contactless menu

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The restaurant industry is constantly evolving and adapting to new trends and technologies. One of the most significant recent developments is the widespread adoption of contactless menus. These innovative solutions not only help to maintain hygiene standards, but also streamline operations and enhance the overall dining experience. In this article, we will explore the concept of contactless menus, discuss their benefits, and delve into the various types available. We will also provide insights into software solutions that can generate contactless menus and offer guidance on how to create your own using the Menubly digital menu system.

What is a contactless menu?

A contactless menu is a digital alternative to traditional paper menus, enabling guests to view the restaurant’s offerings, place orders, and even pay for their food using their mobile devices. The rise of this technology can be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has prompted restaurant owners to prioritize safety and social distancing measures.

How do contactless menus work?

Contactless menus operate through the use of QR codes, which guests can scan using their smartphones. This process allows them to access the digital menu and place orders without the need for physical proximity to staff. 

  1. QR code: The restaurant owner creates a unique QR code linked to their digital menu. This code is then placed on each table or at other strategic points within the establishment. The customer scans the QR code with their smartphone, which directs them to a digital version of the menu via a web page or an app.
  2. Digital menu access: Offers an interactive and visually appealing platform for guests to view menu items, descriptions, and images on their mobile devices. 
  3. Customization and ordering: Allows customers to view food and drinks options, customize their order, and send it directly to the kitchen staff.
  4. Payment: Streamlines the ordering and payment process by enabling guests to place orders and pay directly through the digital menu, reducing wait times and increasing efficiency.

What are the benefits of contactless menus?

Safety and Hygiene

Contactless menus are a safer alternative to traditional paper menus, as they eliminate the need for guests to touch shared surfaces. Users can access the menu items using their personal mobile devices, reducing the risk of transmitting viruses and bacteria.

Cost Savings

Implementing contactless menus can help businesses save on expensive printing costs associated with traditional menus. The ability to update the menu in real-time also means that business owners can manage their inventory more efficiently, reducing food waste and optimizing their budget.

Faster Service and Staff Efficiency

By enabling customers to browse the menu and place the menu directly from their phones, contactless menu help restaurants provide faster service to their customers. This efficient system allows staff to focus on other tasks and provide a better overall dining experience.

Instant Menu Updates

Contactless digital menu is also flexible since it can be updated in real time, allowing restaurant owners to quickly make changes to their offerings, promotions, or pricing. This dynamic approach is particularly beneficial for seasonal menus, daily specials, or limited-time promotions.

Improved Customer Experience

Contactless digital menus offer a more personalized experience, as they can be customized to cater to individual preferences and dietary restrictions. This personal touch can help create a lasting impression on guests, encouraging them to return.

Increased Sales 

Ordering digitally can lead to higher customer spending, and there are a few reasons for this. Firstly, digital menus can showcase enticing visuals of dishes, enticing customers to order more. The alluring photos provide a compelling reason to order additional items.

Furthermore, QR code menus offer excellent opportunities for restaurants to upsell and cross-sell. These menus can automatically suggest what drink to pair, side dishes, appetizers, and other complementary items, encouraging customers to add more items to their order.

Online Ordering System

Some contactless menu solutions like Menubly also include online ordering systems, allowing customers to place orders for pickup or delivery. This can help expand the restaurant’s reach and tap into new revenue streams.

Collecting Customer Feedback

Contactless digital menus provide an opportunity to collect valuable feedback from customers, enabling restaurants to refine their offerings and improve their overall service. This feedback can be used to inform marketing strategies and enhance the customer experience.

For detailed explanation on the benefits, visit this detailed article on Menubly’s blog.

Different Types of Contactless Menu

There are two primary types of contactless menus, both utilizing QR codes to provide a seamless experience for guests. We’ll explore each option to help you determine which one is best suited for your establishment.

1. PDF Menu with QR Code

A PDF QR Menu is a simple solution for restaurants looking to implement contactless technology. This option involves creating a PDF version of the menu, which can be easily accessed by scanning the QR code with a smartphone. 

This type of QR code is relatively easy to create using thousands of QR code generators available online. All you need to do is create a PDF version of your menu with a link, convert it into a QR Code with one of the best qr code generator, and then share it with customers


  • Easy to create: This type of QR code is relatively easy to create using QR code generators available online. All you need to do is create a PDF version for your menu, then create a QR Code for that PDF menu.


