It is often hard to find the silver lining in adverse times such as these. Constantly trudging through these uncharted waters with every day presenting its own unique challenge. When there seems to be no end in sight, that silver lining may be the last thing you spend your time looking for. I am here to assure you, it is there. The truth is, this pandemic, with all of its negativity, can help to propel our industry into new trends that help to simplify restaurant and bar management. I want to discuss a couple of issues that I foresee the restaurant industry being able to remove by moving menus to an online format.
1. Printed menus cost you money beyond the initial purchasing and printing.
Let me explain: My most recent position in the industry was as the Director of Food & Beverage for a 4-Diamond Hotel with two F&B operations, a restaurant focused on utilizing as many local purveyors as possible, and a beautiful rooftop lounge that opened in August of 2019. Both of those operations would have been much easier to operate if it was easier to make a business or supply-minded decision to change the offerings on our menu in a way that was quick and inexpensive. After 5 years of operation, the restaurant needed to purchase new menu covers. Scouring for the right look at a low price, we came across 50 2-page menu covers, 25 cocktail menus, and 25 wine lists for a price of nearly $4,250.00 with shipping. Because the menu covers were two paged, we now had to allocate hours of our managers and design team's time to reformat our menus to fit into this menu design. We weren't rebranding, just moving to a menu vessel design that better suited our operation. The cost of our manager's time and that of our design team could have been better utilized if we had the opportunity to utilize an online menu.
2. Restaurants and Bars cannot make changes quickly to reflect the needs of their guests or react to product supply changes with printed menus.
If I needed to remove an item on my restaurant's menu due to a local purveyor running out of their supply, going out of business, etc. I would have to go through and reprint every menu in the house to reflect that change. If at the young rooftop lounge, one of my initial menu items wasn't selling well, it would take a lot of reallocated time to change the menu, print, change out the menus, etc. just to make a quick change on the price of a drink or a small ingredient. This cost of reprinting and the labor spent changing out the menus is a waste, especially if you find yourself changing out these menus again in the next week or so.
So, how do we fix these issues? Well, you shouldn't be surprised that I am going to say: Touchless Menus and moving your menu online allowing your guests to view your menu directly on their phone. By moving your menu to a predominately online-based system for your guests, you can:
- Make immediate changes to your menu without the expense of printing costs or reallocating labor.
- Add features to your menu and immediately remove them once you have sold out.
- Give a price to your "Market Price" items.
- Allow guests to share their favorite dish or cocktail right from your menu to their social media.
- Ask for guests to sign up to your mailing lists for special events, offers, etc. right from your menu.
- Save thousands of dollars on printing costs over the course of your restaurant's life.
- Stop wasting paper on disposable menus during this pandemic.
- Whatever you can think up, it can be done.
At TouchlessMenu.com, our goal is to make simplify bar & restaurant management and reduce costs in order for YOU to spend more time enhancing your guest's experience and providing hospitality. To get started in moving your menu online and providing your guests with quick access to your online menu, we have made the process simple and low-cost to you. Our Touchless Menus cost $10 per Touchless Menu. No minimum to buy, free shipping. All we need is the link to your online menu (if you already have one) and your logo to put on your Touchless Menu. If you don't have a website and your menu isn't online, we offer a service to host your menu for $10 a month. A 20 table restaurant can get our Touchless Menus for $200. I've worked in the industry for a long time, I know what margins are like. We at Touchless Menu want to help you move into the next phase of this industry and not break the bank to get there.
Cheers, Dylan J. Rauhoff