Restaurant management has become considerably more difficult. Customers aren’t dining out as often as they traditionally did. However, there are methods to improve it, one of which is the usage of user-friendly digital menus that are readily available.
While many restaurant owners are uncertain about creating a digital menu, the truth is that digital menus are unquestionably a must for any business in today’s world. However, you’re in luck today if you fall into the earlier-mentioned category. We’ll describe how to make digital menus for restaurants and why doing so will create synergy with your other marketing efforts.
What You Should Know Before Designing a Digital Restaurant Menu
Digital menus have drastically changed how meals are presented in restaurants. Most restaurant owners have either heard of them or want to explore them, from fast food restaurants to contemporary cafés and bars — 88% of restaurateurs are looking into replacing physical menus with digital variants.
Despite their rising popularity, you shouldn’t publish one without it being modern, stylish, self-explanatory, and having eye-catching themes.
Restaurants mustn’t offer a large variety of meals in a format that makes it difficult for customers to find what they want. Therefore, restaurants should always create elegant digital menus, frequently considering the user’s perspective. Menus that don’t suit this style may turn away many people, significantly reducing the restaurant’s income and revenue.
In addition to giving your restaurant an immediate makeover, switching from traditional print menus to digital ones simplifies managing your menu. You have a better chance of experimenting with offers, new menu designs, promos, or even price changes. All these are possible without the hassle of needing to reprint printed menus every time you implement an adjustment.
This article will explain the fundamental steps to creating a proper digital menu for your restaurant. But first, what are the benefits of using digital menus?
The Benefits of Using Digital Menus in Restaurants
Customers can explore menu items on a digital menu using an interface created specifically for internet use (on mobile and desktop). The restaurant’s owner and the customer gain numerous practical and intangible benefits from using digital menus.
You have probably already experienced these benefits yourself when you scanned a QR code and viewed a digital menu the last time you dined at a restaurant.
Here are a couple of the most significant benefits among them:
- A digital menu improves menu management.
It doesn’t take an expert to recognise that managing a digital menu is far simpler than ever with a printed one. Traditional menus must be designed and printed, which takes money and time. Choosing the digital menu, however, allows you to design and change them without having to pay for the materials and printing.
You can change a digital menu whenever possible, particularly after making a mistake, without paying a dime. This frees up time and lightens the pressure on the workforce. Despite appearing insignificant, it represents a significant revenue-generating investment for your company.
- It enhances customer experience.
A restaurant is indeed more than just the cuisine. The appearance and atmosphere of your restaurant attracts more visitors and promotes customer retention.
Who wants to visit a restaurant trapped in the last decade, both in terms of decor and experience?
Using innovation, you may provide consumers with immediate service, which contributes to the consumer’s experience. People are more inclined to order something when they see an interactive and vivid piece of art rather than a dull printed menu. Recent statistics indicate that digital menu boards boost sales alone by 3–5%, so imagine what your restaurant could achieve.
- Digital menus allow for easy updates.
Digital menus are simple to maintain. They’re so beneficial that you’ll no longer have to go through the inconvenient task of upgrading paper menus regularly. Why add “print signage and meal add-ons for seasonal sales” to your to-do checklist when you can include them in the digital menu design in a matter of minutes and at a lower cost?
You may use digital menus to notify your consumers about future events, special discounts, and newly introduced menu items. You may also use this platform to inform your consumers about happy hours and other unique deals.
- Reduce frustration.
Digital menus eliminate the need for paper materials, saving your staff and guests from the hassle of handling them. Customers in line may choose what to purchase from these digital menus. In this manner, they don’t have to wait a long time to pick what they want and will be prepared to place an order immediately after being seated at their table.
Furthermore, it’ll help simplify the ordering procedure once you present your rates and menu options on a screen. To give customers a great experience, your staff will likely process orders more quickly and service more clients.
How to Create Digital Menus for Restaurants: The Right Platforms/Tools
You don’t need graphic design abilities to create a digital menu. You’ll, however, require functional design software. Here are the best on the market to create a digital menu:
Menuzen allows you to create, store, and modify the best digital menus for restaurants, all for free. You can build your menu options in the “Item Manager,” including extensive descriptions, pricing variants, nutritional labelling, photographs, and more.
Menuzen allows you to add modifier options if your menu items offer configurable choices such as flavours, toppings, or add-ons. Additionally, your menu items aren’t just for show; they also provide the incredible feature of saving recipes and preparation processes for your employees to access anytime.
To use the “Menu Manager” capabilities, just tap the interface to assist you in creating your menu structure. You can switch and edit your menus as much as you like.
Another remarkable feature is the ability to design and keep several menus to highlight your selection of food and drink items monthly or across different seasons.
You can start creating your digital menu today using one of our numerous ready-made templates once you sign up for Menuzen.
That’s not all, though. There’s the Menuzen.site feature that allows you to set up a completely customisable digital store layout for your restaurant, highlighting critical details like opening hours, digital menu, location, and ordering process.
Suppose, for some reason, you wish to attempt making a menu using a platform other than Menuzen. In that case, Canva is a great option if you prefer doing some of the hard work yourself.
Canva is an all-in-one design software where you can create variations of the following:
- Social media posts
- Social media stories
- Event invitations
- YouTube art
- Business cards
- And even restaurant menus
By starting from scratch and adding photographs from your devices, you may use Canva to build a digital menu for your business. You may also share your thoughts with others and work on the project together.
