We’ve all walked into a packed bar and struggled to find a menu, only to discover that a dimly-lit chalkboard in the distance holds the information we so desperately seek. Then, a shining, golden sheet of paper comes into view, a glorious printed menu that delivers us from the desperate struggle of uncertainty about which beer or wine to buy. But in today’s digital age, with menu screens and signage popular in bars across America, you may find yourself asking – why are printed bar menus still relevant? We’re glad you asked!
They’re Easy to Read (and Order From!)
Not everyone has perfect 20/20 vision, and whenever you have a large stationary menu like a chalkboard or a T.V. it’s only going to be visible to certain people at one time based on where they are standing or sitting.
With printed menus this is not an issue. A printed menu is always close at hand and can be much easier to read for those who have trouble reading text from long distances. While it’s true that it may still be difficult to read if it is dark or if there are too few menus for the number of customers, at least you are making your best effort to provide options that accommodate as many people as possible.
In some instances this might be a make or break for a group ordering another round or deciding if they want to stop and have a drink at your business or keep moving somewhere else. If menu options are not readily available this makes it harder for people to make a decision, which increases the likelihood that they will choose to go somewhere more accommodating.
More Space for Information
There’s only so much space to fit information on a chalkboard or digital screen, and that means that if these are the only types of menus you offer to your customers you are missing an opportunity to provide more rich information about the beverages you serve.
With printed menus there is a lot more space to include a description of each menu item that you offer. You can either include an official description from the producer of the beverage, or if you’re up for it you can get a little bit more involved and write your own tasting notes.
Either way, this gives your customers a much better idea of what they’re ordering. This is ideal because there can be a wide variation within a single style of alcohol, and adding additional information can help your customers make more informed decisions so that they have a better chance of ordering something that they truly enjoy.
Modern Technology Makes them Easy to Make
This last point is more geared towards the question of whether printed menus are worth the effort. Some bars whip up simple, and frankly not very professional-looking, menus in Microsoft Word. Others veer to the other extreme and pay for custom designs, making their menus difficult to update when a tap changes.
While these are viable solutions that tons of businesses use every day, we believe that our TapHunter print menus offer a perfect alternative that captures the best of both worlds. You configure your menu design once, and then every time you update your menu within TapHunter the content on your print menu automatically updates and you can immediately print out updated menus without any hassle. You have the option to include descriptions based on style or any available brewery provided descriptions from our database, as well as being able to customize your own descriptions if you choose to.
Regardless of the way you choose to put together a print menu, there’s more than enough reasons why a printed bar menu is still important in 2018. By doing so, you’ll be providing a better customer experience than you otherwise would and your customers will thank you for it by coming back again and again.