When was the last time you picked up a delivery menu and called the number on it to order food?

With the advent of delivery mobile apps such as Deliveroo, UberEats, Zomato, Talabat, RoundMenu, and more, 95 percent of consumers below the age of 35 are dependent on such mobile apps.

And why shouldn’t they be? A mobile app makes it very easy to save your address or show your current physical location to deliver food to. Tracking the order on a mobile manages expectation of the delivery time, and helps for reading reviews before you order.

Also the restaurant can do away with call centre staff to answer calls and upsell. Statistics show that there is a steady decline of orders coming directly to restaurants via telephone; with most brands it’s less than 15 percent of the total delivery business. Also, the cost of printing and distributing the physical delivery menu outweighs the revenue it generates.

What about dine-in menus? Shouldn’t we have printed menus at least for sit-in guests?

A newly opened Japanese restaurant, Yugo Sushi, have taken it a step further and gone 100 percent digital. The dine-in menu has been replaced with digital iMenus.

Why? Research shows, a food video sells better than an image. Also, having both dine-in and delivery menus in digital format gives the restaurant freedom to change prices, add menu items, and remove non-performing items on the fly.

So why haven’t we seen more of these digital menus? The upfront cost of creating videos of every food item and re-shooting everytime the presentation is changed, or new items are added, deters restaurant operators to go digital.

One technology company in Dubai, TECHMTE, has identified this as an opportunity and offers digital menus as a managed service for as little as AED 300 per month. Abhishek Bose, Business Head of TECHMTE, said that the initial uptake was slow but the company has run it as a pilot project with a handful of restaurants and the response has been “brilliant”.

Since then they have managed to sign up brands such as Mighty Quinn’s, The Parlour, and Sushi Art. After the initial success in UAE, Sushi Art has decided to roll it out in all their locations in KSA.

Abhishek Bose said:

“Although the restaurant needs to invest one-time on tablets, studies have shown that the increase in average check and repeat footfall recovers the cost of the tablets within the first two months of operation. And lets not forget, iMenu sells and cross sells by itself leaving very little to do for the service staff.”