Frequently Asked Questions about Digital Menu Boards

Considering a switch to digital menu boards in your restaurant? Allow us to be your resource. Read on for answers to commonly asked questions about digital menu boards and best practices for adoption across your locations.

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What are digital menu boards, and why do I need them for my business?

Digital menu boards, or digital signage, are electronic displays that showcase your menu items and pricing. They are designed to be eye-catching, interactive, and dynamic. They can help increase sales, improve customer experience, and reduce the waste and cost associated with printing.

Digital menu boards can be tailored to the unique configuration of your restaurant, placed indoors or outdoors, and utilized to achieve a variety of business objectives. For example, if you want to drive sales for a new LTO, you might want to feature that item. If you’re focused on driving up-sells for sides and drinks, you can dedicate your real estate to those objectives. If you want to align customer expectations on wait times, you can feature an order fulfillment board in conjunction with your digital menu.

What features should I look for in digital menu boards?

The features you should look for in digital menu boards depend on your specific needs and goals, but some key features include customizable templates and themes, scheduling and dayparting options, integration with POS systems, remote content management, and real-time updates.

Of all these features, POS integration is among the most valuable. It is this link between the restaurant’s digital menu boards and its point of sale that ensures the information presented is accurate, complete, and relevant. This includes the ability to update pricing automatically with point-of-sale data, and to eliminate items when stock-outs occur.

How much do digital menu boards cost?

The cost of digital menu boards can vary widely depending on the vendor, the size and number of displays you need, and the features included. Typically, you can expect to pay a one-time fee for the hardware and software, with additional fees for content creation, installation, and maintenance. In recent years, the cost of digital screens has reduced significantly, transforming digital menu boards from luxury technology to one that is accessible and increasingly universal.

It is important to view digital menu boards as an investment with a significant potential return. While there are up-front costs involved, these costs are eclipsed by increased sales, reduced administrative costs, and reduced material costs over time. Digital menu boards can adapt alongside your menu, enabling you to keep them relevant without added expenses.

What kind of hardware do I need for digital menu boards?

The hardware you need for digital menu boards can vary depending on the vendor and the features you require. At a minimum, you will need a digital display or displays, a media player, and a content management system. Additional hardware such as wall mounts, cables, and audio systems may also be required.

While the number of hardware items required for installation might feel overwhelming at first, the right partner can dramatically simplify your digital menu board installation across sites. Make sure to choose a partner that has strong relationships with leading digital menu board hardware and software providers, a proven track record with leading restaurant brands, and complementary expertise in integrated technologies like the point of sale.

How do I choose the right digital menu board system for my business?

To choose the right digital menu board system for your restaurant, start by identifying your specific needs and goals. Consider factors such as the size and layout of your space, the number of displays you need, the features you require, and your budget. Do your research, read reviews, and schedule demos with potential vendors to ensure you find a system that meets your needs and is easy to use.

As always, a collaborative technology partner can help provide outside insight and peace of mind during this process and simplify selection and solution design by providing multiple digital menu board alternatives that have a strong reputation among the restaurant community.

How can digital menu boards help improve the customer experience, and what kind of content should I display to maximize the impact?

Digital menu boards can help improve the customer experience by providing an engaging and interactive way for customers to browse menu items, learn about timely promotions, view transparent pricing and caloric information, and understand the options for customization of their order.

Because digital menu boards typically use high-quality images and videos, they can generate mouthwatering interest in new menu items and intrigue customers into trying new things. In addition, it is possible to integrate customer reviews, social media feeds, and loyalty program information in your digital menu boards, making them a powerful driver of community, engagement, and loyalty.

Can I integrate my existing POS system with digital menu boards, and how can this integration benefit my business?

Yes, most digital menu board systems can be integrated with existing POS systems, allowing you to update menu items and pricing in real-time. This integration can benefit your business by reducing errors and inconsistencies between your POS system and your menu boards, improving operational efficiency, and providing customers with accurate and up-to-date information.

In addition to reducing the onus on your crew members, this integration also prevents avoidable moments of dissatisfaction—such as when a customer asks for an expired LTO, sees an inaccurate price, or orders an item that just went out of stock or requires a broken piece of machinery.

What kind of maintenance is required for digital menu boards, and how can I ensure they are always functioning properly?

Digital menu boards require regular maintenance, including software updates, content updates, and hardware servicing. To ensure they are always functioning properly, you should schedule regular maintenance checks, monitor performance metrics such as uptime and engagement rates, and have a plan in place for troubleshooting and repairs.

Make sure to select a technology partner that understands the proper maintenance schedule for your boards and their associated software. Many vendors will offer professional services to ensure your boards are always working as they should and offer a timely replacement should something go wrong.

While digital menu boards are not maintenance free, they require far less maintenance than traditional menu boards, which quickly fade and become inaccurate over time. Conversely, digital menu boards never fade, and they always reflect the realities of your menu and point of sale.

How can I measure the ROI of my digital menu board investment, and what metrics should I track?

Measuring the ROI of your digital menu board investment can be challenging, but some metrics to track include sales data before and after installation, customer engagement rates, specific menu item popularity based on visual prominence, and customer feedback. You can also conduct surveys and focus groups to gather qualitative feedback and assess customer satisfaction.

What are some best practices for designing and implementing digital menu boards, and how can I ensure they align with my brand and business goals?

Some best practices for designing digital menu boards include creating a consistent visual identity and design language, using clear and legible fonts and colors, prioritizing high-quality imagery and video content, and keeping the user experience in mind. To ensure they align with your brand and business goals, you should develop a clear content strategy and align your messaging with your overall marketing and branding efforts.

As far as on-site installation, placement is key. Make sure to optimize the placement and layout of your boards based on your unique restaurant layout and business objectives. For outdoor boards, proper weatherproof enclosures are critical to long-term durability.

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