Updated: Jan 10, 2022
Learn about digital menu boards, how they work, and what it takes to install them in your restaurant.
What is a digital menu board, and how does it function in a restaurant setting?
An electronic menu board displayed on a television or computer monitor is a "digital menu board." An effective digital menu has many moving parts, ranging from the hardware and digital menu software to the design and layout.
What is digital menu software, and how does it work?
You can control and customize your computer's screen menu by utilizing cloud-based software that runs on your computer. Using digital menu board templates you will be able to set up your menu design.
What are the advantages of digital menus?
First of all and primarily, the ease with which it can be used.
1. Make on the fly edits
With the click of a button, you can quickly and easily change the text, photos, and overall appearance of your menu.
Menu items that have become outdated can be updated quickly and easily, resulting in shorter wait times, shorter line waits, and fewer instances of employees explaining menu items to customers.
2. Improve local adveritsing
Increase the visibility of your restaurant in the community.
Contributes to the development and testing of new special promotions and the improvement of the effectiveness of existing marketing campaigns.
3. Grab attention
A third consideration is the use of visually appealing and clean imagery.
Digital menus are becoming increasingly popular. The use of high-definition monitors instead of a traditional menu board results in clear and appealing graphics to the eye.
4. Save more money!
You will save a significant amount of money in this manner.
Once you have this sign, you'll never have to worry about re-creating expensive old-fashioned menu signs again.
How to Select the Best Digital Menu Software for Your Company
You can display your menu on the television with the help of digital signage media players and digital menu software, which are both available on the market.
Obtaining answers to the following eight questions is essential to determining which digital menu software best suits your company's specific needs and requirements.
What level of computer proficiency do I require?
As a business owner, you'll appreciate how simple it is to change your menu when using digital menu software to manage your business. Start with nothing more than a television and a computer to get the ball rolling!
Software for digital menu boards is available in several different configurations.
Digital menu software is the user interface that allows you to select and modify the layout of your menus. It is possible to gain access to digital menu software in two ways.
To use a piece of software, you will need first to download it onto your computer. After that, installing and using the software is very similar to installing and running Microsoft Word on your computer.
When compared to using a web application, installing software is more complicated. Check to see if the operating system on your computer is compatible with the software you intend to install before proceeding. As a result, Mac and Linux users are out of luck, as most menu board software is only compatible with Windows operating systems.
If you're a business owner, you can manage your menus from any computer or mobile device by simply logging on to the provider's website with your username and password and entering your information (including mobile).
In terms of updating your menu, cloud-based digital menu board software gives you complete control over the process. You can make changes to your menu from your laptop or computer, and the changes will be reflected on all of your televisions immediately!
Does it seem like there's a way to make my menu appear on television?
You can access the digital menu (installed software or web app). To watch the video, you'll need a device known as a "digital media player," an electronic device that plays digital media files. Then, using the HDMI input on the menu board signage player, you can display your menu directly on your television or computer screen.
My preferred method of playing digital media is through a plug-and-play digital media player or a connection to a computer.
A digital media player that can be plugged in and played is a must-have. You can display digital menu boards on your television by connecting your personal computer (such as a desktop or laptop) to the television. However, this method is significantly less efficient. To avoid purchasing an external media player from a third-party vendor and plug it into your TV, ensure the service provider has complete Plug and Play capabilities.
How do I go about updating my digital menu, and how do I go about doing so?
It is always connected to the television and receives updates from the cloud through the player of the internet-connected player. A working internet connection must be made available, either through an internet cable running from your company's modem or through a Wi-Fi network set up by your employees.
Your menu boards will be easily created and updated if you use digital menu software, which will be accessible through a dashboard (above). The menu templates provided by your supplier may be suitable for your needs, or you may be able to design your menu from scratch. A dashboard that is flexible and straightforward to use must be identified before a vendor selection decision can be reached.
How much does it cost to use a digital menu system?
Many different digital menu board software packages are available for purchase on a monthly subscription basis, with prices varying wildly depending on the features included in the software package. Updates for newer versions are also available, either for free or at a cost.
Does it make a difference if I have multiple locations if I use one system?
If your company employs digital menu boards, make confident that your software can support multiple locations. Manage a network of menus similar to one another, or have distinct menus in different areas with relative ease.
In terms of digital menu design, now is an excellent time to experiment with various options (images, text, etc.). It would help if you managed your entire network from a single location to ensure that your brand is consistent across all of your sites.
Precisely what is the best way to set up a digital menu board?
The transition from traditional menu boards to digital menu boards can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to the installation process. When deciding how to install your device, you should consider factors such as time, stress, and cost. Consider whether your time or money is more valuable before making your final decision on a strategy.
You can install a digital menu board on your own by following the steps outlined in this article:
Select a location on the computer screen
Seek out a mounting system that is compatible with the vehicle model you have in mind (VESA and max weight)
Prepare your display by putting it together
A list of the materials that will be used is also provided:
A six-foot-high stepladder
The savior of a stud hunter
Using a tape measure, take your measurements
Screwdrivers with Phillips and standard heads
Bolts are 2′′ in diameter and are blue concrete
Devices for tightening that are equipped with a toggle
Decide on where the screen will be installed
If a power outlet is not readily available near the installation site, an extension cable or the services of a professional electrician will be required. No electrical work should be performed in your place of business unless performed by a licensed electrical contractor. Before putting up the screens, ensure that any electrical work has been completed.
Displays can be hung from both the walls and ceiling of a room. The durability of a surface is one of the most important characteristics to consider. Choose the safest mount you can find based on where you can get your hands on it. If both the ceiling and the wall are acceptable, decide. Drilling into the wood as opposed to concrete, for example, has numerous advantages over the latter.
