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The cure to menu decay found in online ordering and mobile apps

Battling menu decay

What is menu decay?

You thought managing some basic content and images on a website was bad. It is all too common to see a website of some local business that has images that are clearly very outdated.

Many people that has a cafe or restaurant that offer online ordering can find that things are nice and tidy when they start with a given provider of online ordering. The settings, the hours, the menu item, the modifiers – they all look so great at the start. Then, over time, the menu offered in store or in the POS changes. Prices change. Items change. You name it. It changes. The one known is that there is going to be change. At first, emailing a new menu or emailing to get changes done seems OK. As changes are not properly communicated to the online ordering system, confidence in the system starts to erode. Customers place orders and there are errors. This causes friction for them and for your shop. The problem is that it is really challenging to manage a menu in more than one location. The POS typically has the perfect menu as this drives in store orders. The prices, the addons, etc…they are all correct. They match the menu boards and printed menus. They have to….the effort that goes into making sure they are perfect is worth it. There is no other option when it comes to the POS.

Participating on 3rd party ordering platforms can seem great at first, and it certainly can be forever….but what if the menu isn’t perfect? From experience, we see that many times that errors are sort of “allowed” because “the online ordering platform drives customers to us”. Folks get sold on the idea that it is a necessary problem. There is no way around it. 

Accepting menu decay for reason x, y, or z leads to decay and friction in your business. It makes every party involved less excited to come to work or to order from your shop. The online ordering partners ultimately get you to accept it and you deal with carrying the burden – customers are going to have issues and you bear the brunt of it of course, unfortunately. 

What if the menu decay that is eroding business was replaced with a shining beacon of efficiency and accuracy? That would lead to lower blood pressure and increased peace for all – maybe.

To achieve this peace, there are some basic requirements.

  • Only manage the menu in ONE location and have that system talk to your online ordering or mobile app solution. The systems must talk and remain in sync. They have to. Computers are built to handle this type of data management.
  • Getting new customers in the door cannot supercede the importance of efficiency and accuracy – this is what leads to satisfaction and to repeat loyal diners and customers.
  • Challenge your online ordering and mobile app partners. It is your business after all. Any vendor that works with you and your business should consider themselves fortunate to have an opportunity to interface with your customers. You worked too hard to let them down.
  • Insist on excellence
  • Accept nothing less
  • If you cannot achieve efficiency and order as online orders flow, why have it?

Now we can switch topics to software providers that are able to deliver this level of peacefulness to your business (regardless of “price” – although important, it is another topic to consider that once again cannot replace the importance of having systems that “work”)

There are 3rd party online ordering partners….but they are not your in store POS. 

There are 3rd party online ordering partners that have some basic integration with various POS. Not all “integrations” are created equal. It is not IF they integrate. It is IF the solution allows for managing everything in one location. If you or someone at your company or at the 3rd part ordering company need to do redundant work, menu decay will occur. Humans are humans. It is OK. Mistakes happen. People miss things….this does not change the golden rule: Your menu in your ordering solution must be 100% accurate, all the time.

What it would take is a POS company that has next level engineering infrastructure that would allow the company that exclusively works on web or mobile app ordering to interface with the POS company to deliver a truly connected, end to end synced product. The two function as one solution. Make changes in the POS and the changes are applied instantly to the mobile app or website. Changes must occur for categories, items, variations/sizes, modifier sets, modifiers, hours of operations, open/close status for the week, open/closed status for emergencies that result in needing to turn off ordering, image syncing, description syncing, payment processing using one unified solution, reporting in the POS panel for all orders, refund capabilities, etc. Everything needs to be done from the POS.

If this could be done….then there is a basis for which you can confidently rule out the “menu decay” issue. Customers can get your most current items, prices, modifiers, etc, etc, etc. 

From there, the orders placed with this accurate system must of course flow directly into the standard POS terminal for which workers interact with in store. One terminal to handle it all. That way nothing is ever missed and there are no curve balls for the store staff.

Square has this. They have all the tools needed to power such a product. They power it. You power it.

We saw this capability. We see how great Square is as a POS option for cafes, bakeries, donut shops, and specialty shake shops. Square deserves a lot of credit. Shops that have selected Square deserve a ton of credit. These same shops deserve such a solution – one that eliminates “menu decay”…..one that powers peacefulness and efficiency. One that helps retain workers. One that helps them make more and one that helps a shop to be profitable and remain profitable, with order and predictability.

The work carries on. We are pleased to see what Square continues to offer and support and advance. 

Also, the mobile app we could make for you only has your brand. It is your app. It is what customers think is a great way to place their daily coffee orders. There is also a reward program to keep them coming back, and yes, that is synced with Square as well. Of course. It has to be.

We do not charge a setup fee.

You connect your Square account with a single click. Easy.

We help with all settings and explaining how to get maximum efficiency and use out of your app and Square instance.

4% commission. No other fees. Cancel anytime. Simple.

Contact us at info@espressly.co to get a demo of the system described above. We are here to help.