The Benefits of Digital Menus and iPad Wine Lists for Restaurants
Digital menus are much more than a novelty or passing trend. With the proper program, a digital menu system can be your beverage program’s central management hub. It gives you more control over your program, increases sales, provides financial insights, and improves the overall health of your beverage program. All while saving you hours on daily tasks each week. Let’s dive into the immediate and long term benefits of iPad menus.
Immediate Benefits of Digital Menus
Adopting digital menus in your restaurant can seem like a giant leap into the future. But it’s a simple transition. Especially if you’re using a high quality digital menu program. One factor that eases the transition from paper menus to tablets or iPad menus, is that restaurants see immediate benefits.
Real-Time Menu Management
One of the first things restaurant operators notice when they begin using Uncorkd digital menus is how easy it is to edit menus and make updates. One of the biggest service disruptors is inaccurate menus that disappoint guests who order a wine or beer, only to be told: “Sorry, we’re out of that.”
Making menu updates with a digital menu is so easy and the updates are reflected on all menus immediately. Simple updates like removing an out-of-stock item can be done in seconds. This keeps service running smooth, customers happy, and management less stressed.
Just think how nice it would be to never have to reformat menus, print them, and then replace all the outdated pages when you add an item or 86 a wine during service.
Increased Beverage Sales
A top shelf benefit of digital beverage menus is increased beverage sales. This effect can be seen immediately, though it’s full impact is realized after a few months of growing sales.
A well designed digital menu will help guests find new drinks to order. The tasting notes provided for wines, beers, and spirits, or the photos accompanying house-made cocktails will entice guests to step out of their ordering routine and try something new.
This often means guests order a more expensive drink. Customers experience a higher level of service because tasting notes give them the confidence to order higher priced wines that they might not take a chance on with less information. This results in more money spent per drink order and increased check averages, which means your staff earns more money per guest. One Uncorkd customer saw a $9,000 increase in monthly wine sales. Increased sales continue to build month after month, resulting in a more profitable beverage program.
A More Valuable Guest Experience
One idea that constantly surrounds dining out is that your customers are looking for more than a meal; they’re looking for a new and exciting experience. Digital menus provide a unique experience for guests. Especially with a smooth and simple to use menu. From the tasting notes we touched on above, to the opportunity for restaurants to promote events to diners, the guest experience rises to a new level with digital menus.
Long Term Benefits
Using the right digital menu service can change how you manage your program in the long term. As you familiarize yourself with the new tools available, you can take advantage of the time you save on administrative tasks by spending it in ways that are more impactful to your bottom line.
Menu Analytics and Customer Insights
The top iPad menu providers, like Uncorkd, will track customer behavior on your menus and provide insights on how different menu items are performing. This helps restaurant operators build menus that sell better.
One valuable feature of digital menus is menu analytics. With Uncorkd, every time a customer clicks on and views an item, that view is recorded. This provides great insight into which items customers are interested in.
For example, you can see the percentage of clicks for all merlots on your menu versus red blends. If red blends show increasing interest from customers, then you might add a premium priced red blend by the bottle to cash in on that growing interest.
The longer you use the menus, the more useful and insightful the menu data becomes, and the better you’ll be at spotting trends to capitalize on.
Connecting Your Front and Back-of-House
Some digital menu providers also offer liquor inventory and ordering services. These services work in tandem to create a seamless workflow between customer-facing menus and the ongoing work behind-the-scenes.
Adding something like bottle counts to the menu helps you keep track of inventory and also increases urgency in guests who may want to purchase that last bottle you have in house.
Streamlining your inventory into product ordering helps you maintain better liquor costs by eliminating unnecessary purchases and keeping you on budget.
The effect that digital menus have on your bottom line isn’t restricted to increased sales. They can also lower the cost of managing your program. We touched on instant menu updates that reduce the need for menu reprinting. It’s not just time that is saved, but also the money spent on paper, ink cartridges, table tent printouts and more. That cost adds up over time. And it’s also a big reason that so many Wine Spectator Award winning restaurants, with robust and ever changing wine selections, use Uncorkd. One winner, Copper Door, saved $16,000 in printing costs in its first year using Uncorkd.
