In a restaurant , a menu is the list of options for a diner to select. A menu may be a la Carte or Table d’h ôte, la Carta, Menu, M enü , επιλογές , M еню, 菜单 , メニュー
There are different types of menus: for breakfast , lunch and dinner and it depends on the restaurant and the management of the restaurant what kind of items will include and how often will change them .
Is a h elpful utility for the visitor s of a restaurant to choose the correct dish that will satisfy their needs.
I s a form of advertising
P rinted menus frequently emphasize the processes used to prepare foods ( El Bulli - head chef, Ferran Adria )
call attention to exotic ingredients
add French , Japanese or other foreign language expressions to make the dishes appear sophisticated and exotic , even posh.
Part of the function of the menu is to impress customers with the notion that the dishes served at the restaurant require such skill , equipment, and exotic ingredients that the diners could not prepare similar foods at home.
The word menu , like much of the terminology of cuisine , has French o rigin . It ultimately derives from Latin minutus , something made small . The original menus that offered consumers choices were prepared on a small blackboard , in French a carte ;
The original restaurants had no menus in the modern sense; these Table d’h ôte establishments served dishes that were chosen by the chef or the proprietors, and those who arrived ate what the house was serving that day .
The contemporary menu first appeared in the 2 nd half of the XVIII century . Here, instead of eating what was being served from a common table, restaurants allowed diners to choose from a list of unseen dishes , which were produced to order by the customer's selection and have a f ixed price ; the menu allowed customers to spend as much or as little money as they chose.
Nowadays the menu changed a lot due to the fashion trends, design influences, inventions, inspirations, ideas, new design technologies, Internet and more, but I think there’s more to expect from this service tool.
Basically the restaurants cannot show pictures of every single item on their paper menu nor translate them in more than 3-4 languages but what if restaurants offered, instead of a paper menu, an interactive kiosk-type screen embedded in /at the table !
The idea is to be developed a Portable Digital Restaurant Menu that could be a portable device as PDA or small platform like a digital frame or tablet with touchable screen, e-paper or maybe in the next 10 years we will have the pleasure to use the Microsoft surface in the restaurant.
uWink Inc USA - digital entertainment company based in Los Angeles, California that develops interactive entertainment for restaurants, bars, and mobile devices .
MenuLogic , USA - has developed the iMENU® software platform, a fully-customizable, networked interactive menu application, complete with ordering, payment, and promotional modules that increase revenue growth and enhance the customer ordering experience.
Restaurant Innovations , UK producer of Automated Ordering System called iServe
Integrate FELICA RFID readers into Portable restaurant’s menu so customers could pay right at their desk using their mobile phones.
Integrate a card slot for VIP clients and provide them with VIP cards for special discounts, promotions and access to extra services, applications and options. (Overdraft options, referral program, extras, )
New business opportunity : Digital entertainment company that will collaborate with Tablet device producers and will offer to the big rest@ur@nt and b@r chains: digital restaurant menu devices- will provide hardware, software, marketing expertise, ideas, after sales support and assistant 24/7.