Everything and the Kitchen Sync

Digital menu boards.

You've probably already seen them at the big franchise fast food restaurants (not that you go there to eat ... often). Basically, the old-fashioned printed, backlit, or chalkboard menus are quickly being replaced by flatscreen TVs. Since just about everything else in the world is going digital, why not menu displays too? It certainly makes cents -- er, sense. Right? Well, the big boys like Taco Bell and Burger King can afford to replace all their menus with displays, but they also have king-sized budgets to do this sort of thing. Not the beloved hole-in-the-wall coffee shop or the mom-and-pop burger joint -- but in reality, it's these little guys who have the most to gain from the flexibility that digital offers.

That's exactly what foodtech startup Menuat aims to provide: flexible, agile, digital menus at an accessible price point, so smaller restaurants and franchises can manage changes to menus easier than ever before. With Menuat's simple system, restaurant owners are given the reigns and can make changes to their wall menu, web menu, and to-go menu (using a handy mobile-ready to-go menu replacement) in one fell swoop. Now, restaurant owners can respond to change in real time.Cool, right??

Speaking of that handy to-go menu, this little gem is searchable. I don't know about you, but I get tired of wading through a thousand ingredients to find the only one that matters (uh, bacon of course). With Menuat's Mobile Menu, I can just search for what I want, and get back to Candy Crush... instead of staring at the wall menu until my eyes glaze over. AND THEN I get to eat bacon. Ok, I am really stoked about this feature.

Menuat's customers update their menus constantly, making problems like inventory management and market price a lot easier to tackle. And imagine being able to experiment with items and prices on a daily (even hourly!) basis. It's like turning your restaurant into a little laboratory where you run experiments to find out what makes money, what people like, and what doesn't work. We love this idea, and we're sure Menuat will make a lot of restaurant owners very, very happy. And that makes us happy, because we love food :) especially independently owned restaurants!

Check out Menuat.com for a demo, or follow them on Twitter @menu_at to get updates on new apps for restaurants. Menuat's tagline is "Power to your Menu" which is definitely apt -- we hope lots of folks take advantage of this awesome technology!

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