Solving Menu Management for Enterprise Restaurants

Industry List

AUG 02, 2023


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In today's technology-driven landscape, large enterprise restaurants face many challenges in curating and managing menus at scale, especially across multiple third-party platforms. This process places a significant operational burden on staff, leads to errors, drives up labor costs, and results in inconsistency and discrepancies across the brand. Additionally, incorporating franchisees into the mix further amplifies the problem, as corporate needs to maintain control over brand consistency. In this article, we will explore the difficulties faced by marketing, operations, IT leaders, and front-of-house staff in the modern technology landscape and how Lunchbox's Order Aggregation product paves the way toward operational excellence and revenue growth.

The Menu Curation Nightmare 

Menu curation and management can be an arduous task for enterprise restaurants. With multiple menus and brands across multiple regions, maintaining consistency becomes increasingly complex. In some cases, there are even instances of having 5-6 versions of the same menu item to accommodate price differences across third-party platforms. Operators have to constantly update items, descriptions, and pricing across multiple platforms, one by one, taking away valuable time best spent focusing on providing guests with an exceptional experience. When menus are managed this way, there is a chance for errors more often. This inconsistency not only confuses customers but also leads to operational inefficiencies, wastage of time, and increased labor costs. Enter Lunchbox Order Aggregation, a game-changing tech-stack-enhancing solution that saves time and standardizes menus.

To put this into perspective, without an aggregator, restaurants must individually build every aspect of their menu across each 3rd party platform. Imagine you have 30 restaurants, each with 30 different menu items, and within each of those menu items, you have 20 modifiers. Across six 3rd party platforms, you would have 5,400 items, 108,000 modifiers, and 5,400 photos that need to be updated (not including the modifiers) and may need approval before they can go live. Let’s say you have a new seasonal special or a menu overhaul and need to make an update: none of these updates can happen in real-time, and with a small team, this could take days. When new menus launch and changes need to be made, restaurants are left with wait times upwards of two weeks – this is a valuable time many organizations cannot afford to lose. 

Lunchbox Order Aggregation effectively solves the manual menu curation challenge enterprise restaurants face. Providing a single point of efficient menu management across all platforms removes the complexities of curating multiple menus. Unlike the painful situation shared above, with Order Aggregation, restaurants can edit menu items, photos, and modifiers and inflate pricing via one centralized menu that syncs in near-real-time across all 3rd party platforms. This streamlines the menu curation process, saves time, and eliminates discrepancies caused by duplications. An egregious amount of labor costs are saved, and with a unified brand experience, corporate and franchisees can maintain control and ensure brand consistency, even when the underlying technologies differ.

The Roles Involved: Marketing, IT, and Franchisees 

Menu curation involves various teams, each responsible for different aspects. The marketing team is accountable for creating compelling descriptions, names, and images. The technical experts on the IT team handle the intricacies of menu management, like mapping the third-party menus to the POS while managing the restaurant's technology infrastructure. Furthermore, franchisees play a crucial role, but ensuring consistency while giving them control can be challenging.

Balancing Corporate and Franchisee Control 

Lunchbox understands the complexities of managing menu differences between corporate and franchise stores. With the Gold Standard Menu as a foundation, regional modes can be implemented for franchisees to cater to specific availability and price uplifts. HQ takes charge of structuring modes on top of the Gold Standard Menu, providing checks and balances for brand consistency. Depending on the brand, corporate may have complete control or implement an approval process to give franchisees more autonomy. Large brands often need help to strike the right balance, but Lunchbox's solution simplifies the process.

Evaluating and Choosing the Right Aggregation Provider 

In addition to understanding the challenges enterprise restaurants face regarding menu management, it's essential to highlight the significant advantages Lunchbox offers over Olo's solution. While Olo needs to address these critical issues, Lunchbox's innovative approach provides a clear competitive edge.

Real-time Menu Updates and Synchronization

Unlike other restaurant tech solutions such as Olo Rails, which synchronizes updates a few times daily, Lunchbox Order Aggregation empowers restaurants to make menu updates on the fly and in near real-time. Olo Rails stresses that operators make menu changes outside active or busy ordering hours, often overnight. This outdated approach can cause delays and inconsistencies in updating menus across platforms. In contrast, Lunchbox's near real-time syncs with the point of sale (POS) systems ensure that menu changes are promptly reflected on third-party marketplaces, reducing the likelihood of third-party order rejections. With Lunchbox, restaurants can keep their menus up-to-date and avoid customer frustration caused by outdated or unavailable items.

Lunchbox Order Aggregation offers seamless integration with POS systems, allowing for efficient menu change propagation. Compared to infrequent menu syncs experienced with Olo, Lunchbox's near-real-time synchronization ensures that updates a propagated swiftly across all platforms. By leveraging Lunchbox's technology, restaurants can maintain consistency in menu information and provide a seamless experience for customers, reducing the risk of rejected or incorrect orders. Lunchbox has a 99.6% order injection success rate. 

Operational Efficiency and Order Accuracy

The inability to update menus in real time can lead to operational challenges for enterprise restaurants. Olo's solution may cause complications when items must be removed or 86’d from the menu due to availability issues or other complications. Only updating menus promptly can result in order failures and customer satisfaction. Lunchbox's near real-time syncs and quick menu updates enable restaurants to address such changes on the spot, ensuring order accuracy and minimizing service disruptions.

By highlighting these significant advantages over Olo's solution, Lunchbox's Order Aggregation positions itself as the superior choice for enterprise restaurants seeking a comprehensive and efficient menu management system. With Lunchbox, restaurants can embrace real-time updates, seamless integration, and enhanced operational efficiency, setting themselves apart in the competitive restaurant landscape while delivering exceptional customer experiences.

The Benefits of Order Aggregation 

By adopting Lunchbox's Order Aggregation, enterprise restaurants can enjoy various benefits. Firstly, the product streamlines menu management, removing operational inefficiencies and reducing labor costs. Secondly, it ensures a standardized menu across platforms, leading to brand consistency and a seamless customer experience. Lastly, it provides the flexibility to accommodate regional variations while maintaining centralized control.

Managing menus at scale is crucial for large enterprise restaurants in the ever-evolving restaurant industry. Lunchbox's Order Aggregation offers a superior solution to the challenges faced by marketing, operations, IT leaders, and front-of-staff. By saving time, standardizing menus, and unifying the brand experience, Lunchbox empowers restaurants to overcome operational burdens, maintain brand consistency, and lower labor costs. 


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