In the food industry?

Digital Menu Boards… What Can They Do For You ?

The days of walking into a restaurant or cafe to find a printed out menu at a table or a fixed menu board on a wall may be dwindling with the popularity of digital menu sign boards increasing every day.Digital menu boards are similar to any type of digital signage in that it is based on a LCD, Plasma, TV or LED screen (or set of screens) that display digital content. The content is normally sent to the screens from a central content manager, and any changes, additions or updates should be able to be made remotely (via the web) based on the particular restaurant’s requirements. The ability to monitor and change menus frequently, with minimal fuss from a central location, is particularly useful for franchise operations and chain restaurants.

As digital signage becomes more prevalent in shopping centres, workplaces and transport hubs such as airports and train stations, it will also be seen more in food establishments such as restaurants. Let’s look at some of the advantages to digital menu boards:

— Keeping stores progressive and relevant to younger generations. Especially in “family friendly” environments, a digital menu board will encourage direct engagement with the customers who are used to such technology in their homes. Some companies are even experimenting with “gamification” or using digital signage for gaming as a way to engage customers. Digital menus can be installed as part of an overall refurbishment or redesign to bring a restaurant or cafe “up-to-date”.

— As part of keeping “up to date” and using the latest technology to not only engage with customers but enhance the brand, social media such as Facebook or Twitter can be incorporated into the digital signage content in a meaningful and easy way.

— Restaurants have found that digital menu boards are a more efficient and cost effective way to introduce new menu items or new promotions, time and day-specific deals. The time and cost associated with printing high-end menus will been reduced dramatically by having only the initial outlay for the digital menu boards’ hardware and software. Some companies are experimenting with self-order kiosks and menus that will reduce the number of staff required and errors, as well as provide a fun and engaging experience for customers.

— Interestingly, some companies who have deployed digital menu boards have reported a discernible lift in sales, and even an increase in the average margin per transaction. When it comes to special discounts and daily deals, the increase in sales is even higher. So it seems that if people are comfortable with the technology, they are more likely to purchase products and services, and also more likely to purchase higher value items (or more of them) with digital menus. For all companies this should be music to their ears, especially at the moment with the tough economic outlook.