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How to Create a Digital Menu for Restaurants or Hotels (and Why!)

How to Create a Digital Menu for Restaurants or Hotels (and Why!)

During a recent date at a hotel rooftop pool bar, it was the perfect setting: We had an amazing view and a secluded table sunk slightly into the pool.

While there were plenty of waitstaff, we noticed that the majority of their time was spent going back and forth to the service area. They had to bring guests menus, take their orders, bring their food, bring the bills, pick up guests’ credit cards, bring back credit card receipts, etc.

I would have liked advice on the specialty cocktails, but the staff was quite busy distributing and un-distributing menus, so I didn’t bother asking. Imagine how things would change for everyone if the staff had more time with guests and spent less time in order processing. 

Large restaurants and hotels attract high volumes of traffic, so it can easily become a challenge to maintain their brand’s quality of service throughout all service areas. Hiring additional staff is not necessarily a viable solution, especially during the low season. But staff simply can’t be everywhere all the time.

A cost-effective alternative that solves the multitude of problems presented here is going digital with some kind of web-based menu app for restaurants and hotels. An online ordering platform puts guests in control of their own experiences while increasing revenue with more orders.

Why Create a Digital Menu For Restaurants or Hotels?

Before we dive into how you can create a digital menu solution for your own venue, we offer up some of the most common reasons we hear from clients for opting for a digital menu for restaurants and hotels.

1. Table Ordering Is Available Immediately and in Multiple Languages

A digital menu for restaurants provides superior table ordering by immediately offering the menu to guests, wherever they happen to be. By using a smartphone-based menu app for restaurants, tablet menu at the table, or a kiosk menu placed strategically, the guest can start placing an order or summon waitstaff for further assistance.

Did you know most poor reviews result from a misunderstanding in the ordering process? By using a menu app for restaurants, not only can guests enter exactly what they want, they can also choose to view the menu in their own language, thus avoiding any language barriers. The flexibility of a multi-language menu means guests are more able to order the dishes they desire.

2. Digital Menus Are Easier for Both Venues and Customers

Digital menus are much easier to maintain than paper menus that must be printed, laminated, cleaned, and redone every time you want to change something. One can easily edit a digital menu directly via an app, removing the need for a costly reprint or redesign.

The venue manager can cross-sell specials and meal add-ons. Items that meet dietary requirements can be clearly communicated and identified. Overstocked items can be discounted and this can be updated once for the entire restaurant, ensuring every patron benefits from the up-to-date menu. 

Guests are able to read the menu how they want – with a few taps, they can see vegan burgers or salads – as a digital menu works dynamically, grouping items as per a diner’s choice. 

3. Better Data, Better Client Understanding

Managers can more easily analyze sales data when everything is digitized. The online ordering platform enables you to see which items are selling well, which ones might be duds, and when peak periods are occurring.

Analytics can also help you understand your guests better, who has visited before, and what they like to order. Returning customers can be identified and rewarded. 

On the employee side, high-performing team members can be identified and put into consideration for a raise or promotion. 

What to Look for in a Hotel or Restaurant Table Ordering System

The online ordering platform can be part of a network while still maintaining branding. Diners hesitate to download an app that can only be used in one venue, but most owners do not want to become just another listing on a massive menu app for restaurants and hotels.

Orderlina detects a guest’s location and the user is immediately prompted to start ordering from that venue. The guest can only see the menu from that hotel or restaurant, with their branding, so the experience is very similar to that of ordering from an in-house app.

If they visit another restaurant, regardless of if it’s part of the same chain, they are directed to the digital menu of the new venue. The Orderlina online ordering platform works quietly in the background. Think of it like Orderlina is the canvas while the restaurant or hotel creates the work to be displayed.

Adding a digital menu for restaurants or hotels should not be tedious. The platform should allow for both configurations via a website and mobile phone app for editing from the restaurant floor. There should be zero learning curve and staff should be able to intuitively understand how to use and manage the solution.

The app should also be flexible enough to integrate into current ordering practices – such as integrating with the existing POS system and back-of-house displays – so there is minimal disruption to known processes.

Orderlina is currently offering to create a digital menu for restaurants and translate it for free on all plans!* Yes, you read that right! Our team of designers will ensure venue branding while the linguists will professionally translate your menu into the required languages. 

6 Steps to Creating a Digital Menu for Restaurants or Hotels With Orderlina

  1. Sign up for Orderlina’s free plan

    As the venue manager, start with setting up your first menu on the online ordering platform. You may want to check with your general manager or the owner first; just make sure to tell them that you are on the free plan so no credit card is required for up to 200 menu views per month. That’s plenty of time to trial the platform and show that it will increase orders for your business while streamlining your internal processes.

  2. Edit the template provided

    Create your menu and upload some drool-worthy photos. Check out our support page here for videos and to chat with our team.

  3. Place an order

    The QR code for your menu is automatically generated for you. Scan it and place an order on your phone to ensure everything is working smoothly.

  4. Inform your staff

    It’s important to explain that the Orderlina digital menu for restaurants gives your staff more quality time with guests and less time will be required for processing orders. It will make their job much more enjoyable.

  5. Inform your customers

    Like your famous burger, it’s no good if no one knows about it. Post your menu on social media. Read our guide here on connecting your online menu with social media.

Ready to get started? For restaurants, sign up with Orderlina. If you are a hotel, get started on their hotel guest ordering solution with Hotefy.