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Best Practices for your Restaurants
Digital Menu Boards

Optimal guidelines for your restaurant’s digital menu boards

This article concerns indoor digital menu boards and the drive-thru. You’re in the process of installing digital menu boards in your restaurant and you’re not quite sure what comes next. Picking the right solution is just the first step.

Now comes the hard part. It’s time to design your new menus and start thinking about how you want to schedule your content. You want to do things right, so it’s worth spending time planning your next steps.

Before we go any further, let’s remember the reasons why people invest in digital menu boards for their restaurants.

A restaurant menu board provides a great opportunity to reinforce your brand, stimulate impulse food sales and promote your loyalty programs. It’s how you create a better dining experience for your guests.

Going digital brings many other benefits. You don’t need to swap out printed signs each time there is a new promotion or price change. You can also login to your digital signage software to change your menus based on the time of day, the restaurant’s location, or when you add new food items. It’s fast and easy to do.

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Why do people invest in digital menu boards?

  • They offer the simplest way to ensure customers see your restaurant’s menus while increasing foot traffic and sales.
  • They are changing the way customers order food. Sales data shows that restaurants that replace their traditional printed menus with dynamic digital versions see a significant increase in order sizes and receipt totals.
  • Digital menu boards help increase profitability and generate a positive impact on your business’s bottom line.
bell centre stadium

Help guests make better food choices

Digital menu boards offer great options for guests who are looking for healthier food options. It’s why your menu layouts should include caloric information and detailed ingredient lists. You should also highlight vegetarian or gluten-free options by including industry recognized graphics and symbols. Doing so will greatly enhance your digital menu board layouts.

If your menu can’t accommodate all this information, you can always include a QR code so guests can access the information using their smartphone. Just make sure the QR code is readable from where your guests stand.

Here’s another very important point. When designing your restaurant menu board layouts, be sure to follow local health and safety regulations as the rules may change between locations. Some jurisdictions may require specific information to be included on the menu, so you should be prepared to modify your layouts if necessary.

Improving the guest experience

Here’s a great menu board design tip. Whenever possible, try to include professional product photography in your menu layouts. Food options are more appealing when you can see the finished product. It’s the type of content that will have a big impact on your guest’s experience.

You should also consider adding real time data and social media messages to your menus. This will keep your guests engaged while they wait for their food and drink orders to arrive. Time goes by a lot quicker when your mind is focused on a screen that’s displaying useful information.

Happy guests are returning guests. It’s why it’s so important to keep your visitors well informed and entertained.

Here are a few scenarios to consider:

  • A sports themed restaurant benefits from displaying live sports scores and news feeds on their menu board screens. When appropriate, the restaurant’s screens also screen trivia games and other entertaining content.
  • A restaurant displays curated social media messages on their menu board screens to increase audience engagement. Social media messages are a continuous source of self-generated content. It’s easy to implement, and effective because people like reading their tweets and Facebook posts on the big screen.
  • Use instant messages to reach out to customers at the order pick-up window. Use this feature to notify people when their orders are ready via personalized messages. This creates a positive connection with your customers.
Digital Menu Board Internet Coffee

Use bold visual effects and sound to attract attention

If your restaurant menu board extends across multiple screens, why not try the popular screen takeover technique. You achieve this effect when you replace a menu that spans multiple screens with a video or animation that moves across every screen.

This is a great technique you can use to highlight promotions, loyalty programs and limited-time offers. When you capture your guest’s attention, your promotions get noticed. This is a good opportunity to get creative with animated content. Include photography, graphics and messages that move from screen to screen or show a video that extends across all your menu board screens for a dramatic effect.

Briefly switching between menus and animated content attracts viewer’s attention so your message will get noticed.

Whenever it’s appropriate, consider playing audio tracks or sound effects. This can be very effective as it will attract and retain your guest’s attention. It could be as simple as a sound effect that comes up with whenever an ad plays or a background music track.

Audio content can also cover up ambient noise, which also enhances the guest experience.

Make sure your digital menu board software supports multiple types of content and file formats. Especially if you want to do more than just screen text and images on your screens.

Why deliver graphics and data separately?

Here’s why you should always separate data from graphical elements when designing a digital menu board layout:

  • You get better control of your layouts and it’s easier to match corporate visual standards when you start with the graphical elements of each menu board. By layering live data on top of your graphics you can screen product images, item names, ingredients, prices, and calories that are always up to date.
  • You make food items more appealing when you screen larger images and superimpose additional information. When properly executed, guests benefit from a better visual experience that does not sacrifice legibility.
  • You can design more interesting layouts that include additional information such as weather forecasts or the time of day.

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Digital menu design ideas

Running DOOH campaigns requires a network of digital signage screens and access to an ad inventory. This can be a combination of videos and images which are essentially repurposed TV and print ads.

Revenue is based on the number of ad impressions that your screens generate. Note that an impression is recorded every time an ad is shown on screen. Advertising firms use the CPM model, or cost per thousand impressions to calculate advertising fees.

It’s ad buyers and advertisers who pay monthly fees to screen ads on your screens. To support this activity, your digital signage software should let you insert ads into your regular programming using an automated process. This is so you can generate your client’s target number of impressions.

While it’s possible to manage small DOOH campaigns manually, automation is essential to managing larger campaigns.

Template Digital Menu Board 3 Screens

Why choose Navori Labs?

Successful restaurant owners and operators increasingly rely on Navori Labs’ Navori menu board software to deliver captivating content that sells more products. Navori is a reliable and feature-rich CMS with an intuitive user interface. Use QL’s built-in template designer to create sophisticated digital menu board layouts quickly and efficiently. No training required.

Restaurant staff can use the Navori Mobile digital menu board app on their smartphone or tablet to make quick updates to their menus. They can also call up and play any content instantly. No need to call someone at head office to make content or programming changes.

QL’s digital signage standalone player software is available for most popular hardware platforms, including:

  • Navori Stix 3700
  • Android standalone player devices
  • BrightSign media players
  • LG WebOS System on Chip screens
  • Samsung Tizen System on Chip screens
  • Philips System on Chip screens

Take your restaurant menu board to the next level with multi-screen, multi-zoned template layouts. Instantly switch from data-driven menus to content that spans every screen. Manage your day-parts with drag and drop simplicity. Navori is the only software you will need to manage your entire digital menu board inventory across one to thousands of locations.

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