  • Limited customization: Menu is displayed as a static PDF, without the ability to add interactive elements or real-time updates.
  • Less user-friendly: The PDF menu is not mobile-friendly. Customers need to pinch and zoom to view your your menu, which might not be as convenient as accessing an interactive digital menu.

2. Digital Menu with QR Code

A digital menu with a QR code is a more advanced option, offering increased functionality and a richer user experience. Guests can not only view the menu but also place orders, make customizations, and even pay for their meals through the digital platform.


  • Enhanced customer experience
  • Streamlined ordering and payment process
  • Real-time menu updates and promotions


  • May require more setup and maintenance compared to a PDF menu

When deciding between these two types of contactless menus, it’s essential to consider your restaurant’s unique needs and budget. A PDF menu with a QR code may be suitable for establishments looking for a quick solution, while a full digital menu may be more appropriate for those seeking to create a more dynamic and interactive experience for their guests.

Menubly – The Digital Menu System

Menubly is a cutting-edge digital menu system designed to help restaurants easily create and manage contactless digital menus. With its user-friendly interface and a range of powerful features, Menubly is the ideal solution for restaurants looking to enhance their guest experience and streamline operations.

Key Features of Menubly:

  • Customizable Digital Menus: Create visually appealing and interactive menus that can be easily updated in real-time.
  • QR Code Generation: Generate QR codes for your digital menus, allowing guests to access them seamlessly using their smartphones.
  • Online Ordering and Payment: Allow your customers to place orders for pickup or delivery, and pay directly through the menu.

Menubly is an all-in-one digital menu solution that not only elevates the dining experience for guests but also helps restaurant owners save time, reduce costs, and boost revenue. Its adaptability makes it an essential tool for restaurants navigating the ever-changing landscape of the hospitality industry.

How to create a contactless menu QR code using Menubly?

Creating a contactless menu QR code using Menubly is a straightforward process. Follow these simple steps to get started:

Step 1: Sign up for a Menubly account

Visit the Menubly website and sign up for an account

Step 2: Customize your digital menu

Using Menubly’s user-friendly interface, design your digital menu by adding menu items, descriptions, prices, and images. You can also add your logo and customize the colors to match your brand identity. 

Step 3: Download and print your QR code

Once your digital menu is ready, Menubly will automatically generate a unique QR code for your restaurant. 

Download the QR code and print it on table tents, posters, or other materials to display the QR code throughout your restaurant. 

Step 4: Encourage guests to use the contactless menu

Promote the use of your contactless menu by placing the QR code in visible locations and informing guests about the benefits of using the system.

For more information on creating a QR code menu, visit this detailed guide or watch the below tutorial video.

Contactless Menu Template

Contactless Menu Word Template

Contactless Menu Canva Template

Frequently Asked Questions About Using Contactless Menu

1. How do I use a contactless menu?

To use a contactless menu, simply scan the QR code provided by the restaurant using your smartphone’s camera or a QR code scanning app. This will direct you to the restaurant’s digital menu, where you can browse menu items, customize your order, and even pay for your meal, depending on the features offered by the restaurant.

2. How much does it cost to implement a contactless menu?

The cost of implementing a contactless menu varies depending on the platform and features you choose. Opting for Menubly provides a one-month free trial, followed by a monthly fee of $5.99.

3. What are the best practices for updating and maintaining contactless menus?

To get the most out of your contactless menu, consider the following best practices:

  1. Update your menu in real-time to reflect changes in inventory, promotions, and pricing.
  2. Ensure the menu is visually appealing and easy to navigate.
  3. Train your staff to assist guests with using the contactless menu and to address any questions or concerns.
  4. Continuously gather customer feedback to refine your offerings and improve the overall dining experience.
  5. Monitor the performance of your contactless menu and make adjustments as needed to maximize its effectiveness.


In conclusion, contactless menus offer a multitude of benefits for restaurants and their guests, including increased safety, cost savings, faster service, and an enhanced dining experience. With a variety of solutions available, such as PDF menus with QR codes and full digital menus, there’s an option to suit every establishment’s needs. Embracing this technology not only helps restaurants adapt to the evolving demands of the industry but also fosters a more enjoyable and convenient experience for their patrons. By implementing and maintaining a contactless menu, businesses can stay competitive, attract more customers, and ultimately, thrive in today’s fast-paced world.

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