Are Paper Menus on the Way Out?

Photo (cc) by jam_232

If you’re not a big fan of smartphone culture, bad news: There will soon be more people staring blankly at a digital screen while you’re having dinner out.

Restaurant chain Chili’s already plans to have tabletop tablets at every restaurant by the middle of next year. Now NPR’s Nevin Martell says several other restaurants are looking at ordering by tablet.

At a Washington, D.C., tapas restaurant called Jaleo, Martell wasn’t given a traditional menu, but a tablet, and it slowed down the ordering process. “As I immersed myself in the app, I got so into it that the waiter had to stop by three times before I was ready to order,” he says.

The company that owns the restaurant says digital menus can be updated more quickly and conveniently, an obvious boon for owners. But they can also show more information than fits on a paper menu, Martell said.

Steve Martorano, owner of Café Martorano in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., explained to Martell why that might be good for consumers even if it delays their ordering. “People who have been coming in for 20 years have told me they have always ordered the same thing, simply because they didn’t know what guanciale was or what a certain kind of pasta was,” he says.

And with that kind of information, people apparently spend more. Martorano’s sales have risen 23 percent since he switched to tablet menus.

Want to boost your chances of getting a traditional menu? Try sitting outside. Four iPads have been stolen from Jaleo since they were introduced last year, so now customers seated outdoors only get paper menus.

What do you think about digital menus? Have you used one? Comment below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
10 Places Where Social Security Offers the Best Standard of Living
10 Places Where Social Security Offers the Best Standard of Living

These U.S. counties offer retirees a chance to stretch their benefit checks while enjoying their golden years.

7 Reasons You Should Not Pay Off a Mortgage Before Retirement
7 Reasons You Should Not Pay Off a Mortgage Before Retirement

Here’s why it often makes financial sense to carry a mortgage into retirement.

The Most Common Reason That Older Adults Fall Down
The Most Common Reason That Older Adults Fall Down

The good news: It’s possible to avoid potentially devastating falls.

60% of People With This Disease Don’t Know They Have It
60% of People With This Disease Don’t Know They Have It

Millions of people overlook this potentially potent condition that tends to strike women and older adults.

11 Expenses to Cut Now If You Want to Retire Early
11 Expenses to Cut Now If You Want to Retire Early

Like the idea of financial independence? Part of the FIRE equation is cutting costs.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older
11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older

There is no need to wait until you’re 65 to take advantage of so-called “senior” discounts.

11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous
11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous

When you get the impulse to stockpile these everyday items, pay close attention to their expiration dates.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies
8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America
The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020
The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020

Based on dozens of metrics tied to affordability, quality of life and health care, these are not ideal places to spend retirement.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62
10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees
5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees

Retirees agree: These are the things that give them purpose and fulfillment in their golden years.

14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare
14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare

These services could save you money and help prevent costly health problems.

15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.