Will Digital Menus Replace Transitional Menu Cards?

Woman holding a menu and a glass of wine.
Idil Aras
Idil Aras
November 3, 2022

Menus have been a staple of restaurants for many years. They’re a great way to communicate what the restaurant offers. They’re also an easy and visual way to attract your customers. Knowing what the dishes on a menu look like helps guests make a decision about what to order.

However, menus have certain shortcomings that make them less useful than they could be. For example, they don't always contain the same information. Digital menus are changing this by providing restaurant patrons with more comprehensive menus.

The transition from paper-based menu cards to electronic ones has been ongoing for at least the past decade. Nowadays, many restaurants have transitioned to digital menus due to their ease of use and countless conveniences.

From fast food chains to small coffee shops, a greater number of businesses in the industry have heard about and started implementing digital options for their customers. In fact, some companies have gone further than just offering digital menus; they have replaced traditional paper menus altogether.

Let’s get behind the curtains and explore the reasons for the hype. Here are the advantages of digital menus:

1. Digital Menus are easy to use

A man in formal attire sitting at a table, focused on his phone, with a visible menu on the table.

Digital menus are easier to use than traditional menu cards. You don't have to flip through pages to find what you want; you may simply type in the name of the dish or even mark the ingredients you are allergic to.

Traditional menu cards require you to search through each page to find the item you're looking for. In addition, digital menus are definitely more hygienic than their paper counterparts.

2. They are more flexible

A digital menu can be customized to fit any business's unique needs. If you decide to change the wording, background, or pricing of your menu items, you can make those changes without having to reprint hundreds of menu cards. And if you decide to add a new food option, you can do so easily.

A digital menu also makes it much easier to change the menu as often as you like with no extra cost. This is useful if new dishes become available or if seasonal specials change. It's useful if you need to remove a dish from the menu because of low sales or other reasons.

Restaurants with digital menus have better information about their customers than those without digital menus. They can, therefore, better tailor promotions and have higher success in meeting their customers' needs.

3. Less space-consuming

Paper menus take up a lot of room. A single restaurant may have dozens of paper menus spread all over. Digital menus take up less space. Guests can access your digital menu from their tablet or smartphone.

4. No printing costs

You won't incur additional printing costs again when using digital menus. All you'll need is a clean, crisp interface.

5. Faster turnaround time

With digital menus, you can receive customer orders immediately and without human error. Paper menus often require a waiter to explain the menu items; the waiter then gets to the counter to retype your order for the kitchen, which is a much slower supply chain.

6. Better customer service

A person holding a star-shaped piece of wood for a menu decoration

Customers appreciate being able to view and order their favorite meals right away. When they place their orders online, customers can track their orders and know exactly when they'll arrive, including when they’re eating on-site.

7. User friendly

Digital menus are more user-friendly and dynamic than traditional menus. They're interactive, so you can easily choose your meal. You can also add or remove items to/from your order if needed. Digital menus are also valuable in that they make it easier to find specific information such as nutritional information or allergens.

As a result, digital menu technology is a revolutionary development for the restaurant industry that has the potential to change how we order food at restaurants. It offers many benefits over traditional paper menus, including greater portability and accessibility for customers with limited mobility or vision, greater customization options, and more comprehensive information about dishes and beverages on offer at restaurants compared to traditional menus.

Go Fully Digital with FineDine

Parallel to the speedy pace of digitalization in all aspects of our lives. It is highly likely that a few years from now, paper money will no longer exist. The world will be moving towards digital currencies due to convenience, and it is strongly predicted that this will be the case for paper menus as well.

There will be absolutely no reason for any restaurant to use a printed menu when there are too many conveniences to switch to a digital one.

A few visionary tech companies and start-ups have already been providing digital systems and solutions for the service industry, including food & beverage-oriented businesses.

One such luminous tech initiative providing digital solutions for the restaurant industry is FineDine. Products offered by the company have received excellent feedback from restaurant management and restaurant consumers.

Digital solutions offered by FineDine include customizable digital menus, real-time inventory reporting, customer feedback optimization, collection and analysis of sales data, digital payment options for your guests, and more.

Think of it as a platform for adopting next-generation menus, which will soon be regarded as mainstream. FineDine can take your resources to the most optimized level while providing your business with an end-to-end restaurant management system.