind the scenes, however, a digital ordering system is a cloud-computing network of front-of-house, kitchen, and management terminals that have been carefully customized to guide diners through the full potential of a memorable night. It lets every member of the team track orders, monitor sales trends, and keep a living inventory of every asset in the house.
More importantly, a digital menu system can make your restaurant more appealing, and that begins with using the latest tech to whet your patrons’ appetites.
1. Multimedia menus build anticipation
A picture speaks a thousand words and nothing excites a hungry guest like the sight of a glistening steak or vibrant, verdant salad. A digital menu heightens expectations by displaying multimedia images of the food that is otherwise only described in abstract by wait staff or a written menu.
Indeed, patrons can eagerly tap and touch their way through an interactive menu to build out their meal with enthusiasm. Rather than getting the ordering process out of the way, let your guests linger over a visual feast before they settle on a tangible one.
2. Digital orders are more accurate
Once your customer has had an opportunity to visual gaze across your offerings they can enter the exact specifics of their meal to make sure they get what they want. Digital menus streamline communication so there’s fewer chances of misunderstanding, misheard words, or forgotten stipulations.
A well-designed digital menu system will prompt the diner to consider sides, dietary concerns, portion variations, and more. You’ve raised expectations with the visual menu, now deliver on them by having the customer effectively communicate directly with the chef.
3. Self-ordering means quicker meal
Digital menus increase service times by breaking the customer’s dependence on the waiting staff. Your patrons can punch their order through as soon as they’re ready or take an hour to discuss every aspect of the menu without being pressured into a decision. If you place your resources toward meal prep and delivery, service can flow with the more natural speed of the evening’s covers.
Importantly, customers can refresh drinks and sides at their own pace as well, encouraging additional orders and reducing the amount of human movement during peak times.
4. Automatic matching pairs drinks with sides
The customizable nature of digital menu ordering systems means you can build-in prompts to help your diners pair their meals with the right sides and drinks. It’s a way of retaining the expertise of service staff while removing the need to have them hover over a table. You can potentially make any connection that will improve the customer experience by including pop-ups and automated yes/no queries to the ordering process.
5. Tracking orders for patient patrons
Many food delivery outlets have realized the soothing effect of order tracking on customers during peak periods. Hungry patrons that would otherwise stare at an unmoving clock can instead mark off a series of checkpoints that bring their meal ever closer.
You can introduce that same impact by letting your customers watch their meal progress between stations as they wait. Including the diner in the behind-scenes action gets them more invested in the evening and adds a layer of sophistication to your operation that only adds to the anticipation.
6. Discrete, flexible, functional payment options
Every meal comes at a literal price, but you don’t have to make that a feature of your guest’s evening. A digital menu ordering system can alleviate any stress associated with the final check by letting the customer deal with it in their own way. You can split orders, create customer tabs and loyalty programs, take payments by cash, card, or mobile app, and deliver the receipt in-person or by email, all with or without as much staff involvement as is necessary.
Whichever combination of tech and discretion keeps the focus on the food, beverage, and good cheer is an advantage well worth having at your disposal.
7. The menu as entertainment
The biggest leap forward you can make with your menu is to turn it into a source of entertainment. And that’s real, multimedia, on-demand entertainment, not just a maze on the back of a placement.
The iPads used to power the leading digital menu ordering systems are, plainly, internet-connected entertainment devices. With some tech advice from your menu system provider, you can use your digital menus to provide a detailed history to your establishment, help customers explore the origins and potentials of your offerings, or just while away a few minutes with the best of the net’s music, movies, news, and information.
Working with the Right POS Partner
As with any of the highlights listed above, digital menus give you the opportunity to create something unique and memorable. The tech on hand is familiar enough to your patrons that they can exploit it to add a whole new dimension to restaurant dining. They just need you to show them what is possible.
Let talech guide you through the possibilities of digital menus to make sure you find a solution that creates a unique customer experience. Multimedia displays, touch-sensitive orders, and multi-point tickets only work if they serve your real-world business goals.
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