Restaurant owners are always looking for new ways to improve sales, from changing the restaurant looks to new entrees. One simple way to drive sales is to implement a digital menu board system; it can help make things easy for customers and waiters, provide a great way to highlight specials. And generally, they make the overall dining experience much better for everyone involved. Fast-casual and quick-service restaurants can benefit from such menu boards, applying the concepts for greater success.
A digital menu board is essentially an electronic display with software that allows changes and updates. This allows the menu board to display a rotating menu. And the digital boards can show several items at a time, followed by the next group of items. It can also show specials, highlight new items, and even show video advertisements for the various items. Unlike a more static traditional menu board, the items on display can be changed quickly. This allows deletion of items that are either out of stock or no longer serve, such as seasonal items or a steak that the kitchen runs out of.
What Are They?
All of this means that digital boards require much less time and effort to change than traditional menu boards. Even a typo is easy to fix. If the manager decides to run a limited-time sale, the price can be changed quickly at the end of the sales. This also applies should the boards need to be re-organized quickly. Such as if a salad is being added to meals or even to the main menu. All told, digital boards are an excellent way to keep ahead of the curve and stay organized.
Enabling Quickly Change of Prices
The ability to modify prices is not an ability that can be overstated. While it may seem a minor advantage, being able to key in a price change and then see it change instantly is a huge advantage. Not only does it mean that quick-service restaurants can quickly adapt to printed and online coupons. It also means that fast-casual restaurants can change their specials as needed to allow for items currently in stock. From a more practical perspective, menu boards do not need reprints for minor or even major changes. Talk about representing a major saving.
Adding Video to the Menu Board
A digital board can also play video. This means that not only can the restaurant play advertisements for the quick service restaurants in general but that it can choose to highlight specific items. For example, if the restaurant has a particular item it takes pride in, it can show how to prepare the item, finishing with a glamour shot of the particular item, including such items as condensation on a frosted glass or steam of a burger. They can also run any other promotional advertising that has a development process as well. This makes them great for in-house advertising.
They can also play video from external sources as well. This means that they can show local sports and news, and even allow other options; this allows the restaurant to show information important to the customers and encourage them to pop in. While it may problematic during rushes, it can help to fill tables during slow times. Let’s say, mid-afternoon and late evening, as people show up to see what is going on. This allows a fast-casual restaurant to act as a sports bar. And quick-service restaurants near a stadium can help fans keep track of the game, so they do not miss much. Thus, digital boards can contribute to in-house advertising as well as other uses.
A Great Place to Advertise and Drive Sales
Some restaurants have ever-changing specials and seasonal items; they need a decent way to communicate those specials and items, and a digital menu board is that way. Because of its ease in updating, this means that the electronic displays can easily update. Hence, it’s easier to show the current specials, even if the special was only from just a few minutes ago. For restaurants with rotating specials, this can be changed every day. It can be a soup of the day or weekday specials. In some cases, it can even be set up ahead of time so that there is no need for everyday changes or before every meal.
For seasonal items, the fast-casual restaurant can again have the information ready to go and then change it as needed. New items relying on seasonal items can actually be written up and be ready to go as needed. Better yet, videos and ingredient info are making for a great addition to the menu board. Thus, if you have a great new item you can let everyone know immediately and start selling it even faster, it can ensure the maximal use of seasonal ingredients.
Removing Temporary Out Of Stock Items
One of the worst things that can happen is to look at a menu, find a great item, and then find out that the item is out of stock. For fast-casual restaurants, that can be a big deal; especially as it can create major problems. By having it advertised as being out of stock, or even just being deleted from the menu when it happens, the customers can be informed. For instance, when the item is deleted and before they actually make the order in the first place.
This also helps the wait staff and management in general. The wait staff does not need to explain to everyone about updates and changes, saving a lot of time and frustration from their end, and management will not be dealing with as many frustrated customers. Sure, there will always be those that do not read the menu or even look at the boards, but having that information available can nonetheless help eliminate a lot of those problems ahead of time.
Digital Boards Make For A Better Customer Experience and Drive Sales
All of this is of course just the beginning; digital menus are useful for more than menu items. You can use menu boards to order items, as well as pay for food. Touch screens and payment slots can integrate with some digital boards for optimal operation in your business. Also, it is possible to add other options to boards as well; some restaurants are experimenting with augmented reality technology and other gaming options. Combined with all of the information made available, this can make for a great experience, ensuring that they will be coming back.
A digital board can make for a great customer experience, but can also make running even a quick-service restaurant that much easier. By eliminating options, being able to modify the list as needed, and essentially ensuring that the customer has all of the information necessary to order the ordering experience can go much faster. They can also advertise specials and other items, making them vital to any restaurant’s advertising campaign. Digital menus can drive up 5% to sales, while some restaurants have seen as much as a 50% increase in sales. In short, digital menu boards can make your life a lot easier, and help your bottom line as well.