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Marketing: digital menu for restaurants/bars/other locations with physical menus

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LFDY

Contributor
Jun 16, 2020
25
21
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Germany
Hey fastlaners!

Just finished developing an MVP of a digital menu for especially restaurants, which is accessible via QR for the restaurant customers. The big problem we are facing right now is to market it well. Maybe some of you can give advice/input/ideas on how to market it the best.

Channels
What we did for now is to create an Instagram account and following all the restaurants in our area, as well as liking 5 of their latest posts. We thought of this as restaurants who are already on a platform like Instagram, are (assumption!) more open for digitalization. We got a few follows back, but nothing worth mentioning. Maybe Facebook is targeting our audience better as restaurant owners are often between 40-60 years old (Generation X) and many restaurants have a Facebook site. But just messaging them on Facebook seems a bit rude and unprofessional and I don't know if I can specifically target restaurant owners.


Value proposition

1. The restaurant owner has full control on what to display when. Restaurants owners can easily change the menu & prices shown.

2. The menu is alterable (similar to 1. but different context). When a meal is not anymore for sale the owner can easily delete it and has no problems with printing the menu again.

3. Convenience for the customer of the restaurant. As the menu can directly be accessed through their mobile phone and doesn't have to be brought by the staff.


The revenue model

We digitalize the menu of the restaurants for free to get them hooked. As we place ads in the digital menu, restaurant owners can delete the ads for a monthly fee. Another idea was to enable 3 changes per month on the digital menu for free and more for a monthly fee. Also, we got a lot of other ideas for upselling/cross-selling, but for now this is the basis.

For now, we got 0 restaurants as the MVP just finished.
Feel free to give feedback/input to the revenue model and also the idea itself, but most importantly the marketing strategy.

Happy to receive feedback from you!
 

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James90

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FASTLANE INSIDER
Jul 2, 2019
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Hawaii
Has restaurant’s in your area not forced to have digital menus yet?

Due to covid, 99% of restaurants where I’m from already have QR coded menus. QR codes are placed on tables, and we simply scan them via mobile for the menus.

Join restaurant industry/owners/employee groups on facebook, and add value there. You’ll gain insightful feedback there and perhaps able to target locations where covid restaurant restrictions haven’t been applied yet.
 

LFDY

Contributor
Jun 16, 2020
25
21
14
Germany
Has restaurant’s in your area not forced to have digital menus yet?

Due to covid, 99% of restaurants where I’m from already have QR coded menus. QR codes are placed on tables, and we simply scan them via mobile for the menus.

Join restaurant industry/owners/employee groups on facebook, and add value there. You’ll gain insightful feedback there and perhaps able to target locations where covid restaurant restrictions haven’t been applied yet.
Thanks for your comment.

No, it is definitly not a requirement for restaurants.
Where do you come from?

I will look into that further, thanks!
 

Stargazer

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Hi

Have you actually been into any restaurants and chatted with the owner about this?

It seems your proposition is primarily dealing with in house ordering rather than external? Is that correct?

If that is right , then these are just my initial thoughts based on nothing in particular. :smile2:

A restaurant that takes orders for deliveries will already have their easily changed menu on an App such as Just Eat.

So if I was in the restaurant and they did not want a physical menu, they could point me there and then ask what I want without me clicking the actual order button. If that makes sense?

If they were not on any App (like lots of pubs in UK) they more - often than not - will still have a website and that has the menu on it so again could do the same thing. Direct me to it when i am seated.

I am guessing but any restaurant on Social Media such as Instagram probably has both of those things already covered so wouldn't need your service as they already have digitised menus.

So your potential market will be quite small as a percentage of the overall market. Maybe small family run places that are not necessarily online or have outdated websites as they never really needed the internet to gain customers. And there are lots of them about.

If I am broadly right in my assessment then going into those places to sell them a digital menu with Ads on it unless you pay me to remove them is a hard sell.

Surely the best thing is to help them get online with just a simple 3 page website with home page, contact/find us page and menu page.

No?

Dan
 

LFDY

Contributor
Jun 16, 2020
25
21
14
Germany
Hi

Have you actually been into any restaurants and chatted with the owner about this?

It seems your proposition is primarily dealing with in house ordering rather than external? Is that correct?

If that is right , then these are just my initial thoughts based on nothing in particular. :smile2:

A restaurant that takes orders for deliveries will already have their easily changed menu on an App such as Just Eat.

So if I was in the restaurant and they did not want a physical menu, they could point me there and then ask what I want without me clicking the actual order button. If that makes sense?

If they were not on any App (like lots of pubs in UK) they more - often than not - will still have a website and that has the menu on it so again could do the same thing. Direct me to it when i am seated.

I am guessing but any restaurant on Social Media such as Instagram probably has both of those things already covered so wouldn't need your service as they already have digitised menus.

So your potential market will be quite small as a percentage of the overall market. Maybe small family run places that are not necessarily online or have outdated websites as they never really needed the internet to gain customers. And there are lots of them about.

If I am broadly right in my assessment then going into those places to sell them a digital menu with Ads on it unless you pay me to remove them is a hard sell.

