Tuesday 16 August 2022

Many restaurants are replacing the dine-in menu
with digital iMenus

Printed restaurant menus - A thing of the past?

DUBAI, August 30, 2018

Let’s face it, when was the last time you picked up a delivery menu and called the number on the menu to order food? With the advent of delivery mobile apps such as Deliveroo, UberEats, Zomato, Talabat, RoundMenu, etc, 95 per cent of consumers below the age of 35 are dependent on such mobile apps.

And why shouldn’t they be...The mobile app makes it very easy to save your address or show your current physical location to deliver food. Tracking the order on the mobile manages expectation on the delivery time, and more importantly read reviews before you order. Also the restaurant can do away with call centre staff to answer calls and upsell.

Statistics show that there is a steady decline of orders coming directly to the restaurant via the telephone, with most brands it’s less than 15 per cent of the total delivery business. Also the cost of printing and distributing the printed delivery menu outweighs the revenue it generates.

What about dine-in menus? Shouldn't we have printed menus at least for dine-in guests?

A newly opened Japanese restaurant Yugo Sushi has taken it a step further and gone 100 per cent digital. The dine-in menu has been replaced with digital iMenus. Why? Research shows, a food video sells better than an image. Also having both dine-in and delivery menu in digital format gives the restaurant freedom to change prices, add menu items and remove non-performing items on the fly.

So why haven't we seen more of these digital menus? The upfront cost of creating videos of every food item and re-shooting every time the presentation is changed or new items are added deters restaurant operators to go digital.

One technology company in Dubai - TECHMTE has identified this as an opportunity and offers digital menus as a managed service for as little as Dh300 ($81.60) per month.

Abhishek Bose, business head of TECHMTE said that the initial uptake was slow and the company ran it as a pilot project with a handful of restaurants and the response has been brilliant. Since then they have managed to sign up brands such as Mighty Quinn's, The Parlour and Sushi Art. After the initial success in UAE, Sushi Art has decided to roll it out in all their locations in Saudi Arabia.

"Although the restaurant needs to invest one-time on tablets, but studies have shown that the increase in average check and repeat footfall recovers the cost of the tablets within the first two months of operation. And let’s not forget, iMenu sells and cross sells by itself leaving very little to do for the service staff," said Bose.

TECHMTE currently has over 300 restaurant clients in the region out of which more than 25 are already using iMenu and has over 20 restaurants scheduled to go live in the next 30 days. – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Mobile app | Food delivery |

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