Upgrade Your Restaurant with Menu Boards

Everyone needs to eat, which is why many places offer on-site dining options. Whether it’s a company cafeteria, a student commissary, or a bustling food court, these spots cater to busy schedules. Digital menu boards can make the experience even better by providing quick information and saving valuable time.

Studies have shown they can prompt unplanned purchases and are a proven way to upsell and cross-sell. And by going digital, you can save all of the printing and waste from table menus and posters, which is more economical and sustainable. So, they also benefit your facility.

People First Eat with Their Eyes

Good design is paramount to a successful menu board. Pictures of items are much more enticing than just the words, like “salad” or “iced coffee”. We process images differently than we do words – seeing a picture of food or drink actually triggers certain parts of the brain, creating a desire for that thing.

Make sure that you use high-quality pictures. A nice, well-lit photo of a juicy burger (meat or vegan) with fresh crisp lettuce and glistening, deep red tomatoes and a good cheese skirt is incredibly appealing. But a washed-out picture of a burger, where the meat has a grey tinge and the toppings are pale, is unappetizing and has the opposite effect, actually making people less interested in food altogether.

Getting the aspect ratio right is crucial. A distorted sandwich image isn’t just unappealing—it’s laughable (mutant burgers, anyone?). More importantly, it signals that you don’t sweat the small stuff. If your food photos are sloppy, what does that say about your cooking?

It’s better to use your own images instead of stock ones. If someone decides to buy something because of the picture, and then they get something that’s different than what they saw, they’re going to be disappointed. Take a good, high-quality picture of your iced latte or club sandwich.

Boost your visuals with dynamic animation or video. Subtle movements, like images drifting across the screen, direct viewers’ attention precisely where you want it. Clever use of negative space further guides their gaze to key areas, making your design more impactful and engaging.

It’s All in the Details

The images will be the hook, but it’s the details that will really close that sale. Many people have allergies or dietary restrictions, and you can educate and inform your audience, so they can get something they can actually enjoy.

Menu boards can provide vital details like nutritional facts, allergy warnings, and calorie counts. Listing allergens such as nuts demonstrates your commitment to customer health and safety. Plus, in some areas, labeling laws mandate this transparency.

If you have gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan options, then advertise that fact. People who are gluten-free will know they can get something from your establishment, and even people who are not gluten-free are likely to appreciate that you offer something for everyone.

Incorporating interactive touchscreens vastly expands what your digital menu boards can do. Easy-to-use and consistent menu board templates organize the information in an intuitive way, and people can search through your menus, nutritional information, hours of operation and more in their own way. Or you can offer a QR code to take them to a webpage on their mobile device, so they can browse as much as they like at their own pace.

Engage your customers by turning their experience into a game. Encourage them to snap selfies or photos of their orders and share them with a unique hashtag on social media. Reward participation with discounts, deals, and prizes for correct trivia answers or capturing specific images from your screens. Celebrate the best photo of your new super burrito or salsa bar with special rewards. Boost loyalty programs through enticing digital menu board messages.

Speed It Up

For many on-site food locations, people will have very little time to spend, so it’s important to streamline the process as much as possible.

In addition to personalized searching and detailed information, you can add in a queuing, reservation or ordering system, allowing people to choose what they want before they even get to your counter. This saves them time and reduces real and perceived wait times.

When people have to wait in line, their experience deteriorates, and so does their attachment to your brand. If they decided to get that chocolate muffin on the spur of the moment, they might change their mind and leave if it takes too long, or they think it’s taking too long.

Digital signage has been proven to reduce perceived wait times at checkouts by as much as 35%. Because people have something to look at while waiting, the time seems to go by faster. The same isn’t true of printed menus because they’re static, and repeat customers have already seen them, so they aren’t interested.

Restaurant menu boards can also help your audience make faster decisions about what to order, which speeds up the line and makes service go smoother for both your patrons and your staff. Interactive menu boards are already a hit in Quick-Serve Restaurants (QSR) and self-service venues for these efficiency boosts.

Backend Benefits

Digital menu boards offer unmatched flexibility, allowing instant content updates. They sync seamlessly with your existing database, ensuring any inventory changes reflect immediately on the screens. Even small establishments without extensive systems can easily manage listings using XLS, JSON, or Excel formats.

Digital menus are ideal for showcasing seasonal specials and daily deals. Imagine your café has 20 blueberry muffins left at 10am on a Monday. Instantly flash a message: “Fight the Monday blues with a blueberry muffin and coffee for just 99 cents!” If they sell out, update the board to inform customers, avoiding disappointment. Quick updates keep everyone in the loop and boost sales effortlessly.

As your menu or supplies evolve, the menu board adapts effortlessly. Adding a new dish? Just update your database. With dayparting, you can schedule specific items to appear at precise times or days automatically. Planning an afternoon discount on morning muffins? Set the message early and watch it display right when needed.

If you have breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, digital signage software lets you show what you need at the right time. If your menu is local and seasonal, you’ll definitely want an easy way to make changes. With simple scheduling tools, you can rotate menus throughout the day, week or season.

Your screen real estate is essentially limitless. Rotate your messaging to align with supply and demand. Boost sales with product promotions, spark impulse buys at the counter, and enhance loyalty programs via digital signs. Create urgent loyalty offers by prompting QR code scans for instant online coupons that expire soon – driving immediate action.

Up with Revenues, Down with Waste

Digital menu boards make the customer experience better, help your staff work more efficiently and boost sales. That’s why more and more businesses are using them in all sorts of contexts. Installation is a one-time cost, and almost 70% of restaurants that incorporate electronic menu boards recoup their investment within the first 18 months. After that, it’s a free lunch, as the system continues to deliver benefits to both the customers and the vendor.

With digital menus, you slash print costs – no more spending on paper, ink, or pricey off-site printing. Plus, you save time by ditching the hassle of hanging posters and updating table menus. It’s efficient and eco-friendly.

Syncing your menu boards with inventory systems not only tracks out-of-stock items but also boosts sales of surplus stock. Flash a special price on those garden salads and there’s an excellent chance you’ll sell them all before they go stale.

Digital menu boards are revolutionizing business-customer interactions. With dynamic content, real-time updates, and interactive features, they elevate the customer experience while boosting efficiency and profits. As technology evolves, these boards will become even more indispensable for businesses aiming to stay competitive. Embrace digital menu boards for a more engaging and profitable future.