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The Total Absolute Guide to Digital Menu Boards

Updated: Dec 15, 2021

Digital Menu Displays

A digital menu board is a type of display system that consists of hardware and software that enables dynamic menus to be displayed on screens. Along with menus, the screens can display specials and promotions, live television, and customer reviews.

The Advantages of Electronic Menu Boards

  • Digital menu boards have been seen to increase sales by 32% percent

  • Easily modifiable and can include calories counts

  • Assists you in initiating and concluding marketing campaigns on time

  • Save time and money on menu printing costs

Because digital menu boards are both attractive and dynamic, they contribute to your brand's positive association. Digital menus will enable your restaurant to increase its revenue through effective upselling

Digital menu boards' scalability simplifies logistics, allowing restaurateurs to centralize management. Additionally, this enables you to collaborate on updates via cloud-based online dashboards.

Digital menu displays give decision-makers a great deal of creative freedom when it comes to local promotional content. Additionally, the solution enables restaurants to adhere to FDA menu requirements.

Simply put, digital menu boards provide a cost-effective solution for restaurants to maintain consistent menu pricing, promotions, and content.

Consider the Following When Creating Outdoor Menu Boards

Outdoor digital menu boards have several unique characteristics and implementation requirements, which frequently result in a hefty price tag. These include the following:

Weatherproofing to protect the hardware from the elements

Provisions for high-brightness screens to ensure that content is visible in bright sunlight protecting the screens from vandalism or damage to the display

For the reasons stated previously, traditional indoor digital signage design is significantly different from that of an outdoor sign.

The Components and Operation of a Digital Menu Board

Prior to initiating your digital signage menu board project, the following will be required:

1. Digital menu TVs

Digital displays—comprise a screen connected to an HDMI port. Commercial-grade displays are the best choice due to their longer warranties, longer operating hours, and durability. Additionally, they meet the requirements for brightness and are suitable for commercial environments. Additionally, these screens support both vertical and horizontal orientations.

Digital menu board media players connect to the TV, download menu content from the software, caches it, and then display it on the digital menu screens.

HDMI cables will be used to connect this device to your digital displays. Additionally, you'll need an internet (wired) or WiFi connection for the media player to receive and download content from the software, as well as transmit the media to the screens.

2. Digital menu board software

Digital menu boards is also known as content management software (CMS). The digital menu board software is your command center for creating and managing your content. It enables you to create content, upload it, configure it, and finally deploy it to digital displays.

The software is primarily cloud-based, and you can access it online from a PC. As a result of this characteristic, you can effectively manage your operations via remote content management.

3. Digital menu design

Keep your menu design simple and clean. Don't overcrowd the menu with to many items. This will make your digital menu hard to read and congested.

4. Ease of use

Additionally, it must be simple to implement—that is, it must enable restaurateurs to make seamless price changes or additions.

5. Menu scheduling

Pre-set your breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus to automatically play on your TV

Design Tips for Digital Menu Boards

Design Tips for Digital Menu Boards Essentially, readability is improved through the use of trendy colors, optimal font size, and contrast.

From image selection to structure, it's critical to create layouts that are both functional and visually appealing. This strategy enables you to enhance the customer experience while also increasing sales.

1. Invest in high-quality images while remaining realistic

Avoid using heavily filtered or stock images in the design of your restaurant menu board. A stock image is a representation of a generic image.

For example, if you choose to use a burger or coffee cup with which your customers are unfamiliar, you risk creating confusion about what you're selling. As such, whenever possible, use your own imagery for your digital menu boards.

Realistic images are created by photographing food and beverages in natural light, avoiding the use of flash, which can flatten your images by removing natural shadows.

Additionally, consider the backdrop—an immaculately clean white diner plate on a patterned/lightly colored table mat can enhance the appearance and feel of your restaurant's meals.

Finally, consider your angles. How do you photograph and style your dishes? Certain dishes or beverages look spectacular when photographed from above, while others require a lower angle.

2. Incorporate high contrasting colors

This factor will largely be determined by the décor of your restaurant. Choose a dark screen for bright spaces because it is an excellent way to attract attention. On the other hand, if your space is brightly colored, opt for a white screen.

Additionally, it is standard practice to limit your digital menu board to three primary color schemes to avoid detracting attention from the primary message—your food!

3. Menu font styles

When choosing fonts, you should use brand guidelines as a guide to ensure the overall look and feel is consistent. Apart from font size, another factor to consider is the clarity of the headlines that accompany the text.

Determine the distance between your screen and the farthest end of your audience's queue. If you make the assumption that viewers will be unable to read it, you will miss an opportunity to capitalize on the lengthy queue time and sell additional products.

4. Less is more

When you have a large number of food items, it can be difficult to design restaurant menu boards without exhausting all available space. Nonetheless, this frequently results in crowded and "noisy" menu boards.

To avoid overwhelming your customers, you should allow for sufficient breathing room—even if this means creating more than two menus. As such, you can separate courses or rotate menus to avoid cramming them all into one location.

Additionally, by including negative space around each list, your customers can easily read the menu items or content. As a result, we recommend a maximum of 35 lines per slide. This ensures that your viewers can read both the pricing and the names. As a result, queue times will be reduced, and your customers will wait less time for their food.

Use sans-serif fonts for large sizes to ensure that viewers can read the messages at a glance. Similarly, avoid using multiple fonts and bright, garishly colored fonts, particularly if your design incorporates color.

5. Incorporate motion

Here, we're referring to animated images or videos.

These elements all contribute to the eye's attraction, as the human eye is naturally drawn to movement.

6. Include your specials

A digital menu board's purpose is to entice customers to take action. With that in mind, it would be simple if your customers already know what they want. However, if they are unsure, it would be appropriate to use digital menu boards to prompt your audience to inquire.

CTAs include the following: "inquire about our specials." Alternatively, "like us on Facebook to receive a discount!"

These subsequent calls to action encourage customers to engage with your restaurant's messaging.

Generally, you should display the call to action throughout; if not, repeat it periodically until it becomes ingrained in the minds of your viewers. It's preferable to create a CTA that prompts your customers to act immediately while in line or shortly after their meal.


In general, digital menu boards have moved beyond being a “nice-to-have” business consideration to becoming a “must-have” for restaurant industry leaders.

If you're spending too much money updating your menu or are concerned about the cost of printing promotional posters, an effective marketing campaign is critical to retaining and attracting new customers in the restaurant industry.

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