• Nikki Ault

A Digital Menu Board Is Not Just For Menus

Digital Signage may have quickly turned into a standard fixture in restaurants and quick service restaurants. Certainly the up-sell opportunities, cost savings and many other benefits together with the new local and federal legislation on required nutritional information have small cafes to national chains thinking about upgrading their menu boards to digital menu boards.

The Traditional Menu Board

Every single visitor to a restaurant or fast food outlet will, of course, consult the menu board. While other retailers must work to attract customers' attention to their in-store displays, restaurateurs have a guaranteed audience.

The restaurant menu board can offer an amazing sales and branding window for your eatery. Little wonder that more and more restaurants are introducing digital screens in place of the old static signage and paper menus.

The Hidden Benefits of Digital Menu Boards

Operational efficiencies that can be achieved with integrated digital menus and point-of-sale systems are often used to justify the installation cost by providing an easily measurable return on investment.

But there real hidden benefits, a few golden opportunities to take the restaurant's customer and staff experience to a whole new level. A few leading benefits for implementing digital menus in a restaurant location besides menu items are:

· Updating compliance with relevant food labeling regulations

· Enhance customer experience

· After hours staff training

Any digital menu board must of course be accurate, up to date and compliant with relevant national and local law. Digital signage content management systems can now be integrated easily into restaurant point-of-sale solutions. This ensures that any changes to the menu and pricing are instantly reflected in both.

A dish that’s sold out can quickly be removed from the menu, and a new one can be introduced as it becomes available. Food labeling regulations can be met instantly also with this technology. One update is immediately reflected in every screen in the restaurant or chain of restaurants.

Enhancing the Customer Experience with Digital Menu Boards

However, one thing that really sets digital menu boards apart from fixed signage is the way in which the customer experience can be enhanced. Showing how much you support the community goes a long way. In fact, a restaurant can survive for years with the support of the local people.

And, digital signage allows restaurants to give back! You are able to display local news on your menu board or other digital screens in the restaurant.

You might offer useful community information such as upcoming local farmers’ markets or fairs. Real-time quotes from customers via text messaging (SMS) could be both amusing and informative for patrons. Some owners have a message to all of their customers thanking them for their business and support that runs as a “bulletin” along the bottom of the menu periodically.

Sports results and/or news can also be delivered to customers alongside the menu.

All of this will enhance the dining experience, encouraging your customers to stay longer and consume more. It will show the community in which you do business how much the owners, managers and staff appreciate the local support.

Using Digital Menu Boards for Staff Training

Another great use of a digital menu board is for training your staff during off hours, or before your restaurant opens. You can multipurpose your investment by using your digital board to display training videos, or to communicate important news. Pre-recorded training videos can be scheduled at a set time to play across all locations.

You can use it for internal communication. Ensuring consistent, quality customer experiences is one of the biggest challenges facing restaurants. Staff morale is another. With digital signage, restaurant owners are able to host both prerecorded and live training sessions before or after store hours.

Now you have a “corporate intranet” with which you can reach employees who may not be as dedicated to the company, and allows you to communicate an internal marketing message.

Truly, your imagination is the only limit to your digital menu board!

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