Want to boost sales by switching the static menu boards at your restaurant for new digital menu boards? You’re making a good decision. Digital menu boards are spreading quickly across the industry, helping owners to make improvements to their restaurants, their operations and their bottom lines.
Why invest in digital menu boards?
Digital menu boards improve the appearance of a restaurant, differentiate a location from its competitors, and make things easier for both staff and customers.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Here 10 reasons why you should consider updating your menu boards to digital:
1. Updating your menu boards to comply with new healthcare laws is simple.
Title IV of the new healthcare laws state that “restaurants which are part of a chain with 20 or more locations doing business under the same name must disclose calories on the menu board and in written form.” Digital menu boards provide a simple way for restaurants to change the information presented on their menu boards, allowing said restaurants to stay compliant with new state, and federal, laws and regulations.
2. Adding new menu items or changing prices can be done remotely (or even automatically).
Whether maintained manually or automatically (through integration with a POS system), menu items and pricing can be managed remotely so that either all or only some restaurants receive the updates.
3. Customers can be upsold consistently, boosting overall sales.
Digital menu boards present a huge opportunity for upsells. Based on orders entered in a POS system, the digital screens can display complimentary items. High-resolution screens also give the viewer a much cleaner look at the food compared to static images. In 2010, Burger King deployed digital menu boards across London and Birmingham locations, resulting in a 64% rise in sales in just 12 months.
4. Menus can be customized to time of day using scheduling and dayparting.
No more changing transparent inserts or flipping from breakfast to lunch. Digital menu boards allow restaurants to schedule when their menus will change, automatically. Whether it’s a time of day, day of the week, or a special event, digital menu boards provide restaurants with a hassle-free method of displaying relevant menu items.
5. Remote, centralized control can eliminate errors and inefficiencies.
Manage the entire network of menu boards from anywhere with an internet connection. Eliminate employee mishaps, printing errors, shipping costs, and the other headaches of static menu boards. Monitor the health of the system, the content, and control what messages the customers are seeing all from your desk, couch, or the closest beach.
6. Entertaining, engaging content helps to reduce perceived customer wait times.
Mixing in some value-added content such as trivia, fun facts, or other entertainment helps to lower a customer’s perceived wait time. It also gives customers a reason to continue to look at a screen, allowing you to slip in promotional or other branded content.
7. Brand consistency becomes easier to maintain.
There’s always a risk of employees forgetting, or neglecting, to change a static poster menu board. With digital menu boards, restaurants can be sure that all their locations are up to date and consistent with one another.
8. Printing and shipping costs are eliminated.
Static menu boards require restaurants to design, print, ship, and then install their materials. A digital menu board eliminates the costs of printing, shipping, and installation. It’s also good for the planet! Once a digital menu board has been designed and installed, maintaining is as simple as uploading a photo to a Facebook account.
9. Communication with employees can be enhanced.
Restaurants can use their digital menu board to communicate with staff either for training or other important news. Pre-recorded training videos can be scheduled to play across all locations at a set time. A company’s CEO can also broadcast a message to customers thanking them for their business and support.
10. Connections with the community can be built.
Digital signage allows restaurants to give back. By displaying local news on their menu boards or other digital screens in the restaurant, the community will clearly see how much the owners, managers, and staff appreciate the local support.
How to Get the Best Return from Your Digital Menu Board
You might see an immediate boost the day that you switch from a static menu board to a digital menu board. That said, you should keep the following ideas in mind if you want to see the greatest possible return on your investment.
Display enticing images of food.
Seeing photos of menu items helps customers make decisions because they can see what they are ordering. Seeing pictures of food can also guide ordering habits.
A study conducted at Iowa State University showed that visuals have a direct impact on decision making. Their research found that seeing images of food before ordering leads diners to make different decisions. When images of salad were added to a rotating cafeteria menu used in a summer camp for kids, “salad consumption among kids increased as much as 90 percent.”
Design with foot traffic in mind.
Restaurants located in areas with heavy foot-traffic can benefit from placing digital menu boards outside of their location. People often stop to view menus before selecting a place to eat while in malls, on busy streets, or in busy complexes and plazas.
Displaying a digital menu board rather than placing a printed menu behind glass helps you engage with potential customers. You can present photos, multiple menu offerings, and specials to help draw guests into your restaurant.
Change menus as you rotate from breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Restaurants that offer multiple, varied menus throughout the day can use digital signage to rotate menus so only available options are visible. Crowded restaurant menu boards make it difficult for guests to make decisions and sort through their options. Hiding unused menus simplifies this process for guests.
A great thing about digital menu signage is that you don’t have to remember to change your menu during the day. Through the use of time-parting, the menu will automatically adjust based on the time of the day. So when lunch ends and dinner begins, screens will update to show only dinner menu options.
Move people through ordering lines faster.
As previously mentioned, crowded menus make it difficult for people to make decisions. This slows down ordering lines as guests struggle with sorting through their options and making a selection.
With digital menu signage, you can remove offerings that are no longer available and condense menus so it’s easy for people to make a selection and move quickly through their ordering process.
Promote new or lesser known menu items.
Advertising and promoting new menu items is simple with digital menus. You can update your content playlist to include promotions and photos of your new offering. Being able to update your menu in real-time also makes it easier for you to try out new menu items. You can promote test items without spending additional marketing dollars on creating new posters and signs.
Using digital media content is also a good way to introduce both new customers and returning customers to lesser known menu items they may overlook or not know about. You can bring menu items front-and-center with a rotating feature in your playlist.
Our customers have seen huge increases in restaurant and deli sales by implementing Spectrio's Digital Menu Boards. Here's what Mike Kandeel, of Vickie's Convenience and Deli, had to say: "We have always had a brisk deli counter, but since the installation of the Spectrio Digital Menu Board we have seen an uptick of 17% in the first 2 months. Mary and the creative and support team have been first class. We look forward to deploying in more of our stores. Thanks Spectrio!”
Easily feature daily specials.
Instead of using chalkboards and sandwich boards, you can promote your daily specials by highlighting them on digital menu boards. The items can change daily to feature your soup of the day and chef specials.
Just as you can use time-parting to trigger a menu to automatically update based on the time of the day, you can use day-parting to change menu items based on the day of the week. This alleviates the amount of management needed to update menus on a daily basis.
Initiate upsells by highlighting combos and add-ons.
Because digital menus feature content that quickly rotates and changes, it’s an excellent tool for restaurants that offer combos and menu add-ons like sides, drinks, and desserts.
By adding promotions for upsells into the rotation of content, you can highlight high-profit items that are often easy for customers to overlook.
Bonus: Save money with digital menu signage.
Digital menu signage presents many options for boosting restaurant sales, and it can do even more than that. This technology can also help restaurants save money.
- Stop ordering new signs. When you can instantly update your signage with a few clicks, you never have to throw away outdated signage or order new materials. Your digital signage will last for years to come.
- Control your inventory. Manage kitchen inventory by adjusting menu items based on supply and demand. Easily promote items that are overstocked and remove items that are not longer available.
- Always meet changing FDA requirements for menu boards. With digital menu signage, you can quickly update your content to meet menu labeling requirements when the FDA makes changes.
Using digital menu boards in your restaurant helps customers making better decisions and your business make more sales, all while helping you save money.
So, why are you still using outdated, static signs and menus?
Bring digital menu boards to your restaurant.
To see what it takes to bring digital menu signage into your restaurant and start impressing guests while increasing sales, get our free ebook.