Is the Menu Venue just menus?
The Menu Venue is more than just menus.
The website component can join your website to disseminate menus, hours of operation, special offerings, and discounts.
The app serves as an app for your organization that offers not only the menus for each of your venues, but information about each venue and your program as a whole. Complete with regular and custom hours of operation, emergency messaging, promotions, sales/discounts, cuisine categorization, maps, social media, special events, health department scores, and more.
Do I enter my menus or do you?
The Menu Venue comes with an easy way for you to schedule your own menu items: daily, specific days of the week, or custom days of the year. A control panel interface makes this easy and intuitive. If you are using a separate system that can output foods with dates they are served, we have a solution that involves importing a spreadsheet into our system which schedules everything in just a few seconds.
What about ordering from the app?
We have a Remote Ordering plugin that enables your customers to order from the app. Users will build up a cart and then select various checkout options that you set.
So do we turn remote ordering on and have it just work?
Remote ordering involves a bit of hardware on your end. You will purchase a receipt printer and connect it to a static IP address so we can print receipts in your kitchen. You will also need an iPad to run our proprietary Mission Control app so that you can manage your production queues, clear out orders when completed, and notify customers with push alerts that their order is ready.
We will work with you providing advice on how to get all of this set up, we will test it together, and we will offer training so you and your staff are ready when you accept your first remote order.
Can I show nutrition along with my menu items?
Yes! We have a Nutrition Plugin that incorporates the Nutrition Calculator website and app into your Menu Venue website and app.
If you are an existing customer and have access to the Nutrition Calculator, problem solved. You will use your existing nutrition data and simply schedule those foods on the calendar.
If you are a new customer, you can load in all of your menu offerings. Then you can opt to schedule or enter nutrition information in any order you wish.
Can third-party vendors or franchisees work with the Menu Venue?
Yes! We have a way that franchised venues can allow those third-parties to access the control panel and be restricted to editing only their foods, menus, and data. They won’t be able to change menu offerings or pricing elsewhere across your program, but you will still be able to make changes within their restaurant area.
I have all of my nutrition data, so is the Nutrition Calculator right for me?
Yes. Many customers have all of the nutrition data for their entire menu or recipe book. This means that you are ready to license the Nutrition Calculator and begin entering this information into the system.
Data entry can be accomplished in a variety of ways. You can enter foods one at a time from the values you have on hand. You can also utilize the Food Importer extension to assemble all of your data in a spreadsheet and then upload that file to the Nutrition Calculator to push all of the data in at once saving time.
What if I don't have any nutrition data but want to use the Nutrition Calculator?
Many customers find themselves in this situation. You need to disseminate nutrition information that you don’t have. If this sounds like you, then you’ll need to sign up for the Recipe Analyzer first. The Recipe Analyzer will let you build your recipes up ingredient by ingredient, calculating the nutritional values as you go. The Recipe Analyzer will give you the data that can then go into the Nutrition Calculator. And to make things easier, we created the Recipe Porter extension that works with the Recipe Analyzer and the Nutrition Calculator to keep you from having to re-enter data in the Nutrition Calculator that the Recipe Analyzer just generated.
Does the Nutrition Calculator show ingredients?
The Nutrition Calculator can show ingredients if you provide them during data entry. Each food has a field for raw ingredients which you may take advantage of. This field is not required during data entry, but if completed, the ingredient list will appear when a user hovers over a food name. If you use the Recipe Porter extension to transfer foods/recipes from the Recipe Analyzer to the Nutrition Calculator, then you will have the option to have an ingredient list copy over as well.
Is my data locked into the Nutrition Calculator where I can't get it back?
Your data is stored in the Nutrition Calculator for as long as your account is active. If you want to download all of your information for external analysis, review, or sharing or because you wish to discontinue using the Nutrition Calculator, the Food Exporter extension will save all of your food data to a spreadsheet.
Are my Monday through Friday menus too simple for the Menu Manager?
No menu cycle is too simple for the Menu Manager. The benefit of using the Menu Manager with a simple menu is that you can program start- and stop-dates while showing day-specific menus each day of the week.
Can you run a weekend menu cycle inside of a weekday menu cycle?
Yes. Each cycle is set to return menus on certain days of the week. And each cycle is independent of every other cycle. This means that one cycle could run Monday through Friday while another cycle contains three menus that only run on Saturdays. This means that every Monday, the weekday cycle repeats while every four Saturdays the Saturday cycle repeats. Stagger or overlap any cycles you need to or run each in sequence with the others.
Do you have an API for the Menu Manager so I can automatically include that data on other websites?
We do not currently offer an API to provide menus for specific restaurant-date-meal combinations.
How does the Recipe Analyzer work?
The Recipe Analyzer follows the USDA guidelines on nutrition computation. Everything is weight-based, so an ounce of butter will be calculated differently than a pound of butter in your recipe. Furthermore, after adding up all the raw ingredients, we take into account any weight reductions that may occur through cooking. And finally, portion sizing is factored in to appropriately reduce the full recipe into an appropriate individual serving size.
Is there a limit to the number of ingredients in my recipe?
