October 29, 2021

d'menu Digital Menu VS PDF

So, you’ve decided to move away from using paper menus, and you want to understand your options. Do you go with a PDF menu or a digital menu?

PDF menus and digital menus are both accessed on the customer’s phone, but they are very different and digital menus are by far the superior choice. 

PDF Menu board new file screen

PDF menus

PDF menus offer one upside. They can be downloaded on the customer’s phone so they don’t have to touch a paper menu that everyone else has also touched. 

There are two major downsides. They are static and cumbersome to use. 

You will have to hire someone to design the PDF for you and make any changes or updates. This is similar to paper menus, so you are used to that, but you can get so much more from digital menus you manage yourself.

PDF menus also have to be downloaded on the customer’s phone every time they visit your restaurant, unless they want to keep it on the phone all the time. Even if they want to do that, if you’ve made changes, their menu will be no use to them.

The customer has to scroll through everything, no matter how irritating that may be to do on their phone with the zooming in and scrolling. And they may lose their place and have to find where they were again.

PDF menus don’t reduce contact with the server or cashier, so they only address the concern of handling the menu.

Many people have found that the downsides of using PDF menus greatly outweigh the positive side. Customers are having to get used to something new that frankly is an unnecessary pain.

Content Creator taking picture of food for digital menu

Digital menus

Digital menus are accessed on a customer’s phone, but they don’t have to download it. They just scan the QR code and access the menu. This is simple and quick.

The only downside, which we’ll get out of the way now, is that it is dependent on having a cellphone and being comfortable using or learning QR codes. Some people prefer paper menus. You could keep a small number on hand to accommodate people who can’t or aren’t comfortable using digital menus. Including some brief instructions with the QR code should make it easier for people to learn.

Everything else about digital menus is a pro. 

More space

Customers can get more information about the dishes they’re considering so they can feel more secure in their choice. And you can include not just one, but multiple photos with each dish to tempt them with. 

Easy to use

Digital menus conform to the size of the phone for optimum viewing. Most people find them easier to read than a paper menu.

Customers can also navigate to the categories they want to see, going straight to sandwiches or specials, rather than scrolling through the entire document to find what they want.

The order is processed instantly through the phone, avoiding unnecessary contact with the server or cashier and reducing wait times and potential mistakes.

Restaurant Owner updating the image of the digital menu board himself

Easy to update

If you use a platform like d’menu to make your digital menu yourself, you can create it easily in minutes and edit it instantly whenever you run out of an ingredient or want to offer a new special. This helps you remove a common problem for staff and customers alike: the dreaded, “We’re out of that,” situation. It also offers you unprecedented opportunities to promote dishes and try out new things.


Digital menus can also serve as powerful advertising. If you post a sign with a QR code on your restaurant’s window or door or print your QR code on your takeout packaging, merchandise, or marketing materials, potential customers can easily scan your code and thoroughly check out your menu so they are poised to stop in and eat.

#digitalmenu #restaurants #smallbusinesses #digitalmenuboard



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How to

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