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Coffee Talk
Business Observer Friday, May 22, 2020 4 months ago

Tech firm launches touchless menus to fight COVID-19 fear

St. Pete's GoZone WiFi offers the $149 service available for free to existing restaurant clients.

Along with masked employees and vastly increased cleaning budgets, disposable menus have become commonplace as restaurants, reopening in the wake of the COVID-19 shutdown, aspire to reduce customers’ risk of exposure to the coronavirus. 

Printing large quantities of disposable menus, though, adds an expense to the bottom line at a time when restaurants are already struggling. A St. Petersburg tech firm, GoZone WiFi, has come up with a solution: digital menus that pop up on diners’ smartphones or mobile devices capable of scanning QR codes. 

CEO Todd Myers says the company’s Touchless Menu is available free of charge to businesses that already use GoZone WiFi, which uses Wi-Fi networks to deliver branded content and digital display advertising to end users, in addition to providing customer data and analytics. New clients can sign up for the service for $149 a year. 

“We've got about eight, maybe 10 restaurants that have implemented it,” Myers tells Coffee Talk. “And so far the restaurant owners like it — it's one more thing that helps their customers feel comfortable.”

Touchless Menu doesn’t require any special design, Myers adds. Restaurants take a picture of their menu and then upload it to GoZone WiFi. 

“We know restaurateurs don't have a lot of time to put these things in place,” he says. Changes can be made by calling GoZone WiFi, uploading a new image or making small text edits. “It’s just as easy as updating a (Microsoft) Word file.” 

Ferg’s Sports Bar, 3 Daughters Brewing, Engine No. 9, Brooklyn South and American Social are a few of the establishments that switched to GoZone WiFi’s Touchless Menu system. 

“Guests need to feel safe and comfortable in coming back to our restaurants,” states Mark Ferguson, owner of Ferg’s Sports Bar, in a press release. “Many of my guests feel more comfortable using their personal devices rather than touching a physical menu. Touchless Menu encourages a comfortable experience.”

Myers, who says the firm has clients in 18 countries, expects more bars and restaurants, near and far, to adopt Touchless Menu technology. “We're getting visibility all over the world,” he says. 

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