Going contactless with Menu Tile

Tue 10th November 2020
News, Trends, Products

Menu Tile was created as a solution for providing up-to-date allergen information, but as Jennie McShane discovered, its uses and benefits for businesses in a post-pandemic environment have become even more critical

Back in 2017, Matt Houldsworth, managing director of Digitalquill, and innovation manager Justin Clark were working on a system for digital content delivery for historic monuments, public gardens and other places of interest that have information boards. After going on a walk, they ended up in a cafe where they chose lunch from a paper menu. “It occurred to us that the very same solution would be great for the delivery of electronic menus, replacing traditional paper menus that are out of date as soon as they are printed, and not easily amended when you want to change a price or add an item to your menu,” says Matt. “At around the same time there were several unfortunate instances in the headlines about people suffering from allergies when eating ingredients such as nuts, with very tragic consequences.”

After two years in development, Menu Tile was ready to launch in March 2020. “Then Covid hit, and we rapidly realised that the world was going to be a different place when we came out of it,” says Matt. “We accelerated some features we had in place that had suddenly become much more important, such as a fully contactless operation and online payment, which reduces physical contact in a cafe, as you don’t even need payment terminals. The only device that customers need is a phone. For clients, we also added the ability to factor in a buffer between bookings to allow for cleaning and sanitising.”

So although it was initially developed to offer detailed ingredient and allergen information to people dining out, Menu Tile is now a much more comprehensive system for the hospitality industry. It’s a fully contactless menu, ordering and payment system which uses QR codes and NFC (Near Field Communication), allowing diners to view menus, order and pay from their smartphone. It’s suitable for when dining in, collecting or choosing delivery, and does not require customers to download an app.

The benefits of Menu Tile

  • Fully contactless payments, menu and ordering
  • Clear allergen information that customers must opt-in to at the point of sale
  • An option for customers to open a tab with multiple payment options
  • Instant price updates and menu changes, enabling quick changes to menus depending on the availability of ingredients or change in prices of ingredients
  • A custom-branded, web-hosted menu to make you more discoverable in search engines
  • Kitchen order management to reduce internal administration processes
  • Table bookings – essential for many businesses in the current climate
  • Verified customer reviews
  • Quickly show specials or push particular lines as a means of reducing waste
  • Save on card terminal fees

Read the rest of the feature in Boughton’s Coffee House issue 125

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