PDF menu alternative

Why QR code PDF menus are hard to use

Some restaurant owners upload a PDF menu to their website, use a free QR code generator to generate a link to it and have customers scan that.

However, PDF menus, especially landscape (wider) ones are tough to read on narrow mobile device screens. Your guests will have to pinch, zoom, scroll, pan and rotate their devices to get the best view.

Layouts that use columns are even harder to view — requiring the user to pan around to see every item available.

qReveal menus, however, are optimized to work on mobile devices and uses highly legible text, easy to tap buttons and links — plus thoughtful design features that help maximize smaller mobile screens.

Users can access all the information they need using simple and familiar scrolling and swiping — no pinching or zooming required.

The PDF approach also limits your ability to quickly change menus on the fly. Depending on how complex your menu design is, you might have to open the file, edit it, export it and then overwrite the original file on your website so the QR code still works.

If you work with an agency, things can be even more complex — you’ll likely end up having to pay to have changes done (even as small as correcting a typo). You’ll also have to wait for your request to get done — and still have to manage updating the file online.

This could be especially challenging and frustrating if you need to make a temporary change to your menu in the event of inventory and supply chain issues. Being able to make an item temporarily unavailable for a few hours or days requires that messy manual process too — where digital menus let you 86 items in the middle of service.

PDF files can also be quite large — eating into your customers’ data plans or taking a line time to download over weak cellular or wifi signals.

Why PDF menus stink
  • Hard to view on small screens
  • Requires awkward pinching and zooming
  • Large files can be slow to download
  • Harder to update, especially for temporary changes
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