This is part of the made up start up series.
My mother-in-law has a problem when she goes out to eat. The problem is a combination of information, imagination, and conceptualization. The problem is: my mother-in-law doesn’t know what to order.
But she’s 70 years old. She has solutions. Is it familiar? Is there a picture? Is it recommended? Everything she orders falls into those three buckets. And thanks to Covid19 all that can change.
Part of the (uneven) Covid19 strategy are QR menus. These codes mostly link to a pdf version of the old menu. Consequently, these menus mostly suck. PDF or HTML menus take all of the worst parts of ordering food and make them more difficult to see. But things don’t have to be this way. QR codes for menus are the perfect opportunity for this peripheral technology to become a main course.
Here’s the pitch: a startup that builds interactive menus.
This is a hard problem. Restaurants are hectic, restaurant retention is tough, and there’s not a lot of excess capital for investment, but QR code menus may be a wise pairing thanks to framing.
Restaurant menus are terrible at framing. A paper menu is static and the only form of framing is the relative price framing. I’m not buying the most expensive or cheapest so this middle item seems fine. A digital menu can be dynamic. The options for choice architecture are abundant.
- Guests who liked this also liked this.
- The chef recommends this with that.
- Add in this appetizer for only $3 more.
- This item has been ordered 1,000 times this month.
All this startup needs is a few salespeople, a copy of Cialdini’s Influence, and an AWS account!
Restaurants are hired for multiple jobs: food, atmosphere, social status, signaling, and so on. Restaurants are also hired to make things easier: I don’t have to cook, clean, plan, or shoulder the burden of honey-what-is-for-dinner-tonight? A well built menu can reduce the diner’s decision demand.
This startup isn’t obvious because customers won’t articulate why they had a nice time at Dariano’s Diner but they will have a nice time because it’s a better experience which begins with the menu.
Yes, there are many restaurants to sell to – but this startup is competing with non-consumption. This isn’t a better reservation system (though it could be) or a better procurement provider (it could be that too), it only has to be better than a PDF or webpage.
So join me in raising funds for some QR IQ, a business that will build on human psychology to create a better dining experience.
March 3, 2022 update: This works! At least for automotive. The full video is here but according to one ex-industry person the digital signing of documents can increase (via framing I’d wager!!) back-end profits by 25%.