Technically there is no limit to the number of ingredients in your recipe. Some recipes may call for peanut butter and two slices of bread, while other recipes may require 20 different ingredients. You are only limited by your imagination.
Is the Recipe Analyzer right for my business?
The Recipe Analyzer is right for any commercial kitchen, restaurant, college/university dining program, or other food service operation that utilizes a large recipe book. Since the price point for the Recipe Analyzer is higher than what the average consumer can afford but lower than other analyzers on the market that have bells and whistles for inventory management, etc., we feel that this product will fill an all-too-common void in the marketplace.
I use regional ingredients that probably aren't in your ingredient library. What should I do?
In developing the Recipe Analyzer, we heavily relied on the USDA Nutrition Database of over 8,100 ingredients. For most, this will be adequate and a second thought won’t be given. However, some recipes may call for regional ingredients or specific ingredients that you have the nutrition breakdown for. In this situation you can utilize the Custom Ingredients section. Basically enter your nutrition data into a custom ingredient, and then add that custom ingredient to your recipe. It is then treated just like one of the USDA’s ingredients. And if you change your ingredient’s supplier, you can adjust your custom ingredient’s values and re-analyze the recipe.
What platforms do your apps run on?
The Nutrition App and the Menus App are both designed for Apple’s iOS and for Android. The current versions are designed specifically for phone screen dimensions. The Nutrition App includes iPhone, iPad, and Android phone versions. The Menus App includes iPhone, iPad, Android phone, and Android tablet versions.
Any plans for other versions?
iOS and Android versions are the only platforms we plan to support. As new features enter an app, updates will be pushed out to clients who currently license apps.
Is the app free or is it a $0.99 app?
The Nutrition App and the Menus App will be offered in the Apple App Store and on Google Play as a “free app” at no charge.
How often is data updated inside the app?
Each app handles data in slightly different ways, but apps pull data in real time as the user navigates from feature to feature.
Purchasing & Payment
I am a college or university. Do you work with self-ops or corporate groups?
We work with almost any type of organization whether you are a self-op run by your college/university or whether you are an out-sourced group at a school.
However, we do not work with Sodexo. Past experience has proven that Sodexo is not the right fit with our organization, as their vendor requirements require us to secure arbitrary and unnecessary insurance which will cost us over $10,000 per year. We would then have to pass that cost on to you which usually puts the price of the product out of reach. This impasse has never been overcome, as Sodexo has never budged from their demands.
If you are a Sodexo organization, we will work with your college/university and license a product to them, but not to you, the dining program at that school.
(Why would you bad-mouth a potential client or group of clients?)
It’s not that we are trying to sully anyone’s reputation. We just want to be upfront that if you are a Sodexo client, we don’t want to waste your time or ours going through a process that is designed to fail. If you have done your due diligence and can get your college/university to license the product, then we’ll talk.
How do I buy Nutrition Addition?
You’re not going to buy Nutrition Addition, rather you will purchase a Nutrition Addition product or a Nutrition Addition extension. Each product license is sold on a subscription basis, while each extension license is sold on a one-time-fee basis.
Do I buy these products online?
No. While it would be nice to click a few buttons and make the licensing process easy, the reality is that legal departments want to ensure that your data is secure and private, even if it is simply nutrition information.
As a result, if you are a business, college, or university, we will require a signed license and access agreement before you can begin using the services. We will work with you regarding your technology policies, and we ask that you respect the parameters outlined in our license and access agreement.
Am I locked into a contract for a year or is this a month-to-month thing?
All Nutrition Addition products are licensed for a 1-year term.
Our license and access agreement will come to you with a clause stating that the license will automatically renew on an annual basis, and you will need to notify us within 90 days of the renewal date if you elect not to renew.
If your college or university prohibits automatic renewals, we will request a longer initial term, most likely three years (instead of one). We will work with you on this as each organization is different.
What if I want to upgrade or downgrade my product level in the future?
Upgrading or downgrading your account is easy, but it requires written communication on your part.
Since contracts for the Menu Venue, Nutrition Calculator, Menu Manager, and Recipe Analyzer are for 1-year terms, you can upgrade or downgrade your product level effective your renewal date.
If you need an upgrade sooner, we will gladly upgrade your product level and send a prorated invoice for the difference in cost between the two levels.
Are these products hosted on the cloud or do I install software?
All of Nutrition Addition’s products are considered Software As A Service. This means that we host them on our cloud servers and grant you access to them with a username and password along with custom URLs to access your account’s consumer interface as well as your account’s administrative control panel.
There is no software to be installed. All you need is a web browser and an Internet connection which you appear to already have since you are on our website. There is nothing like Java or Flash that is needed to use the products. You may need a PDF reader for a few extensions, but seriously, who doesn’t have Adobe Acrobat installed already?
I have an idea for a product or an extension. Can you develop it for me?
Maybe. We are always looking for ways to keep the products and extensions we offer fresh and up-to-date. If you have ideas on ways to improve things, send us a message via the form on the Contact page.
Can you make a custom website or a custom app for my business?
Our parent company Creative Minds, Inc. can help you with that.