Updated: Jan 10
How to Set Up Digital Menu Boards
Learn the basics of digital menu boards, how they work, and the steps needed to get them set up in your restaurant.
What is the definition of a digital menu board?
A digital menu board is an electronic menu that is displayed on a television or monitor. An effective digital menu has several components, from selecting the best hardware and installing it to selecting the appropriate software and design.
What is digital menu software, and how does it work?
Digital menu board software is a cloud-based software that runs on your computer and allows you to control and change your screens menu.
What are the advantages of digital menus?
1. Ease of use
With the press of a button, you may change the text, photos, and appearance of your menu.
Outdated menu items can be rapidly and readily updated, reducing ordering delays, waiting lines, and the need for employees to explain menu material.
2. Improve Restaurant Markting
Easily develop and test new special promotions, as well as magnify existing marketing efforts.
3. Clean and appealing visuals
Digital menus appear to be more appealing. Menus shown on high-definition monitors produce crisp, eye-catching graphics that a standard menu board cannot.
4. Save Money
You'll never have to worry about reproducing expensive traditional signs again.
How to Select Digital Menu Software for Your Company
To get your menu layout onto your TV, you'll need a TV, digital signage media players, and digital menu software.
In order to evaluate suppliers and choose the finest digital menu software for your business, you'll need to know the answers to the following 8 questions.
1.) Do I need to be tech savvy?
Digital menu software is designed with the business owner in mind, allowing you to quickly update your menu. All that you need is a TV and your computer to get started!
2.) What are the different types of digital menu boards software?
The interface in which you select and alter your menu design is known as digital menu software. Digital menu software can be accessed in two ways:
Many software providers require you to download their software (and your menu) onto your computer in order to use it. The software is an application that runs on your hard drive, similar to downloading and launching Microsoft Word.
Installing software is more difficult than using a web application. When installing software, ensure sure it's compatible with the operating system installed on your computer. Users of Mac and Linux are out of luck because most menu board software is only compatible with Windows.
More modern suppliers are opting to offer their software as a web application or "web app," which allows company owners to manage their menus by just logging on to the provider's website from any computer or device (including mobile).
Cloud-based digital menu board software gives total flexibility when it comes to updating your menu. Using your laptop or computer you remotely update your menu and it will auto-sync onto your TVs!
3.) How does my menu translate from software to television?
The content of your digital menu starts on your computer (installed software or web app). It is then sent to a device known as a "digital media player," which is connected to your television. The menu board signage player displays your menu straight on your screen through HDMI input.
4.) Do I want a plug-and-play digital media player or a computer connection?
A Plug n' Play digital media player is a must-have. Using a personal computer (e.g., a desktop or laptop) connected to your television to display digital menu boards is significantly less efficient. Instead, look for a provider that has full Plug n' Play capabilities, which means you can buy a player from them and plug it into your TV rather than a computer.
5.) How do I make changes to my menu?
The player on an internet-linked player is always connected to the TV and receives updates from the cloud. To do so, your venue must provide the player with a local internet connection, either via an internet cable running from your business's modem or via a Wi-Fi network.
You'll get a dashboard for generating and changing your menu boards if you use digital menu software (above). You may be able to choose from pre-existing menu templates to begin started, or you can construct your own from scratch, depending on your supplier. It's critical to find a dashboard that's both adaptable and simple to use before deciding on a supplier.
6.) What is the cost of digital menu software?
The majority of digital menu board software is sold on a month-to-month basis, with prices varying greatly based on features. Updates to new versions are also available, either for free or at a cost.
7.) What if I have a number of different locations?
If your company has many locations that use digital menu boards, you'll want to be sure your software supports various locations. You can easily manage a network of similar menus or have distinct menus in various locations. This is an ideal time to experiment with menu styles (design, pictures, and text) to see what works best. Being able to manage your whole network from a single location helps ensure brand consistency across all locations while also reducing stress.
8.) Is there anything more I should know?
Capability with RS-232
Choose a player with an RS-232 output if you want your TV to turn on and off automatically. This is how the player instructs the TV to turn on and off. Although some displays have the ability to automatically plan on/off hours, TV software is typically difficult to use, making RS-232 control via your player and software much easier to operate.
How Do I Install A Digital Menu Board System
Switching to digital menu boards can be a scary procedure, especially when it comes to installation. There is a trade-off between time, stress, and cost depending on your installation approach. To make the selection easier, evaluate whether your time or money is more valuable before choosing a strategy.
Follow these procedures to install a digital menu board on your own:
Choose a screen location
Look for a mount that is compatible (VESA and max weight)
Install your monitor
Materials to be used:
Ladder, 6 ft. tall
Finder of studs
Standard and Phillips screwdrivers
2′′ bolts in blue concrete
Bolts with toggles
1.) Determine the location of the screen
Locate a suitable location for your digital menu boards, such as:
Sturdy Surface for mounting
If you're within 6 feet of a power source, you're in danger.
If you don't have access to a power outlet near the installation spot, you'll need to use an extension cable or hire an electrician to run power to the screen. Without a licensed electrician, no electrical work should be done in your business. Before installing the screens, you should complete any necessary electrical work.
A display can be hung on both walls and ceilings. The surface's sturdiness is the most important feature. Choose the safest mount feasible based on where you can acquire it. Decide which will be easiest to drill into if both your ceiling and wall are acceptable. Drilling into a wooden stud rather than concrete, for example, would be much easier.
2.) Locate a Mount That Is Compatible (VESA and Weight)
Next, establish the mount hole patterns on your screen so you can buy a matching mount. The mounting requirements for most modern flat panel TVs are known as VESA. To begin, measure the distance between the four holes on the back of your screen that form a square. Choose your mount and screw size based on these measurements.
TIP: Most displays with a diagonal of less than 43” have a VESA pattern of 200 x 200 mm. 400400 mm is the standard for most displays larger than 43 inches.
Make sure you have the right screws for your mounting surface. Screws for wooden studs are normally included with mounting brackets; however, if you're drilling into drywall or concrete, you'll need different screws. Your neighborhood hardware store should be able to assist you in locating the specific bolts you require.
3.) Install Your Display
It takes 1-2 hours to mount a single screen. Before installing the screen, all electrical work should be performed. Make sure the installation takes place when your business is closed. Installing screens larger than 46” requires two people, and having two people makes mounting smaller panels much easier and safer. Keep yourself hydrated!
How to Keep Track of Your Digital Menu
You'll need to update your menu contents after installing your digital menu screens and software to reflect the most recent pricing and specials.
We strongly advise you to use cloud-based menu software so you can update your menu boards quickly and conveniently from any computer. This will save you time and money while allowing you to concentrate on other elements of your organization.
Is it necessary for me to update my menu board on a regular basis?
We've seen restaurants alter their menus as frequently as once a week and as infrequently as once a year.
What can my menu board be used to measure?
The flexibility to alter your menu material on the fly is a big benefit for your company. A/B testing can help you figure out what's working and what isn't. To achieve the ideal menu layout, you can adjust, move, shift, and change text and graphics.