What are Digital Menu Boards?: The Only Guide You'll Ever Need

What are Digital Menu Boards?: The Only Guide You'll Ever Need

What are Digital Menu Boards?: The Only Guide You'll Ever Need

Oct 27, 2023

What are Digital Menu Boards?: The Only Guide You'll Ever Need

The restaurant industry constantly evolves, embracing technological innovations to enhance customer experiences and streamline operations. One such revolutionary innovation is the Digital Menu Board. Often seen gracing the walls of modern restaurants, cafes, and fast-food joints, digital menu boards are dynamic, visually compelling, and a powerful tool for businesses. But what exactly are digital menu boards, and why do they hold such transformative potential? This guide aims to unravel the mysteries of digital menu boards, diving deep into their functionalities, benefits, and essential components like commercial-grade screens to offer you a comprehensive understanding.

Defining Digital Menu Boards

Digital menu boards are electronic displays that restaurants and other food service establishments use to showcase their offerings. Unlike traditional static menus, digital menu boards allow for real-time updates, captivating visuals, and integrated data functionalities. They are a versatile platform where businesses can creatively and effectively communicate their menu items, prices, and promotions to customers.

The Significance of Screen Quality: Commercial vs. Residential Grade

When venturing into the world of digital menu boards, the choice of screen plays a pivotal role. It's crucial to differentiate between commercial-grade screens and residential-grade screens, as the choice can significantly impact the effectiveness and durability of your digital menu boards.

Commercial-Grade Screens

Commercial-grade screens are designed for the rigorous demands of business environments. They boast of robust build quality, ensuring durability and longevity. With features like enhanced brightness, anti-glare coatings, and wider viewing angles, commercial-grade screens ensure that your menus are always vivid and easily readable, even in challenging lighting conditions.

Residential-Grade Screens

Residential-grade screens, on the other hand, are primarily designed for home use. While they might be enticing due to a lower initial investment, they lack the durability and specialized features required for effective and reliable business usage.

Why Quality Matters

Investing in quality, commercial-grade screens for your digital menu boards is essential for various reasons:

  • Durability and Reliability: Commercial-grade screens are built to operate for extended hours, ensuring that they reliably showcase your menus without fail.

  • Enhanced Visibility: With specialized features like higher brightness levels and anti-glare coatings, commercial-grade screens ensure that your menus remain vivid and visible in various lighting conditions.

  • Professional Appearance: High-quality screens contribute to a polished and professional appearance, enhancing the overall ambience of your establishment.

Unlocking the Potential of Digital Menu Boards

Digital menu boards are not merely electronic replacements of traditional menus; they unlock a world of possibilities that can revolutionize the way you engage with customers and manage your offerings.

Dynamic Content Management

Digital menu boards allow for real-time content updates and changes. Price adjustments, menu additions, or promotional updates can be managed seamlessly, ensuring that your offerings are always current and accurate.

Visual Appeal and Customer Engagement

Digital menu boards, with their dynamic content capabilities and high-quality displays, provide an opportunity to captivate customers visually. They allow for the use of vibrant images, animations, and creative designs that can enhance customer engagement and influence purchasing decisions.

Integration and Automation

Modern digital menu boards, like those offered by Menuboards.ai, provide integration capabilities with Point of Sale (POS) systems and other software. This integration allows for automated updates and data synchronization, further streamlining operations and ensuring consistency.

Unlocking the ROI of Digital Menu Boards

Choosing to invest in digital menu boards isn't just about modern aesthetics or keeping up with technology; it's a strategic decision that brings a significant return on investment (ROI). Digital menu boards are not merely a cost but a powerful investment that drives operational efficiencies enhances customer experience, and boosts profitability.

A Glimpse into the ROI Calculation

Let's consider a basic ROI calculation to understand the financial benefits of implementing digital menu boards. Suppose the initial investment, including hardware, software, and installation, totals $2,000 per board, with ongoing operational costs of $100 per month.

In contrast, think about the costs saved in printing, shipping, and labor when changing traditional menus. Additionally, consider the enhanced customer experience, leading to a conservative estimate of a 5% increase in sales due to appealing visuals and promotions displayed on the digital boards.

The increase in sales and the cost savings combined can help recuperate the initial investment, possibly within the first year, turning the digital menu boards into assets that continuously contribute to the profitability of the business.

I'm Sold! What Do I Do Next? A Step-by-Step Guide to Engaging and Setting up Menu Boards

Transitioning to digital menu boards is an exciting journey. Here's a high-level guide to help you navigate through the selection, setup, and design processes seamlessly.

  • Selection of Hardware: Screens and Mounting SystemsScreens: Opt for commercial-grade screens that ensure durability, readability, and performance. You will get a lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), better visibility and viewing angle and screens that are really built to be operated as menu boards. 

  • Mounting Systems: Utilize rail systems for mounting the screens instead of individual brackets. Rail systems offer stability and flexibility in arranging the displays.

  1. Choosing the Right Media Player

  • System on Chip (SoC): An integrated solution, SoC eliminates the need for external media players by incorporating the player within the display itself, streamlining the installation and operation. This lowers the initial upfront investment and removes an extra failure point by running an additional media player. The Samsung, LG and Philips range of commercial displays all boast their own SoC media player that works with a range of Digital Signage CMS and Menuboards.ai.

  • External Media Players: If choosing an external player, the BrightSign media player device is recommended for its reliability and performance.

  1. Selecting a Digital Signage CMS

  • Choose a CMS that allows you to control and manage your screens efficiently and with scalability. Sigangelive and Fusion Signage are the go-to CMSs and are trusted around the globe across large and small brands. Not to mention, they work seamlessly on the Samsung and LG commercial display range! 

  1. Pairing with Menuboards.ai

  • Utilize Menuboards.ai for designing and managing the content on your menu boards, leveraging its dynamic features and integrations. This will ensure your menu boards are in sync and up to date around the clock, increasing revenue and widening your margins. Nothing better than being able to increase prices by 20% on a public holiday within minutes. 

  1. Installation and Setup

  • Ensure that the installation is done to a high standard, adhering to best practices to guarantee optimal performance and aesthetics. While using your local handyman may sound like the right move, engage a local company that has done work with digital menu board systems before. While you may pay an extra 20%, you will get a menu board system that is installed level for years to come, without cables hanging out the sides and any issues of the screens falling off the wall.

  1. Creating Engaging and Strategic Content

  • Focus on creating content that resonates with your audience, is visually appealing, and aligns with your brand. Clear text that you can read from the back of the line, engaging images that fit the picture and high-quality content make the difference between seeing your ROI and not. 

  • Leverage the dynamic capabilities of the digital menu boards to keep the content fresh, relevant, and engaging.

Take the Leap: Embrace the Digital Revolution

As we navigate the digital revolution in the restaurant industry, digital menu boards emerge as essential assets in crafting compelling, efficient, and modern customer experiences. The choice of high-quality, commercial-grade screens, paired with the dynamic capabilities of platforms like Menuboards.ai, ensures that your digital menu boards serve as powerful tools in propelling your business towards success.

With this comprehensive guide at your disposal, you are now prepared to confidently tackle adding digital menu boards to your business.