All I want is a smoked salmon focaccia

How do you increase sales? You can increase prices – but we know what your customers will think of that.

So you increase the volume of sales – how?

One way is to use new technologies to speed up the ordering process. A digital kiosk represents a new way to unlock revenue for quick service restaurants and cafés. Offering customers the ability to order straight to the kitchen, they can also be run alongside existing staff-operated EPOS.

You’ve already seen McDonald’s enjoy these benefits. Now NextMenu offers a solution for those without the big budget to build their own system. And you get the best of both worlds since NextMenu is customised to match your venue’s design.

Why is digital faster? Well, first of all, it’s faster because you can open more tills. Kiosks may cost more than staff initially, but over the course of a year they’re in different leagues – especially with the Living Wage. Say hello to double the number of points of sale and more orders at your crucial peak times.

Secondly, just think through the process. How many times have you been in a queue for what feels like an eternity – time enough to compose a poem about your smoked salmon on focaccia – only for the person in front of you only to start umming and ahhing about their order the moment they reach the till. The staff member feels the pressure of a lengthening queue and you feel exasperated. With a digital kiosk there’s no messing around. People can’t interrogate the poor lady at the till about things they’re not planning to order. It’s tap, tap, pay…and boom it goes straight to the kitchen.

An added bonus is the data. Whether orders are actually faster today than yesterday is no longer a question of guesswork. All the data can be captured, monitored in real time and then reviewed. So if Gordon is slower than Jamie, or the mochas are holding up the flat whites, you’ll be able to act on it.

‘But this is too much hassle! It’s just one more electronic device to go wrong!’ you may cry. Well. I’m not saying NextMenu could never go wrong. But I’d take it any day over human error multiplied by a twenty-year-old EPOS.

Most of all, to increase sales you have to give customers what they want. And that’s not queueing. It’s not the decor. It’s just a smoked salmon focaccia because that’s what they came in for.

To find out what NextMenu could do for your venue get in touch over email here.

Longer lasting lunches

Lunch typically lasts an hour, perhaps two. But what if it were longer? What if restaurants’ real estate and staff could be productive for four hours instead?

Step in digital menus. Restaurants can smooth the lunchtime peak effortlessly by offering customers discounts and complimentary gifts.

The issue is particularly pertinent in the City of London. Staff and property costs are high. And there are vast numbers of office workers on the floors above the restaurants. Persuading some them to move lunch forwards by half an hour with a free coffee could prove lucrative.

We at NextMenu are working on the concept with tablet-based menus.

Incentivising customers to come before 12.30 and after 1.30 has real value. Service is less stretched and the atmosphere is pleasant: quieter than busy lunchtimes but still not the mid-afternoon graveyard. Customers may well feel more at ease to order dessert or another drink.

So we want to lengthen our lunchtime. How do we go about it?

Today, a special offer requires design, printing EPOS modification and staff training. It’s an effort to try a special offer and a pain if it’s ineffective.

Tomorrow, the digital menu makes the process painless. The online dashboard will allow managers to switch offers on and off at will – just like scheduling a meeting. And with the level of data a connected restaurant captures, they will be able to see results what and what doesn’t with unprecedented detail and accuracy.

So if your early lunch discount doesn’t work, you can try a late lunch complimentary prosecco offer – without throwing away any leaflets. And If it does work, you can roll it out every day of the week – without printing any more leaflets.

While digital menus may not be for everyone, the increasingly digital-savvy young professional is unlikely to be put off. As the market continues to heat up digital menus may be the competitive advantage successful restaurants are looking for.

The 7 Ways of Catching a Waiter’s Attention

1. The Awkward Wave

A classic.

Lift your hand to anywhere around head-height, probably while timidly trying to smile and make eye contact with the waiter…and voilà! That’s attempt number one. Keep going – this tends to only work after a couple of attempts.


2. The Eyebrow Raise

Works best on staff who moonlight as ninjas.


3. The Loud and Proud

Everyone’s dad is this one.
It gets the job done, but now the whole restaurant knows that you didn’t ask for anchovies and had asked for olives instead.

will ferrell salmon food restaurant order

4. The Praying Mantis

You wait. You watch. You spring and you catch the waiter! ‘Peroni! Another Peroni!’

animals fly gotcha standoff praying mantis

5. The Ask Another Customer

‘Excuse me, does this have nuts in?’
‘I don’t work here mate.’

Well it’s a risk you take coming to a restaurant dressed the same way as the staff.

(This situation is occasionally saved your fellow customer takes no offence and valiantly takes up your cause, flagging down a waiter themselves.)


6. The I’m-Taking-Things-Into-My-Own-Hands

This one comes most frequently towards the end of the meal when you’re keen to get out in time for the theatre. Normally it only goes as far as getting up to find the right person. But I’ve heard of people just grabbing the card machine themselves to move things along a bit.



7. The NextMenu Way

With NextMenu you can call a waiter or place an order on your menu tablet.

Picture the scene: You begin a story. You feel that a gesturing with a glass of Côte de Nuits would somehow add flair. Press a button. Continue story. Glass of wine arrives. Finish story with panache.

thrilling reaction happy excited smiling


Or maybe you’re adamant that the secret ingredient in the burger is harissa and your other half simply cannot see it. You call the waiter with the press of a button, continue expounding why your taste buds are so finely attuned this sort of thing, and are then proven wrong by the waiter. Ah well.

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To find out more about how NextMenu can make life easier for your customers, see or pop us an email at

Hello world!

Welcome to the NextMenu blog.  We’re still moving in so please excuse the cardboard boxes and mind out for the wet paint.

NextMenu is a digital menu, a customer-driven mobile point of sale and an integrated restaurant communication tool all in one. The blog will be for us to talk about some of our ideas and the product. And crucially for you, the reader, to talk back if you want, to tell us what we’ve got right, where we’re wrong and what we’re missing.

If you want to get in touch via email, ping one over to