We at Table Needs take extreme pride in how we design digital menus to function for your patrons. The menu is at the heart of your restaurant concept, and we enhance what a PDF menu can provide. We want to provide the experience of having your own restaurant app without any of the technical legwork.
What we’ve noticed (and loved) from partnering with ma and pa restaurants is the sense of community our restaurants foster. This may be by partnering with local breweries, hosting events with local bands, or even participating in local charities. And locals love to sport their favorite spots’ merchandise, too. What we see is an opportunity for digital menus to serve not only as a place to show food, but also as a place to market events, merchandise, specials, and collaborations!
Let’s look at a few examples of how Table Needs digital menu can serve your restaurant as its own marketing tool.
Promote an Event
In our menu manager, it’s easy to create a banner to promote an event. For example, let’s say you’re a BBQ restaurant that draws in a crowd who loves the atmosphere of the South. If customers see an event promoted on your menu for a blues band playing at your restaurant next week, you can bet there’s a good chance they’ll become returning patrons.
Promoting an event with your menu is sure to get patrons’ attention and increase the chances they’ll come back.
Another example might be your restaurant hosting a night where proceeds go to a local charity or a special date when a new menu is going to be released. A trend on the scene is experiential limited-time menus, meaning menu items pop up on the menu for a limited time (think rebranded specials).
Show What’s Coming to Your Menu
If you have a new recipe you’re looking to test out or you are open to creating a limited-time menu offering, promote it ahead of time! Add a banner to your menu to share the dates it will be available. This is just another way to get patrons to want to come back and give them a reason to become obsessed with your spot as their hangout (aside from your delicious food and outstanding service, of course!).
A lot of restaurants in cities participate in Restaurant Week, where their menu is offered at a discounted price for a specific set of meals or offerings. Your digital menu is a great place to showcase your participation and garner interest. People eating out visit your restaurant for an experience. Delighting them and giving them a reason to want to come back is a no-brainer. When an event such as Restaurant Week calls for more information than a banner, you can create a separate page on your digital menu. Check out our limited-time Valentine’s Day menu below.
Show What’s Leaving Your Menu
Create urgency for what’s on the way out (and keep the shock factor from disturbing your regulars). Netflix posts a blog post every month outlining what it’s removing so its customer base remembers to log in and watch before those shows and movies go away. Same thing with your menu. This is great if you have seasonal food items, limited-time draft beers, or items you just don’t see selling. You may be surprised to hear feedback on what people are bummed out about and save yourself from letting go of items people actually love!
Display Your Merch
If you have merchandise inventory, your digital menu is a great place to display it. You can mark quantities, add available sizes, and hide the merch menu once you’ve run out. While your print menu doesn’t feel like the best place for both food and merch because of competing space or the experience you want to give, the digital menu is a great fit.
Promote your collaborations with breweries, local artists, and more. We’ve seen our favorite breweries promote the restaurant next door for food because they are limited to drinks only. Our Order & Pay capabilities take this a step further with the ability to bring the menus together to streamline ordering and pickup all from your phone.
Table Needs was founded with the vision to empower servers, bartenders, cooks, and chefs to have more clout and a community to rally around. We love the idea of our partners celebrating staff accomplishments and stories through their digital menu. We encourage you to talk with your staff about how else you can bring your menu to life!
Your digital menu is more than a static page. It’s tappable, explorable, and an opportunity to market what is happening in your community and with your food and drinks.