Bringing the menu to life

Often when presented with a menu, it is not clear what a dish is. Using a video can help solve this and bring the menu to life.

Published on 
2 min, 347 words

Categories: business

We recently visited a local Indian restaurant and they had an interesting way to explain the dishes on the menu.

We were presented, as usual, with the menu when we were seated. They also asked if we would like to see a video of the dishes. The server then returned with an iPad and proceeded to play a video of some of the dishes, naming each dish as it was shown. This short 30 second video allowed us to see what the dishes actually looked like, rather than just being a set of words on the menu.

I am surprised more restaurants haven't taken this approach. I also wonder if you could take this a step further.

A restaurant could create an interactive experience around their menu which could be accessed from the diners phone. On entering the restaurant they are handed a menu as usual however the menu has a set of QR codes. There is a QR code that takes the reader to a website which has all the dishes. Each dish on the menu also has an individual QR code that takes them to the a page specifically about the dish. This could have details about the dish, a set of photos or a video and also allergy information.

The menu itself could present each dish alongside a photo with more information. It could also allow filtering and searching. I could decide that I would like to see all the dishes that have chicken and are medium spicy. Once a dish has been selected it could then suggest dishes that compliment this dish.

You could actually build up an order this way as each diner selects their dishes. Maybe it could email a copy of their order to the diner so they can remember what they ordered for next time - or so it could be used to review the restaurant.

At the moment, most menus are just a list of dishes with minimal information. There is scope for them being so much more.