Important Factors When Deciding On a Drive-thru Menu Board

When beginning your search for a new drive-thru menu board it is important to consider a number of factors that will minimize your long-term frustration.  Much like other products, the price is the main concern for many when “looking around.”  DecDecHowever, you should never consider Option A as an “apples to apples” comparison to Option B simply because the advantages and disadvantages can vary even if the size is roughly the same.  Typically if a “local sign company” comes in with a cheap alternative, they are not hitting all the marks when it comes to the following:

UL listed- The Underwriters Laboratories is a safety and consulting agency that tests products for their long term durability and products are labeled with their marking when it meets their standards.  The Spruce outlines why it is important to purchase UL listed products

Design & Prints- This largely depends on whether you have an experienced design staff member on your team as well as a printing relationship.  If not, this area can quickly become an important criterion to meet.  Without it, you’re left with an empty, lit sign.  The added value to a solution that doesn’t offer these services would ultimately depend on the size of the drive-thru but would be certain to start in the hundreds.

Graphics Replacement- You have to look beyond the purchase and to when it comes time to make pricing or menu changes and the ease, or lack thereof, in doing so.  Too many times are we still seeing these signs made with heavy and expensive acrylic “graphics” that have to be secured in to place by screws.  When it comes time to swap this out it is not only expensive but you have to bring your toolbox along with you.  Others have doors that open and frames that swivel out leaving you just enough room to wedge a graphic back into a narrow channel to hold it in place.  The material, material material!  What are the graphics being printed on and what has the replacement cost?

Durability- Yes, you may be able to save a few hundred dollars by getting a drive-thru from a sign shop but what kind of assurances are you getting with your purchase?  What does the warranty look like?  Are they using glare resistant plexiglass, will the paints last for 10 plus years, is the lighting LED, can it handle wind loads required for permitting?  There are a number of other questions to think about as well.  For my money, I’d prefer to go the route of tried and tested products to the tune of 1500 plus active in the field.

Ease of install- When it comes to installing your new drive-thru you’ll have to determine whether it is a direct burial or a mounted sign.  From there, you’ll need to make the necessary arrangements prior to its arrival so that your drive-thru isn’t sitting in a crate for weeks on end at an oft-quiet job site.  It goes a long way to have the sign arrive fully assembled. From there it simply needs to be lifted from the crate, dropped on the awaiting anchors, bolted down and have an electrical connection made.

There you go, just is the case in many other comparable products, you find more and more areas to familiarize yourself with as you dig deeper beneath the “what is the price” surface.

Comments?  Questions?  Hit us up at 888-235-2579 or