Digital menu boards are the leading technology utilized in quick-service and fast-casual restaurants. Digital menu Board Solutions combine HD digital display screens with digital signage software to deliver the best menu experience to your customers. Moreover, they offer unique features that traditional printed signage can never have. The human mind is instinctively attracted to movement. With digital menu boards, you can present your digital menus with stunning animations to draw attention and market profitable menu items!
There is a lot that can be done with digital menu boards, and the benefits could even surpass your expectations. Before diving into details, it is more essential to know what Digital Menu Boards can do for you. This is why we have created some tips to help you get started!
Tips on How to Make Digital Menu Boards
The main goal of digital menu boards is to present your quick restaurant menu to your target customers efficiently and effectively. As a business owner, you want your restaurant menus to stimulate appetites and encourage your customers to make purchases. Here are a few tips to help you create a stunning Digital Menu Board to catch your customer’s attention:
1. Group Your Menu Items Correctly
Although it may seem common sense, grouping similar items together are one of the elements that often get neglected.
So here is Rule #1: Similar items need to go together. Period.
Customers don’t want to see deserts mixing with main dishes. It frustrates them because now they have to spend extra time looking for the items they want to compare against each other. The first step in designing your digital menu board should be making sure your menu items are grouped correctly and fall under the correct category. Creating different menu categories beforehand will make the layout process smoother. You can also use colors, design variations, and borders to help your customers distinguish the difference effortlessly.
2. Avoid Cluster Menu Designs and Layout
While it might seem logical at first glance not to overburden your digital menu board with too many options, hundreds of restaurants still overfill their screens in an attempt to save on space and money, and the result: a cluttered menu board that confuses consumers.
There is nothing more annoying than a cluster menu that is hard to read. It’s every consumer’s preference to easily choose their desired meal without having to struggle with an intricate digital menu board.
To start, you should minimize the duplication and redundant info and only put the essentials on your digital displays. Avoid listing out all the potential combos so you can present your menus in a clean and organized way. For example, a “cheeseburger with onion rings” and a “cheeseburger with fries” can be represented singularly as “cheeseburger” with the option of onion rings or fries shown under the separate “sides” category.
Remember, your menus should not focus on delivering as many varieties as possible. Keep your menu designs simple by using plain language and straightforwardly presenting your menu items. It might be more beneficial to highlight popular items to help your customers decide what to order. You want to focus on showcasing and promoting menu items that can give you the most profits.
3. Timing Matters: Your Menus Need to Adapt
With static traditional menu boards, it is hard for business owners to introduce new promotions promptly.
Digital Menu Boards can help businesses capture the opportunity to cross-sell and upsell to customers. It is essential for business owners to obtain a digital menu board solution that offers a centralized content management system. With a cloud-based system, digital signage solutions like NexSigns give business owners the flexibility to make quick updates anytime and anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Business owners can now combine their business strategies with real-time data and launch any promotions to their customers at the right time to increase sales.
4. Include Captivating Images and Animations
Here is a quick fact: Visuals get 94% more views than text-based information. To achieve this, you should include images, videos, ad animations to attract customers and keep them excited about what you have in store for them.
You should always include your best food images or videos to help your customers decide what to order. You should also ensure that the aspect ratio of your food images or videos is correct. On top of that, you can add animation effects, such as firey or steamy animation, to your food images to make them look appetizing and trigger purchasing.
However, please refrain from crowding your entire menus with animations so your menus will still be the focus of the spotlight. Any professional menu designer can help you find the perfect balance and deliver the best menu designs for your business. If you are under a budget, you should seek a company that offers pre-created animated digital menu templates, which you can modify to adapt to your business. And trust me, you do not want to use any Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides to run your menus on TV screens.
5. Position Digital Menu Boards at the Right Place
One of the most overlooked errors when it comes to digital menu boards is poorly positioned displays. We’re talking about menu boards that are difficult to read not because of the content but their positioning.
A restaurant might have a great menu board, but it can be ruined by poor lighting or glare. It is, therefore, advisable to keep the board in a position that strikes the perfect balance between shadow and light.
The board should be placed in an area with enough light, but not to the point where the light source has a higher intensity than the board. This results in glare.
The idea is to have your consumers read the board from any ideal viewing location in a clear, concise manner.
6. Don’t Forget Your Promos and Special Offers
One of the best things about Digital Menu Boards is the flexibility to showcase any promotions or special offers whenever you want. Promote any seasonal items alongside your regular food items. Upsell and cross-sell your customers with the right offers at the right time.