Surely the best thing is to help them get online with just a simple 3 page website with home page, contact/find us page and menu page.

No?

Dan
Hey Dan, thanks for your comment.

"Have you actually been into any restaurants and chatted with the owner about this?"
--- No, as there are already solutions out there doing exactly this, and it works. E.g. a non-profit organization offered restaurant owners to take their PDF menu online for free, over 2000(!) restaurants signed up. There is definitely demand, which is in our opinion not served well.

"It seems your proposition is primarily dealing with in house ordering rather than external? Is that correct?"
--- Correct.


"If they were not on any App (like lots of pubs in the UK) they more - often than not - will still have a website and that has the menu on it so again could do the same thing. Direct me to it when i am seated."
--- Some restaurants have their menu on the website, that is true, but a lot of them direct to a PDF, which is hell on mobile phone for end users and not easily changeable for the restaurant/pub owner.



"A restaurant that takes orders for deliveries will already have their easily changed menu on an App such as Just Eat."
--- Yes, but it isn't convenient for the customer to access Just Eat when you are sitting IN the restaurant. I didn't see any restaurant directing to Just Eat in their location for the menu.
Also, we offer personalized designs and Logos on the menu, which Just Eat can't provide.



"I am guessing but any restaurant on Social Media such as Instagram probably has both of those things already covered so wouldn't need your service as they already have digitized menus."
--- Yes many restaurants who are active on Social Media also delivery on e.g. Just Eat, but as I explained above it is not convenient for the restaurant customer. In addition, many small towns don't even have services such as Just Eat. So even if your assumption would be right, the market would be still big enough.

"If I am broadly right in my assessment then going into those places to sell them a digital menu with Ads on it unless you pay me to remove them is a hard sell."
--- The menu is for free with a little Ad placed. They have no risk trying it out, don't see why this would be a "hard sell" if they could easily use it for free and don't pay a dime.
 

Stargazer

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Well okay then.

Seems my line of thought is out of kilter with your market.

As some chap from your neck of the woods once said 'Unter allem Diebesgesindel sind die Narren die schlimmsten. Sie rauben euch beides, Zeit und Stimmung.' :blush:

Dan
 

Ronak

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1) You have to start talking to restaurant owners, as many as possible, to get real feedback.

2) You can start to build a rough revenue model (after you do the above).

a) What are restaurants paying to update menus/pricing today?

b) Sanitation--could be another angle-- how much time/effort is spent in disinfecting menus after each use? Put a monetary figure to this.

Can you offer your solution for less than a + b?

How big is your market?

How can you scale this? Would it require 1 to 1 sales?

What are the other solutions in the marketplace?

Can you integrate an order function? This might be a better way to go, that way you can charge per transaction and still be able to give away the product, especially if you can link it with reduced staffing costs, increased table turn. I've only been to 1 place had this ability (through tablets), but remember that service was significantly faster than traditional order-taking.

The toughest thing about this might be that right now, take out is the focus of most restaurants, not dine-in. If what you're offering isn't the #1 or #2 issue that is on the mind of your target, your job becomes way harder. Is there a way to go with the flow on this?

There is a service here that replaces uber eats type apps for dine-in- it links directly to the restaurant's website, and they save 20-30% commissions for take out orders--huge value add!
 

LFDY

Contributor
Jun 16, 2020
25
21
14
Germany
How big is your market?
Roughly 80.000 restaurants in germany alone.
What are the other solutions in the marketplace?
We kinda looked for other solutions, which are free and poorly made (PDF) or paid and similar. Our USP would be that we also offer personalized designs/logos. Other than that we offer a good free version, which the other paid don't. Other than that we are not much different, maybe that we have a completely different standard design overall.
Can you integrate an order function?
I think an order function for now too much. For sure this is something worth looking after in the future.
Is there a way to go with the flow on this?
Maybe that customer who order on phone could easily access the menu (QR Code printed on Flyer).
How can you scale this? Would it require 1 to 1 sales?
Yes scale is easily possible! No 1 to 1 sales required.

a) What are restaurants paying to update menus/pricing today?

b) Sanitation--could be another angle-- how much time/effort is spent in disinfecting menus after each use? Put a monetary figure to this.

Can you offer your solution for less than a + b?
I really like that idea! I think this is something we integrate in our landingpage. May post the page soon.
 

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Ronak

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Yes scale is easily possible! No 1 to 1 sales required.

I would challenge this assumption-- how else would you get restaurant owners to try it out and use it?
 

LFDY

Contributor
Jun 16, 2020
25
21
14
Germany
I would challenge this assumption-- how else would you get restaurant owners to try it out and use it?
Ah, I think I misunderstood what you wanted to say with scale. I mean the process of digitalizing 10 or 100 menus doesn't really matter.

For you selling/marketing that is for now definitely something we are looking into as I already said in my initial post. So if you have advice on how we could market this well & fast, let me know.
 

LFDY

Contributor
Jun 16, 2020
25
21
14
Germany
Short update:
We made some major mistakes as we did not fully analysed the market. There are already many solutions out there who do what we do, just way faster and without charging money (marketing strategy for big companies in gastro).
I think we will not further proceed.
Thanks anyways for every input!
 

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