Contactless menu ideas for safe restaurant dining

contactless menu for safe dining

Contactless menu is one major way restaurants can pivot during the COVID pandemic to adopt the idea of contactless dining to provide a safe option for guests. It makes dining safer and efficient, while still maintaining the overall restaurant experience. In this article, we will explain what a contactless menu is and how it can benefit your customers and your business. 

How do Contactless Menus work?

A contactless menu is a digital menu that is an alternative to traditional paper menus. Guests are able to access a digitized version of a restaurant’s menu through a smartphone or tablet without having to touch a physical paper menu.

The contactless menu promotes contactless ordering during a dine-in experience. Contactless menus can be a menu app or QR code based.

Menu apps are designed to be downloaded on mobile phones and viewed by customers. Mobile app can be the restaurant mobile app or menu apps provider that can provide ordering and payment option in addition to menus.

QR code based mobile menus are designed to simply use your smartphone device to scan a QR code, and link to a mobile-friendly digitized version of the restaurant menu  These mobile-friendly menus allow customers to experience your brand on a digital level without having to download an app. 

Why Contactless Menus?

As health and safety is the main focus for keeping customers and employees safe during this pandemic, it is important to reduce the chances of virus transmission – paper menus are amongst one of the highest points of contact in a restaurant. 

According to a CMM study,  restaurant menus have a bacteria count that can reach upwards of 185,000 per square centimeter, surpassing the surface of a toilet seat. This reason is obvious as numerous people touch paper menus, and are rarely ever cleaned. This statistic alone would be a reason for restaurants to offer a contactless menu. 

Beyond that, there are 5 reasons to consider using a mobile-friendly contactless menu for your restaurant:

1. Safe Solution for Everyone 

The less contact, the better. For one, there are no paper menus being shared across workers and customers, so there is a reduced risk of COVID virus transmission. Germ-free, greener, quicker, and safer than the traditional paper menu.

2. Sustainable Option

Contactless menus are also a more sustainable approach, and require no printing and reduce paper waste. Investing in a tool like the contactless menu can save your business money while also saving the planet. 

3. Easily Updatable 

Unlike the typical paper menus, contactless menus are easily adjustable and can be updated in real-time to share any new dishes, offers, and specials. Keep your menu up to date with online menu management. 

4. CDC & State Guidelines

As per CDC guidelines issued for restaurants and bars, sharing paper menus are not advised. It is recommended to use single-use paper menus and digital menus. Many states have issued similar guidance to avoid using plastic menus and use single-use paper menus.

5. Auto Website Publish

Contactless menus being digital format can be easily published on restaurant websites through simple embeds, which is easily updated when the menu changes.


With a contactless menu, restaurant owners can run their restaurant and have the peace of mind knowing that their customers and employees are safe. They are easy to install and update, cost-efficient, and overall a safer option for everyone.

Looking for contactless menu solution for your restaurant? Check out Contact us, the team at The Digital Restaurant can help you!