You can also include interstitial promos and ads in your digital menu boards, and they are often paid for by another company or for an internal promotion. They are a popular advertising format used in the food industry today. While it provides an additional source of income for the restaurant and can draw attention to promotions, it can prove detrimental to the client experience. Therefore, you do not want to include too many of them. Your promos should always be your priority.
Combine Digital Menu Boards With QSR Marketing Strategies
DMBs play a significant role when business owners need to execute quick QSR marketing campaigns.
One of the most common marketing strategies is introducing limited-time offers because they have a certain magic when we put a time restriction on an item. Customers are more likely to purchase the limited-time offers before the time runs out. Introducing effective limited-time offers to the customers will help businesses boost sales and revisit overall.
How and Why Use LTOs in your Digital Menu Boards
LTOs aren’t just a tool to appease customers and to capitalize on certain periods of the year. The purpose of using limited-time offers in your Digital Menu Boards can be separated into five key reasons. They will help you understand the intricacy of LTOs and why a restaurant such as yours needs to add them.
1. Product Testing Options
Before you add a new product to the menu for good, you need to do something that’s called “real environment testing.” For example, if McDonald’s wants to launch a new burger, it’s enough just to post an ad for people willing to test it.
No, real environment testing involves the entire purchase process. You need to advertise the product, sell it, and track its statistics in real life. One important reason is also to see how your most popular products handle the presence of new additions. Track the metrics carefully.
2. Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
FOMO is the root of all discounts, promotions, and LTOs. It’s precisely this inherent yearning for exclusive experiences and possessions that makes LTOs so essential as a marketing tool. That’s right. If a company shows that they are willing to offer something rare and limited, they will be seen as somewhat “exclusive. People don’t want to miss out on the new, exciting thing.
It’s a whole new trend of selling experiences and not products. No matter how good the product is (and quality IS important), it will always be overshadowed by the exclusive experience. However, too many experiences can wear customers out. The best way to use LTOs is to periodically add and subtract them.
3. Brand Building
Let’s play a game. We say one product and you tell me the first thing synonymous with it, okay? Shamrock Shake – McDonald’s. How about Pumpkin Spiced Latte? Starbucks, of course. Do you see what we’re trying to do here? These two LTOs that we’ve just discussed have become so well-known that they are like verbal advertisements.
Everyone knows the brand, but the brand itself is becoming even more prominent through these clever LTOs. It can also be said that the brands are successful because of the powerful branding behind them. It’s the never-ending circle of marketing and it shows us how powerful LTOs are. Paired with a powerful digital menu board design, LTOs can build your brand and bring a new niche of customers.
4. Rewarding Loyal Customers
Some people comprise the heart of your customer body. To keep this core, you need to keep them happy and satisfied. LTOs have a purpose in this area as well. One popular way of rewarding your most loyal customers is by organizing contests. They can choose their own burger/dish/drink to add to the menu and achieve the most votes online to have the item included.
Not only is this free advertising for you (people will share the fact they can influence your menu on social media), but it also shows everyone that you are a brand of your word. People will see that you’ve added the item to the menu. Even though it’s an LTO, it’s still a nice gesture.
5. Ensure Your LTOs Are A Success
To ensure your LTO succeeds, you need to ensure a solid value-proposition to effectively stimulate your target audience. What new element or experience are you bringing to the table? It has to be something that fills a hole, a certain menu item that will catch your audience’s attention and be widely eaten and talked about.
The product needs to fit in with your existing business model and follow trends. Seasonal trends are the best chance to launch a successful product, such as Christmas-themed donuts or other specialties. The weather and seasonal festivity have a powerful effect on people, especially when everyone is outside doing holiday shopping. Launching an LTO in your digital menu board will associate your brand with these positive changes and enhance your popularity.
The bottom line is – the offer, as well as your digital menu board, must be unique, cutting edge, and premium in its class of products, but still fit your target market’s expectations. People have to talk about and share it for others to see it.
The use of digital menu boards and applications to modernize selling techniques has dramatically increased the profit margins in the QSR industry. Restaurant owners who skillfully actualize such digital inventions in their food selling techniques can significantly profit within the contemporary world. When you are looking to know more about how to make digital menu boards, you have to look through the basics: the dos and don’ts.
When creating digital menu boards, it’s important to group your products correctly, this means you will have to place the foods according to their similarities; also use upselling and cross-selling and limited-time offers to tap into your customer’s thirst.
Knowing how to make digital menu boards also come with avoiding common mistakes, like cluttered menus, duplications, confusing layouts, and many more.