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Digital Menu Boards

Blogpost was published on March 25, 2024

Digital menu boards are popping up in a ton of your favorite restaurants. Why? Well, in today's fast-paced dining landscape, staying relevant means embracing technology. Digital menu boards are the modern solution for restaurants looking to elevate their customer experience. These sleek and dynamic displays replace traditional static menus with vibrant visuals, offering real-time updates and the choice to have interactive features.

Today, we'll dive into the world of digital menu boards, explaining what they are, the benefits they have, a few options to select from, and how to get started. Whether you're a small cafe or a bustling eatery, digital menu boards are the key to standing out against the competition, so let’s get started.

Digital Signage Menu Boards

What Are Digital Menu Boards?

Digital menu boards are digital screens that are a modern alternative to traditional static menus in restaurants, cafes, and other dining establishments. Rather than your menu being printed on a static surface, they display your menu digitally. They also allow you to include other content like sales and promotions, videos and images of your offerings, and much more.

Essentially, digital menu boards are simply digital signage for the food service industry. So now that we know what they are, we’ll get into the benefits– the best part!

Read the blog post about menu boards in a Food Truck.

Benefits of Digital Menu Boards

There are multiple benefits of digital signage for restaurants which is why they are so popular. Though this isn’t a comprehensive list, here are the major benefits of digital menu boards.

Dynamic Content and Real-time Updates

Digital restaurant display systems allow you to showcase more dynamic content and update that content as needed without the need for re-printing. You can easily update menu items, pricing, and promotions in real time, ensuring that customers always see the latest offerings. Have you run out of a menu item? No worries, you can update your menu to reflect that in just a few taps. Not to mention, digital menus allow you to include elements like video and animations which you wouldn’t be able to put on a static printed menu.

Increased Sales and Upselling Opportunities

Digital menu boards also can increase sales and provide upselling opportunities. You can use eye-catching visuals and animations to showcase higher-profit menu items, highlight specials, combos, or limited-time offers to encourage upselling and boost overall sales. Who doesn’t love a way to increase the bottom line?

Cost Savings and Environmental Sustainability

With traditional menus or menu boards in restaurants, every time there is a change, the signage must be reprinted. However, with a digital signage solution, you can eliminate the recurring cost of printing and distributing traditional menus. This also means you get to contribute to environmental sustainability as well by reducing paper waste associated with disposable menus. It’s a win-win.

Enhanced Customer Engagement

In daily life, there is always signage all around us and because of this, customers can often walk right by traditional signs. Instead, with digital restaurant menu boards, you can capture customers' attention with vibrant graphics, high-resolution images, and interactive features, creating a more engaging and memorable dining experience.

Efficient Management and Operations

Going digital allows for more efficient management and operations as well. You have the option to integrate digital menu boards with POS systems and inventory management, streamlining order processing and reducing the likelihood of errors. Additionally, since it is a cloud-based solution, you can centralize control, allowing for easy management of multiple locations and ensuring consistency in menu presentation across the entire restaurant chain no matter the geographical location.

Improved Customer Flow and Wait Times

What is one thing customers hate? Waiting. To make it more bearable, use digital menu displays to convey wait times, promotions, or entertainment content, keeping customers engaged and reducing perceived wait times. In addition, you can enable self-service options with touchscreen displays, allowing customers to place orders and customize their meals while skipping the line.

Modern Aesthetic and Brand Image

These days, if you are not embracing technology in your restaurant, you are getting left behind. Luckily, digital menu boards contribute to a contemporary and tech-savvy brand image, appealing to a younger demographic and customers who value innovation. They also enhance the overall ambiance of the restaurant making it appear sleek and modern.

Flexibility in Design and Layout

With the ability to pick and choose different screen sizes, the number of screens, and the features of screens like whether or not they are touchscreen, you have a ton of flexibility when it comes to the design and layout of digital menu boards. Furthermore, you can customize the design and layout of your content on the screen as well so from top to bottom, you’re in control.

Integration with Marketing Efforts

Finally, digital signage in your restaurant allows you to seamlessly integrate digital menu boards into broader marketing campaigns, promoting loyalty programs, social media presence, and community engagement. Use the displays to showcase user-generated content, reviews, or testimonials, building trust and credibility.

Touchscreen Menu Displays vs. Digital Menu Displays

We have briefly mentioned touchscreen menu displays above in the benefits section, but let’s talk about that a bit more. When it comes to digital menus, you have two main options– touchscreen menu displays and digital menu displays. Digital menu displays involve the use of screens to showcase menus, but like your TV, they are for display only and you cannot interact with them.

On the other hand, touchscreen menu displays take things a step further by allowing customers to interact directly with the menu. With a simple touch, customers can browse through options, customize orders, and access additional information. While both serve to enhance the traditional menu format, touchscreen displays add an interactive layer, providing a hands-on and engaging experience for diners.

How To Get Started with Digital Menu Boards

Now that we have gone over all of the benefits, you’re probably wondering, “How do I get started with digital menu boards?” No worries, it’s simple!

Pick Your Software

There are three components to a digital signage setup in restaurants. First is the digital signage content management software. This is where you’ll be able to design, upload, and manage the content that is displayed on your screens. For digital menu boards, you’ll want to choose a software that has plenty of content editing tools and for those wanting a touchscreen solution, you’ll need to ensure the software supports it.

If you don’t want to worry about whether the digital signage software has everything you need to set up and scale your digital signage, consider Play Digital Signage. Play Digital Signage has everything you need to get started, grow, and manage your digital menu boards regardless if you opt for a touchscreen or not. From free menu templates and affordable pricing to free royalty-free media and much more, the powerhouse Play Digital Signage software is everything you need and more.

Pick Your Hardware

Once you have your software picked out, you’ll need to pick out some hardware. In a digital signage setup, you’ll need a screen and a digital signage media player. The screen is what displays your content, while the media player acts as a middleman between the software and the screen so they can all “talk” to each other. However, the most important aspect to consider is whether they are all compatible. If you opt for Play Digital Signage, you have plenty of options as the software is compatible with all major operating systems. Play Digital Signage is also compatible with smart TVs which allow you to have the media player and screen all in one. If you’re looking for more information on which digital signage hardware to choose, we’ve gone more in-depth here.

Put It All Together

The last step is to simply put it all together. Sign up for your free account at Play Digital Signage and utilize our setup guides to connect your hardware. In a few clicks and a few minutes, you’ll be ready to design your digital signage menu boards and reap all of the benefits that come with it.

Read our blog post about how to design your menu board effectively.

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