Menu3 is an augmented reality restaurant menu app. The idea is to upgrade your customer’s experience when they come to visit your restaurant.
As many of you know, most menus in restaurants don’t usually come with pictures, especially those menus who have many items. In the best case scenario, you probably are going to get a short description of the food that is being served. Usually when I go to the restaurant, even when there is a description, I ask the waiter to tell me what are the most recommended dishes in the restaurant.
What always frustrated me, is that if there was a picture, it would have made the decision so much easier. What I usually do, and I know it’s not polite, is getting a sneak pick to see what other people around me are eating, maybe it will help my decision easier.
Bottom line is, that with pictures it is so much easier to make a decision. Of course, it would be better if I could smell the food as well.
Menu3 uses augmented reality to allow customers to see how each item served on the menu looks like. It overlays three-dimensional food models onto existing menus. The company hopes that this technology will help restaurants increase sales an deliver upsell opportunities.
I’ve tried the app with Maize Mexican Grill, which is the only restaurant that seems to be supported in the moment, just for illustration purposes so it seems.
The app works like this. In the restaurant, they will serve you a marker which is printed on paper. You then launch Menu3 app, point your phone in 45-degrees towards the market and then you the menu appears in augmented reality. You can see all the items being offered. You can tap on each item and the food, drink or whatever is being offered will appear on the marker. You can also rotate the food to view it in different angles.
Some of the food that I tried was just an image, other items were in 3D so you can rotate them with two fingers to view it in 360-degrees.
Of course, I believe that the goal is to take this idea and to make it available for many more restaurants, preferably get a global reach. The paper is necessary in order for the AR content to be seen on the table. If you use it without a marker and just enter a code or something, you might not be able to do it on the table due to the surface not being easily scannable by the app. The market idea works the same way that the MergeCube toy work to display digital content on top of the cube’s facets and stick to it as the user rotates it.
The menu looks pretty bad now and there is definitely room for improvement. However, this is a great start. If Menu3 is able to partner with many more restaurants and deliver a seamless, useful and enjoyable experience, this thing can be huge. This company should obviously operate internationally on a global scale and I do hope that they will succeed with it.
I was using the iOS version of the app which is compatible with iPhone and iPad devices running iOS 9.0 or later. Of course, the apps should be accessible to the largest number of devices. With iOS, it won’t be a big problem, because based on apteligent.com, 98.7% of all users have iOS 9 or later (as for February 4th, 2018). The Android version is in the works.
If you are an owner of a restaurant, you can call Menu3 and schedule a meeting. Just so you know, Menu3 needs to come to your place to facilitate the three-dimensional food creation. If you are interested, you can reach them through this page.