Aside from the food itself, a restaurant’s menu is arguably one of the most important parts of the dining experience. A good menu is so much more than a list of food. It’s your customers’ guide to ordering. It’s visually designed to highlight each choice, from appetizers to desserts, and everything in between.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that the pandemic has probably made some level of an impact on your menu. Supply chain issues, the shift to takeout and delivery, and streamlining menus to make ends meet are just a few factors at play here. On top of that, there’s the simple fact that your menu was built to sustain a restaurant functioning at full capacity.

But we’re not here to talk about what’s on the menu today. For the next few paragraphs, let’s talk about the menu itself.

If your restaurant is open for in-store dining, you’ve been figuring out how to implement various safety precautions, both required and recommended. Specifically for our conversation, you’ve been looking at ways to reduce sharable or reusable items. Essentially anything that could be used as a vector to spread COVID-19. Here’s an excerpt from what the CDC has to say on their Considerations for Restaurants and Bars page. (When you’re done here, I highly recommend reading the entire article, if you haven’t already.)

“Avoid using or sharing items that are reusable, such as menus, condiments, and any other food containers. Instead, use disposable or digital menus, single serving condiments, and no-touch trash cans and doors.”

Right there, the CDC has highlighted some very specific items you should be thinking about. When it comes to your menu though, they’ve laid out two choices. Disposable and digital.

Disposable menus are certainly an option you could choose to go with. But even then, someone has touched them at some point. Even if disposable menus are a heck of a lot safer, you want your guests to feel comfortable. At the very least, you’ll more than likely have a few disposable menus on hand for the customer that wants them. But if you go in a digital direction, that’s a lot less paper you’ll have to worry about printing. Oh, and it’s safer too.

Pretty much everyone seems to have a smartphone. In 2019, the Pew Research Center reported that a whopping 81% of Americans own them. That number is even higher when it comes to younger demographics specifically. If you want to set your customers up with a digital menu, you should use their smartphones to do it.

Okay, so how’s the distribution going to work? We’ve got a solution you might like. With CoGoBuzz, our state-of-the-art digital marketing service, we make it so that when your customers log into your WiFi, you can send them a text message containing a link to your menu. They’ll instantly have access to their own digital version of your beautiful menu, all from the comfort of their smartphone.

Another excellent choice is to show off your menu with digital signage. With our CoGoTV service, we’ll help make that happen. On top of Digital Menu Boards, our service will set you up with Social TV, Tap Lists, Video, and Interactive Ads.

CoGoBuzz also leverages advanced SMS and Email solutions to promote your restaurant both in-store and out. It comes packed with a fully digital, text-based loyalty program, allowing you to let your customers know what services you’re offering – all with just a simple text. Click here to learn more about CoGoBuzz.

Whether you’re one of our current customers, or you’re interested in joining the CoGoBuzz family, we’re committed to helping businesses affected by COVID-19.

For current customers, we’re providing free text message service, allowing you to send a link to order online, purchase gift cards, and/or notify customers of new hours.

For new customers, we’re offering our hardware at cost, donating our services, time, and covering shipping costs. Prepare for the future with CoGoWiFi Free to collect your customers’ phone numbers. There are no contracts or monthly fees, and we offer unlimited customer data storage.

Message from our CEO

“From pricing to packaging, our mission has always been to provide customers with unbeatable value. That’s why, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, we are seeking to provide the most aggressive offers to help suffering restaurants survive. We believe that half of small restaurants will fail in the year after operations return to normal. The restaurants that survive and thrive will be the ones that win loyalty and focus on bringing customers back over the following year.”

– Steve Gould, CEO

Click here for more details on how we’re handling the crisis.

How is your restaurant handling the menu situation? Let us know in the comments.