Identify the best mounting solution for your device (VESA and Weight)
Next, determine the hole patterns on your screen to purchase a screen mount compatible with them. The VESA standard is used in the case of flat-panel TV mounting requirements. Begin by measuring the distance between each of the four holes on the back of your screen, which are arranged in a square pattern. Select the appropriate amount and screw size based on the results of the measurements.
VESA patterns with 200 x 200 millimeters (mm) are commonly found on displays with diagonals less than 43 inches. However, the 400 x 400 mm standard is more significant than 43 inches in size for most displays.
Please double-check that you have the correct screws for your mounting surface before proceeding. The screws necessary for installing mounting brackets on wooden studs are typically included with the brackets. Purchasing additional screws, on the other hand, is required when drilling into walls or concrete. Your local hardware store should provide you with the specific bolts you need.
How long does it take to install a digital menu board?
Installation of a single screen takes approximately an hour and a half. The screen must be installed correctly, which means that all electrical work must be completed first. Take precautions to ensure that the installation is conducted during regular business hours. It takes two people to install a screen larger than 46 inches because it is safer and easier to do so with two people than it is with one.
Monitoring and Updating Your Digital Menu Board
Following your digital menu screens and software installation, you will need to update your menu content to reflect the most up-to-date pricing and promotional offers.
You can quickly and easily update your menu boards from any computer if you use cloud-based menu software, which is becoming increasingly popular. The result will be that you'll have more free time and resources to devote to other aspects of your company.
Is it necessary to keep my menu board up to date consistently?
Some restaurants change their menus as frequently as once a week, while others only change their menus once a year.
What exactly can I do with my menu board?
Your company will benefit significantly from the ability to make changes to its menu on the fly. If you're trying to figure out what is and isn't working, an A/B test can be handy. Text and graphics can be moved, shifted, and rearranged to achieve the optimal menu arrangement possible.
Is it true that Digital Menu Boards are all that special?
Using information technology to streamline business processes is becoming increasingly common in all industries, including the foodservice industry. For example, modern restaurants are increasing their advertising, sales, and entertainment by incorporating digital signage and menu software into their window displays and point-of-sale systems, respectively.
McDonald's and other fast-food corporations have installed digital menu board kiosks in their restaurants to reduce wait times, improve order accuracy, and increase customer satisfaction.
Digital signage is frequently used in restaurants as a digital menu board, among other things. Many restaurants are being forced to reevaluate their business models due to the growing demand from customers for quick and easy meals. When you provide customers with easy-to-read digital menus, you can use digital displays to showcase your offerings, in addition to providing them with menu information.
In this section, we'll go over some of the benefits of digital menu displays:
Customer Loyalty is essential
Photos with bright and vibrant colors are more likely to generate positive customer responses. Make use of visually appealing images on your menu boards to pique your customers' interest and increase sales. Images of smoky and spicy wings, for example, are known to pique customers' appetites' interest naturally.
Configure your digital menu television so that it updates automatically
Menu displays make it simple for customers to see what is currently on offer at any given point in time. They don't have to sit around and wait to find out what's for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or the daily specials.
This is a fantastic feature of digital signage because it allows content to be scheduled to appear at a specific time on a particular display. For example, during the hours of six to eleven a.m., only breakfast items will be displayed, and between the hours of eleven and three p.m., only lunch items will be shown.
Special discounts and promotions should be promoted
The ability to pique your customers' interest through the use of compelling offers is relatively easy to achieve. Depending on the situation, specific systems can activate and deactivate pre-programmed seasonal promotions and offers based on the time of day, such as a happy hour. It is also possible to schedule content for a specific weekday. The specials will be available from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday evenings, for example, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Furthermore, cross-selling is an excellent method of increasing sales
With the help of digital menu board televisions, you can upsell your customers on more expensive items, increasing your profit margin. In addition, combo meals, new desserts, and delicious "dishes of the day" are great ways to entice customers to make unplanned purchases.
Common Mistakes in the Design of a Digital Menu Board
When it comes to selecting a design for your digital menu board, it is essential to be aware of the most common mistakes made by other designers. Menu boards in your restaurant require a lot of thought and planning to be effective. What you should look out for are the things listed below.
Displays that are overburdened with digital menu options
It is possible to use statistical menu images.
There is a lack of available space and screen size for digital screens.
Disregarding the video without taking into account allergies, calorie counts, or nutritional information is unacceptable.
The only thing you'll see in the menu displays is text.
Suggestions for Digital Menu Display Systems in terms of design
If you want to use digital signage displays to transform your restaurant, follow these suggestions:
First and foremost, you should strive to improve the quality of your food photography.
The internet is awash in generic food images, but your brand must stand out from the crowd to be successful. If you use authentic food photographs, you will avoid disappointing your customers when they receive the food.
A food and beverage photographer should be hired to capture the essence of your product offerings on camera. The use of consistent lighting by the photographer will improve the overall appearance of your company. It would help if you kept in mind that images are not required for all menus, and you do not want to overwhelm your audience with visuals.
Video content should be incorporated into the layout of your menus because people are naturally drawn to moving images. With the help of videos and animations, you can make your restaurant's message more memorable while also raising awareness of your brand. You could, for example, use a video of a juice splash to demonstrate your commitment to healthy eating. Keeping this in mind, remember that animations can be distracting, so they should only be used in moderation.
Allow your restaurant's limited financial resources to keep you from reaping the benefits of digital signage technology. Resources for creating visually appealing menu displays abound on the internet, and many of these can be found for free.