Electronic Menu Boards: Top 6 Benefits

Omnivore, vegetarian, vegan, what-have-you – no matter what dietary preferences or restrictions, people have to eat. If your school or business has a cafeteria, café or restaurant on site, electronic menu boards can help increase profits, improve the customer experience, and save you time and money.

Top 6 Benefits of Electronic Menu Boards

  1. Increase revenues and decrease wastage
  2. Reduce perceived wait times in queues
  3. Show allergy and nutritional information
  4. Entice customers with beautiful visuals
  5. Use affordable templates or custom designs
  6. Update on-screen content in just a few clicks

1. Menu Boards Increase Revenues and Decrease Wastage

Nearly 70% of restaurants that start using electronic menu boards find that they make their investment back 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 organization.

Electronic menus let you advertise your daily fare along with promotions that focus on what you need to sell. You can change what’s displayed as things sell out, or other items become limited-time specials in an effort to get rid of all your stock (so you don’t have wastage).

A menu board is incredibly flexible because you have unlimited screen real estate to work with. Simply rotate your messaging to meet supply and demand needs. You can make money with product promotions, increase impulse purchases at the counter, and boost loyalty programs by promoting them on your digital signs.

And since your menus are digital, your print costs go down. First off, there’s no paper to buy, no ink or laminating costs, no expensive charges from off-site printers. You also save time by not having to hang up posters and put out table menus, then go around replacing them when things change, and then dispose of them when they’re retired.

2. Electronic Menu Boards Reduce Perceived Wait Times in Queues

Improving the customer experience is what retail is all about. When people have to wait in line, their experience deteriorates, and so does their attachment to your brand.  

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 staff and patrons. That all adds up to a better customer experience.

3. Electronic Menus Let You Show Allergy and Nutritional Information

You’re not limited to lists of food, drinks and prices. If your menu is bio, advertise that. If you source locally, or want to spotlight some premium ingredient, you can do that on your electronic menu.

Restaurant digital signage can also provide crucial info like nutritional data, allergy information, calories, fiber, vitamins and other dietary facts. By thinking ahead when creating your menu design, you can make you restaurant digital signage a one-stop-shop for customers. Everything they might need or want to know is right there so they can make the best choices.

4. Electronic Menu Designs Can Entice Customers with Beautiful Visuals

The brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, and often creates an emotional or sensory connection to an image that is immediate.

Electronic menu boards can stimulate interest and appetite by putting images front and center. A high-definition, high-quality picture of food is almost certain to get people thinking about the dish in the picture. Let’s face it, a picture of a deep, rich cup of coffee with steam rising from it is far more enticing than just the word “coffee” or a washed-out photo that’s been up for months.

Menu boards can also include movement, which is another way to grab a busy person’s attention (and maybe get them to look up from their phone). It could be a short video clip, but even just having the image pan slowly could be enough to make someone look at the screen, become interested, read the offer, and then make the decision to buy that turkey club sandwich right now because it looks so darned good.

Changing your electronic menu design throughout the day, or in different seasons, is also a way to keep customers interested and enticed, especially if they visit your restaurant often.

5. Affordable Templates Make Menu Boards Easy

Menu board design doesn’t have to be complicated. A lot of digital signage companies and content services offer ready-made templates that can speed the whole process, while still maintaining brand consistency.

If you decide on a custom menu board, be sure to get several designs to keep things fresh. And if you want to take it a step further, your menus can even be interactive, letting your customers search through all of your food, drinks, special offers and nutritional information on touchscreens or kiosks in their own time (and away from the counter).

6. Electronic Menus Can Be Updated in Minutes

By using moving your menus to digital signs, you can always be sure that what’s on screen is what’s best for your business and your customers. Whether you purchase a custom menu design or use templates, be sure you have some easy way to make updates.

The advantage of digital is that it’s dynamic. Changes on screen take only as long as someone going into the template or interface and updating the information – a single price change takes just seconds. If you prepare promotions in advance, putting them on screen is as simple as hitting “publish”.

For example, if an on-site café finds that they’re down to only 10 blueberry muffins at 10am on Monday, they can quickly get a message up on the display (and other digital signs in the facility) that says, “Fight the Monday blues with a blueberry muffin and a coffee for only 99 cents”. If the promotion works and you sell out, your menu board can adapt to let people know you’ve sold out of muffins, so they don’t order one and get disappointed.

By exploiting the flexibility and ease of electronic menu boards, you’ll add a tremendous amount of value for your audience, increase patronage and save both time and money – all of which leads to higher revenues and a better customer experience.