Additionally, it includes several available templates you may utilise rather than beginning from scratch. It takes a few clicks to effectively submit your designs to your digital display management when you download them.
One of the issues with Canva is that you won’t have the menu sync features we described above. Your employees won’t automatically see preparation processes, for example, which may prove Canva to be an unviable option for your business.
Another user-friendly program for digital menu design is Easil, where you can produce material for your restaurant’s menus. Pricing plans are available in three grades. However, the free “Basic” plan has many helpful features.
If you’re a sucker for pastel colours and simple designs, the digital menu template designs are unquestionably a refreshing change of pace! However, you might be let down if you need horizontal menus, as Easil primarily provides vertical menu board layouts.
Easil is very much like Canva; it has great design capabilities but doesn’t have the menu creation, sharing and synchronisation features you will find with Menuzen.
MustHaveMenus is another design tool at your disposal, as the name should suggest. It has the advantage of being completely free to use and was made with your menu design requirements in mind.
You have many alternatives as it packs several layouts, graphics, and photos. However, you should choose the subscription option if you want access to more sophisticated features like various file downloads, customised sizes, and the capacity to include QR codes.
One of the lacking features with MustHaveMenus is the ability to have a website for your restaurant through the platform. Menuzen allows you to control your digital customer experience through one platform, including your menu and website.
Google Slides may become your tool of choice if you want to create your restaurant’s digital menu from the initial concept. You may collaboratively modify your digital menu designs in real-time and discuss your slides with others, making collaboration considerably more versatile.
Additionally, you may import any PowerPoint designs you already have and change them into Google Slides. It’s also possible to start using templates if you choose. But don’t anticipate finding the vast template library available on programs like Menuzen.
Digital Menu Design Best Practices
Now that creating a digital menu is out of the way, the next step is understanding how to make a digital menu for restaurants that promotes your items and connects with your customers simultaneously. Most of the points discussed here apply if you plan on displaying your digital menu on a monitor or website.
The following paragraphs outline some of these best practices:
1. Be intentional with colours.
If you choose to display your digital menu on a board, the choice of colour relies on how your restaurant is decorated. The secret is to choose a colour theme that contrasts with the wall on which you’ll display the menu screen. For instance, a black screen against a white wall may be a highly effective method of drawing attention.
To prevent displays from detracting from the content, attempt to choose no more than three primary colours.
2. Include movement and videos.
Humans are drawn to motion by nature. Video is rated as having the greatest return on investment by 51% of marketing experts globally.
Cinemagraph is a common advertising technique where one movement is parallax against a static screen. For instance, using cinematography to display an animated beverage of choice next to its price is a terrific approach to emphasise the drink instead of its price.
3. Which fonts to use?
You should ensure the font is large enough to be viewed by considering the distance between their screen and viewpoint. Use sans-serif typefaces that are simple to read, such as Arial or Verdana, so readers can easily distinguish between the various characters.
If there’s already a lot of colour in the menu design, use large sizes and avoid brightly coloured typefaces since too much colour might distract from the main point.
Accessibility is more important than ever with your restaurants; you don’t want to lose out on customers because you don’t cater to the needs of your customers.
4. Include a call to action (CTA).
The menu design’s goal is to persuade people to order. If they’re unsure of what they desire, the menu’s role is to assist them in making a choice.
To assist people in making a decision, use phrases like “ask about our offers” or “visit our site for a 2-for-1 deal.” You can improve your menu by keeping the call-to-action visible at all times. This technique assists the audience in remembering this message for their subsequent orders.
5. Use appropriate imagery.
Some digital menu designers mistake substituting generic or stock photos for distinctive graphics that more accurately represent a company’s identity. To make the best digital menu for restaurants, use genuine images or videos of the food and beverages the business sells so that customers can relate. Instead of using a flash to erase natural shadows and make menu items look flat, take pictures of objects in natural light.
How to Make a Digital Menu for a Restaurant FAQs
What are the 6 principles of good menu planning?
Good menu planning should adhere to the following six guidelines: adequacy, balance, calorie (energy) control, nutritional density, moderation, and diversity.
How do you develop a menu?
The creation of the menu should adhere to an organised, systematic, and proactive strategy. This strategy will produce more substantial meals that appeal to your guests more. The fundamental stages are as follows:
- Make a menu evaluation.
- Establish the needs.
- Do your research.
- Discover and sample.
- Create and communicate.
- Get opinions.
- Decide on a price.
Why’s a digital menu important?
Digital menus, unlike conventional restaurant menus, let you reach customers at the right moment with various marketing and promotional materials. Customers can be alerted by business owners about future events, limited-time bargains, and unique menu items.
How do I scan a restaurant menu?
To scan a restaurant menu’s QR code, you should open your camera app and click on the pop-up that presents itself. When you do this, the best digital menus will open a website; others will require you to download an app.
Designing a digital menu has never been easier in today’s automated environment. Menuzen is your best option if you’ve considered adding a digital restaurant menu to your operation.
When you sign up for Menuzen, you can create a digital menu without going through the laborious process of using other programs. Everything you require is on one single webpage. More importantly, hiring a designer isn’t necessary for the task, saving you money in the process.