In addition to material costs, digital menus make it easier to manage your program on a daily basis. This reduces the cost of labor significantly.
Digital Menu Service Providers
If you’re shopping around for digital menu providers, then you may be familiar with some of the following companies. We’ll give you a quick overview of the services they provide.
Its provided digital menus since 2014, and is focused on guest loyalty programs. corkguru menus only host wines, so if you’re looking to add beers, spirits, or cocktails to your menu, then corkguru won’t meet all of your needs. When adding wines, you’ll have to manually enter all of the wine information because the service doesn’t include a drink database. This can increase the workload involved in managing your menus.
The guest loyalty program is a good way to practice guest outreach and establish repeat business. But it’s true impact has yet to be realized because full-service restaurants haven’t seen customers adopt restaurant specific apps in the way that coffee chains or quick-service restaurants have.
VINU differentiates itself from competitors through it’s Wine Guru feature. This is a neat tool that personalizes wine recommendation for guests. However, the recommendations rely on diners to fill out a survey at the table, which some guests may find to be an unwanted disruption to the dining experience. Like corkguru, VINU is wine only, and doesn’t offer a drink database, so it relies on you to do more work than with other services.
Run through Jordan Wineries, it offers a digital menu service that handles full beverage programs. They provide a lot of good services, but one drawback that is they limit the control you have over your own menus. While they do provide an online platform to manage the menus, Tastevin requires that customers submit item additions to customer support in order to make updates to the menu. This can handicap restaurant operators who need to make changes on the fly in order to keep service running smoothly.
Additionally, while they do allow some custom design work that other services don’t, the depth of this customization is limited, which can create a disconnect in keeping your branding consistent across all platforms.
What Makes Uncorkd The Leading Digital Beverage Menu
Uncorkd has been providing digital menus to restaurants for over six years. That experience has led to developing the top iPad wine and beverage menu. Working with venues in every sector of the hospitality industry from wine bars to country clubs and multi-location corporate restaurants, Uncorkd understands what restaurant operators need in a digital menu.
Take a look at why Uncorkd edges out other services:
Can Handle Every Drink in Your Beverage Program
Unlike many other digital menu providers, Uncorkd can host wine, beer, spirits, cocktails, and even food. We know that alcohol drives the bulk of restaurant profits, so we don’t neglect any opportunity to increase your profits.
Robust Beverage Database
Digital menus are supposed to reduce your workload, not increase it. Uncorkd’s beverage database of over 175,000 wines, beers, and spirits comes loaded with tasting notes, photos, and producer information. This let’s you update your menu in seconds without the hassle of manual drink entry.
Easy to Use
Our design philosophy is to keep things simple. The menus mimic traditional menu organization so the transition from paper to digital is seamless for guests.
Inventory Management System
More than just a menu, Uncorkd is a beverage management tool that includes services for mobile inventory and POS integration. This saves you time and helps you drive down liquor costs by providing a better way to manage inventory. With easily generated inventory reports, you know where you’re making money and losing it, and have more information to make decisions that strengthen your beverage program.
Uncorkd works with you to build a menu that captures the atmosphere and aesthetic of your restaurant. Add custom photos, fonts, color palettes, and more to maintain your brand.
Your dedicated account manager is available to handle any issues that pop up. No need to submit support tickets, you have a direct line to a solution.
Uncorkd trains you on all aspects of menu management, so you never have to wait on us to update your menu. We’ll provide help if you want it, but you have the power to edit and control your menus.
Marketing and Promotions
Sync your menu to your website and always have an up-to-date list online. You can also embed an events calendar from your website into the menu, or have guests RSVP for wine dinners before they leave your restaurant.
If you’re interesting learn more about Uncorkd, or scheduling a time to see a demo, then contact us here.
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