Consider a tale of two restaurants. Both restaurants have a highly trained and motivated staff serving exquisitely prepared food in a beautiful setting.  While guests at restaurant A are waiving down staff to place their order, waiting for drink refills and waiting for their check, guests at restaurant B control the pace of their dining experience. This includes when they place their order, reordering drinks, paging their server for refills, and paying at the table when ready to leave.


Both experiences give customers what they want, more of less; restaurant A relies on servers to be prompt and attentive to ensure timely pace and deliver the experience, while restaurant B gives customers control.


Operators are welcoming the long awaited intersection of technology and tech savvy consumers. Giving guests the control they have long wanted makes the server’s life easier and restaurant operations more efficient. But, there are considerations tied to delivering on the experience. Here are 9 things to keep in mind if you’re thinking about digital menus:


  1. Look for a solution that fits your service model versus adjusting your service model to fit a solution


  1. Consider hardware and software solutions that meet your needs for footprint, look/feel, EMV card reader, mobility, service paging, etc


  1. Integrate directly to your POS


  1. Understand wireless network requirements


  1. Map your guests’ digital menu journey - take advantage of digital menu upsell and impulse opportunities


  1. Plan staff training and support before, during, and after implementation


  1. Take advantage of supplemental digital capabilities (loyalty, promotions, reservations, auto-dayparting, etc)


  1. Track KPI’s: table turns, check average, tips, etc


  1. Include a customer survey and use the feedback to monitor and improve


Digital menus have evolved from just playing games and taking payment at the table. Today’s digital menu solutions are delivering a comprehensive ‘fuller’ service model that benefits guests and operators resulting in greater guest engagement and convenience. The days of waiting for a server, off rolling silverware, are in the past.