Upgrading to an eMenu!
Over the past year, restaurants everywhere have adapted to the demands of the pandemic, from implementing social distance-friendly seating, to to-go options, to having staff members wear masks and often gloves to keep themselves and others safe. That being said, some restaurants have found it difficult to make the transition from physical menus to digital menus, especially when their brand identity is wrapped up in their laminated, perfectly manicured menus (how else would you convince your customers how great your creme brulee is)?
But luckily, this largely digital age is quite forgiving to those who are willing to learn a few new tricks. If you can define your brand mission (and what you want your menu to convey), communicate that on a digital menu, and set up a QR code for guests to scan on their phones, you’ll be golden. Here’s how to seamlessly convert your physical menu to an electronic one.
Identifying Brand Identity
Are you a mom-and-pop pizza parlor trying to bring back authentic imported ingredients? Or are you a sushi bar combining fresh fare with an edgy, urban twist? However you identify your brand, you’ll need to tell your story in your menu, likely through a mix of color, typography, and graphic design. Think: a digital menu doesn’t have much room for wordy phrases (plus, human beings have short attention spans). Would a parchment-colored background, Garamond font, and a few high-quality close-ups of your best sellers be the best way to tell your brand’s story? Or would you avoid the photos altogether, use a modern sans-serif font, and soften up the look with some (professionally) hand-drawn elements? The possibilities are endless. But identifying your core values and how to communicate that with your audience is key.
Executing Your Design
Now that you know what elements you need to create a brand-authentic digital menu, it’s time to get cracking! And you don’t need to spend an exorbitant amount on a professional designer- you can find hundreds of templates on Canva.com. A canva account is free and there are countless combinations you can try to tell your brand’s story. Our advice? Have someone give a second (or third) opinion on your design work, and if you think something may be missing, try a different font, background, or a few different images. You can even play around with the scale, opacity, and color of your design elements. Find what works and stick with it!
Adding A QR Code
While it couldn’t be easier for guests to find your menu from a QR code, linking one to your online menu may seem a bit daunting. But with a little patience, you’ll be the next Zuckerberg of online menus (or at least a Zuckerberg). A few websites specialize in QR code generation, but we recommend QR code tiger. After you’re on the website, click “File”, then “generate”, and proceed to customize your QR code. Once you’ve got your QR code down to a t, test it, download it at full resolution, and link your QR code menu. Once you’ve downloaded the code, place it anywhere your guests may see it- at the front, on your website, and especially on each table. And if you ever get lost in the process, remember: Youtube is your friend.
Switching your physical menu to a digital one is not only safer for your guests, but can also spread brand awareness about your restaurant with ease and finesse. By doing a little digging about what your brand’s personality is, figuring out what kind of layout can communicate that to your customers, and creating a new QR code, your menus can keep those guests coming in. You have the power to adapt to these weird times, so make an online menu that broadcasts your resilience!