What makes a great paperless menu?  To answer that, you must first understand the restaurant business.  You must understand the guest experience.  You must understand sales and marketing.  And you must know what things makes a BAD menu in any medium.

Since Menuvative® by Imenutech® created tablet menus, a number of digital solutions have seemingly come from nowhere, promising amazing results with no track record or experience.  Consider these points before you invest in any other menu platform.

1. How much restaurant experience and understanding does the company have?  Do they understand your challenges? Do they have clients that have used the product for several years, who will to speak with you candidly about their experience?

2. What is a menu supposed to do and does their product do those specific things really well?  Can you completely replace all of your paper menus with their product, or will you need to keep some paper menus around too?  If you need to keep both, won’t you find yourself with twice as much work managing your menu.

3. Is the guest experience both familiar and functional?  If your tablet menu involves navigation that resembles a website or has buttons that resemble a POS interface – it’s not going to go over well with a large share of guests.

4. Can the solution present everything? Different menus for breakfast, lunch, dinner,  the wine list, beer list, features, promotions and other marketing content, etc.  Can you manage different menus for different areas of the business and schedule different menus for different times and/or places?  Or is the template driven, easy to use dashboard, too simple to accommodate the needs of your business?

5. How long does it take to design your menus, train your staff, and get the product launched? Is is days, weeks, or months?  If it takes more than a week to get you launched, why does it take so long?

6. Is your digital menu a 15 pound device that’s mounted to or planted on the table for everyone sitting to share?  What would sharing a menu do to your turn times?

7. Does the provider offer support to replace and setup new or replacement tablets when necessary?  Do you have options when it comes to hardware or do you have to buy whatever they are selling?

8.  What happens to your menus when you lose internet and/or power? HINT “That’s very rare” is not an acceptable answer to this question.

9.  Can the tablets be integrated with other applications and services, like your website, loyalty solutions, guest surveys, entertainment apps, etc.?

10.  Can the platform support multiple users with different permissions and multiple properties or regions in a multi-unit organization?  Can it scale as you grow?