Digital Menu Board Grouping Guide

Digital menu boards are a large project that has a number of unseen pitfalls for those doing it for the first time.

Luckily, there has been plenty of people who have ironed out the kinks of these displays so that they work to the best of their ability. One of the main elements of a digital menu board is the grouping of your content. Get this wrong and you might as well not have a board at all.

By grouping, we mean how menu items and images are positioned relative to one another on the display.

If the grouping of your board is wrong, it will confuse and slow down the customer. This is frustrating and when the customer is ready to order, he or she will already be agitated. The slightest mistake will be magnified, leaving the customer with a bad experience and an even worse reputation for your location.

The main aim of these displays is to make the life of the customer easier. When they look at it, it needs to make sense, be easily interpreted and understood. All this, by just having a quick look.

The board should never be cluttered and there shouldn’t be too much info, whether it is written or images. When the board is simple, the customer will make quick decisions because there isn’t anything that distracts.

Despite knowing these things, it is a whole other story to put it into practice. Many people have failed in the past, but that is why we have this guide. Following below are three of the most common pitfalls of the digital menu board.

Easy Comparisons

Although it seems like common sense to group items that are similar together, it is often one of the elements that get neglected or not thought out. Similar items need to go together. Period. Customers don’t want to see deserts and starters or mains mixed together. It frustrates them because now that have to go and search for the items they want to compare against each other.

To ensure that your groupings are right, decide on how you are going to group your menu items. Creating categories for foods with similarities beforehand will make the layout process a lot smoother later on. Use colors, design variations and borders to close groups off and distinguishable from one another.

This design, made by Kuusoft’s graphic design team shows how a grouped menu should look. The main items are prominently sized and placed within a darker colored area. The side dishes on the bottom is designed with yet another color and there is a rotating promotion field to the left that the customers can scan.

Combo Deals

For the quick-service restaurant, combo deals are the best thing since sliced bread. Placing your combos on your menu design, on the other hand, is not so simple. We have seen many menus where the regular items and the combo items are placed separately and this redundancy takes up valuable space.

Our example menu shows us how both single, stand-alone items and combo items can be placed right next to each other. The image completes the picture and gives the customer an idea of how good everything in the combo go can go together.


Digital menu board are only so big, and you need to use the pace you have sparingly. When your main item in a combo is paired with a number of other sides, there is no need to go and write all the potential combos on the screen. The customer will also be interested in other, potentially higher margin, sides.  

Minimize the duplication and redundant info and only put the essentials on display. For example, place one burger with a set price and then list the sides with their respective prices separately.

The customer can choose the sides and immediately see how much everything will cost. Depending on the mains and sides you have, the combination of items can get out of hand. If you have only six burgers and four sides, you could have 24 different combinations or lines of repeated items. This is a waste of space and you should avoid it.

To Conclude

You have to think about before you go and design your menu board. Try to do it well the first time before realizing that your customers can’t understand your menu. You could always ask for honest second opinions as well.

Friends and family will be able to tell you whether your design is worth the effort or whether you should go back to the drawing board. Keep these tips in mind and you should have the perfect design in no time.

You can learn more about NexSigns’ Digital Signage solution and connect with us on FacebookLinkedInTwitter, and YouTube to get the latest info on digital signage!

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