The Costs & Benefits of Digital vs Printed Menus

Paper Menus

  • The cost of printed paper menus depends on how often you need to change your menu and the materials used. Operators are often stunned when we ask them to add up their cost of paper, ink/toner, shipping fees, menu covers, etc. to get a full picture of what they are spending. It is not uncommon to find operators who are printing menus daily or weekly at costs of $15,000 or more annually.
  • Since the cost of printing is based on the materials used, short minded operators choose to delay inevitable changes to minimize current costs, usually doing so at the expense of menu accuracy, increased F&B costs, and guest satisfaction – ultimately jeopardizing the success of their business.
  • What you see is what you get. As a 2 dimensional medium, a printed menu is handicapped by the amount of information that can be provided by text on a page. More information = more pages = higher costs and decreased readability. It is a paradox requiring you to make several things worse in order to make one thing better.
  • The collective menu offering often involves many pieces (i.e. separate menus for breakfast, lunch, dinner, specials, desserts, beer, wine, cocktails, etc.). This doesn’t include table tents or in-house marketing for your promotions or limited time offers and upcoming events.

Digital Menus

  • The cost of digital Menus are, for the most part, a fixed cost. The monthly Menuvative software subscription is $100-$400 and the cost of the tablets/devices are approximately $125 each. Yes, there is an up front expense for that hardware and there will inevitably be some maintenance and replacement costs down the road. But over the 3-5 year average lifespan of a tablet, a business that needs to change menu content regularly can do so more quickly, easily, and at a greatly reduced cost – even in the first year.
  • Because the costs of digital menus are fixed, you’re free to edit the menu in real time as often as needed. You can remove out-of-stock items, adjust prices due to fluctuating costs, and keep things interesting with new items and features every day without incurring additional expenses. Unlike printed menus, you SAVE money, IMPROVE your F&B costs, ADD efficiency, and ELEVATE your guest experience!
  • The digital menu experience allows you to layer information and and utilize imagery, so all of your menus are consolidated, instantly accurate, the information is more descriptive and informative, and they become more visually engaging and suggestive which translates into increased guest spending. Simply put, everything gets better AND you make more money!