5 min read

TOP 8 Ideas for a Digital Menu Board

Written by
Pavlo Fedykovych
Published on
October 26, 2021
May 29, 2024

Digital menu boards have become a golden standard among forward-looking restaurants. They provide great flexibility and state-of-art visual presentation. In this article, we’ll share best practices for using digital menu boards. Let’s go.

When it comes to the menu, it’s a medium that every customer is guaranteed to pay attention to. It’s the thing that actually leads to sales (or lack of them). That’s why restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, fast-food chains, burger joints and basically everybody in the industry should pay extra attention to the presentation of their menus in the 21st century.

Static menu boards have long been the only option. But with the new technologies and the accessibility of digital signage, it seems like an obsolete choice as well as a sales stopper. Because when your menu can amaze and inspire, why not use it to the fullest? With digital menu board software, you can do it easily. 

Still, it’s not sufficient to just have a digital menu board app, it’s absolutely essential to create the top content to show on the screens. And that’s what we will talk about now. Here are the best practices of using digital menu boards. 

1. Location matters

When installing digital signage, you have to carefully consider which place would work best for your establishment. For example, with the menu boards, you can utilize different spaces. The screens showing menu items can be placed: 

  • Outside

You can have street signs, window signs, outdoor boards. 

  • Inside

You can place digital menu boards above the counter, in the halls, next to the entrance, etc. 

The main thing here is to determine which place would work best for people to look at your menu in comfort and understand it clearly. Think about the customer journey and adapt accordingly. 

2. Have a content plan

There’s one big misconception about digital signage, a belief that just by installing screens everything else will suddenly become better. It’s not that simple. Technology is there to show your content in the best way. But at the end of the day, it’s the content that does all the magic. Many signage apps have templates that help you with content creation. But it’s absolutely necessary to have a plan before getting into the implementation of screen technology. 

For our digital menu boards to be successful, you would need to carefully analyze how your customers interact with your menu and which areas could be enhanced in order to positively influence your visitors and boost sales. That’s why knowing your audience matters as much as understanding which content to show and when. 

3. Timing is everything 

One of the main advantages of going digital with your menu is the flexibility you are getting. 

For example, if you’re running a popular coffee shop in the middle of a business district, lunchtime would be the most intense hour. And that is also the best time to promote special propositions. Meaning that with the help of dynamic and beautiful signage at the right time you will make more sales. 

Screen technology allows you to change content instantly, with no money spent. With static, you will have to print out materials and that will give you additional costs and constant headaches as the propositions may change from week to week. 

4. Attention, attention 

In a world of minuscule attention spans, digital signage is something that draws all the eyeballs and allows you to engage directly with your customers. Your message won’t be lost when it’s shown on a digital sign. With the power of visuals, you can easily get the attention of your visitors and talk to them through the means of well-crafted content.

5. Beautiful images that sell

It’s one thing to read “Triple Cheeseburger” written on a menu card, it’s a whole other experience to see the juicy HD picture of it in its meaty glory on a bright screen. And usually, people come to restaurants hungry. As an owner, you can use technology to evoke emotions through beautiful imagery of food. Because food is one of the most enjoyable visual content types right now flying on the wings of Instagram and Pinterest. Be sure that the images you’re showing using digital menu boards are high quality and appealing. 

6. Videos to set the mood

While images are the number 1 choice for a digital menu, videos are not far behind. However, here you should be more cautious about the time your customers spend looking at the menu. If you’re running a fast-food chain and you’ve only got seconds to impress, go with the images in the menu because if there’s a video you risk losing the attention. However, if your visitors spend more time browsing through the menu, videos can be a welcoming addition that can amplify your proposition and inspire. 

For example, if you have an Italian restaurant and you’re promoting a special Pasta Bolognese this week, you can use the stunning travel videos from Bologna or show the pasta-making process in order to evoke emotions. 

7. Don’t overdo

When you have so much flexibility in creating content it’s easy to get too excited with your visual presentation. However, it may not always be the right thing to do. Menu boards are still mainly an informational medium, the one with prices and assortment. When customers feel bombarded with content they can easily turn away from your place. So our advice would be to have tact and try to subtly enhance the power of your menu through great accompanying content. Without overshadowing the main informational purpose. 

8. Social media promotion

Whether it’s a hashtag you’re promoting, a call for user-generated content or follow request, digital menu boards do the job when it comes to social media promotion. You can use screens to run separate snippets asking people to follow you on social media or you can include QR-codes or your profile handles at the bottom of the menu for easier growth on social.

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