Fast-casual restaurants standing out with digital menu board content

a cafe with a panel of digital menu boards
Local ingredient sourcing, Seasonality, Nutrition Information. Here is how fast-casual restaurants can stand out with digital menu board content.

You know the level of service you want when you walk into a fast-casual or fast food restaurant. At heart, you want your food fast served with a smile. You want options. You probably aren’t thinking about the technology that goes into these wants. Many customers connect with these other things that a quick-service restaurant offers without wondering about their experience as a whole. Many fast-casual restaurants are switching from a static menu to a digital menu board (DMB) to meet all of their wants and needs for service.

Enhancing Customer Experience

Installing digital menu boards isn’t about totally replacing the static menu. It’s about enhancing the customer experience. It gives them a deeper appreciation and helps the restaurant’s marketing goals. The goal of the DMB isn’t to just throw a message at the customer. This is to foster customer loyalty and to increase sales. It’s not about telling customers you’re all organic. It’s about going a step further to show customers a video highlighting the ways the restaurant is organic. This also creates a sensory experience for customers as they’re more engaged. This is something that is not done with a static paper menu.

Why A Digital Board Is Successful

A digital menu isn’t rocket science. It helps enhance the quality of quick-service restaurants for the customer and allows the business the upper hand to change its electronic menu as they go. A customer doesn’t spend much time looking at the promotion board. They read the menu as if it’s a little book as they try to find what piques their interest for a meal. These little observations go into the planning of a DMB project. For example, fast-casual restaurants should put their limited time offers and big marketing pushes at the top righthand corner. This is where the customer usually looks first. A digital menu is successful for many reasons, but it’s important you learn how to highlight the restaurant service and characteristics in the best way possible. There are a few things to include to set you apart from the rest of the quick-service restaurants.

Local Ingredient Sourcing

Digital menus are great to highlight seasonal, local ingredients. If your restaurant creates flavors based on what is fresh that season, it’s a perfect thing to highlight on a DMB. Customers come in looking for what is fresh and new. Each restaurant has a different relationship with local farmers. The specific food items will vary because of this. This is great for each individual restaurant to highlight. The only problem some quick-service restaurants run into is that it’s often tough to find a farm that is able to produce a high quantity of what they need on a regular basis. If an item is running low in quantity, you can simply take it off the menu for a little bit of time with a click of a button.


A paper menu doesn’t allow a restaurant to showcase its seasonal offerings unless you place an insert in the food list. Seasonal digital menus highlight what is new and great that season. It’s easy to be creative with your designs and styles during different seasons. Seasonal also works in the trend of customizable options for a display board. You can highlight seasonal ingredients for food and drinks. You can customize these menus with ingredients that are only offered during each season. From a coffee shop that highlights peppermint mocha lattes during the holidays to a fast food restaurant that offers a pumpkin pie milkshake for dessert during Autumn, it’s easy to customize a DMB as the seasons and tastes for that season change.

Associations with known, high-quality purveyors

When you have a known high-quality purveyor of celebrity connection, you can showcase it on your digital menu. This gives people the feeling of having a special connection with these celebrities. they feel connected to the restaurant in a different way. it’s like advertising on a digital forum without having to pay for commercials. When you get someone that is known in the food industry like Guy Fieri to make a little video for your DMB about your new items, people think it’s something special.

Create Menu Automation for Fast Casual Restaurants

DMBs are a great way for the staff to get a break with an automated menu. Everything is done automatically so you aren’t stuck trying to update and change things all day. You can set the software to change from breakfast to dinner menu or tell it when you want certain specials to pop up. And you don’t have to stop at a large menu either. Meanwhile, you can use it on portable electronic displays. These can even help in upselling items. When customers type in their order, you’ll have the software ask them if they want to get a large drink for $1 more or ask them if they’ve tried your newest dessert. It’s like having a little digital helper asking if you want extra items right there in your hands.

Allergy and Nutrition Information

Fast-casual restaurants can use digital signage to quickly and easily share allergy and calorie information. A patron no longer has to ask the sales counter for allergy information. They can check digital screens for in-depth information. The digital displays can also display calorie and nutrition information on each item. This helps customers make better-informed decisions with live data that isn’t outdated on a paper menu.

Goals Of The Brand

Though DMBs are the wave of the future, they’re not a total solution to menus. It’s all about the goals of the restaurant. It’s important to stay up with trends to meet the needs of the customer, but it’s also important to stay true to your core as a business. Whether you have one restaurant or 2,000 quick-service restaurants, it’s important to stay consistent with your engaging brand experience on your digital menus. Put the customer first in this experience at all of your locations to really see a change in your sales.

Final Words

Static displays will get the job done. It’s what we’ve done for decades, but digital menus take the customer experience up a notch. You can introduce new menu items, publish changes to your menu, post-marketing videos, and connect with the customer on a new level. The wave of the future is digital technology. Your restaurant will flourish by staying updated with these changes. The customer will feel connected and ready to dive into all of the new and exciting things offered by your fast-casual restaurants. Best of all, you’ve done all of this with the touch of a button.

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

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