7 Tips to Help You to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck When it Comes to Digital Menu Boards

Despite the continuous decline in cost for digital menu board systems a lot of people still see the investment as a leap of faith.  I don’t necessarily disagree with this sentiment.  However, where I differ from these folks is that I know the different areas where and how I can use a system to expedite my return on investment.  Although there is no exact formula for determining the likelihood of ‘when’ you’ll make your money back, the following seven tips outline some useful directions you should take.

1- Inventory control:

Use your digital menu boards to promote soon-to-expire items which will reduce spoilage, or promote items that aren’t selling as well.  This particular action is most useful at theaters and stadiums where all of the excess has to be discarded after the evening/event.

2- Easier day-parting:

Traditionally, day-parting refers to the difference in the menu offerings from breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Keep in mind, more and more locations are offering the same menu but have differing pricing for lunch and dinner.  Good luck trying to accomplish that with a static menu board system!  Using a digital system to control menu and price differences by time of day can entice more of a lunch crowd and lessen the square footage need of regular menu boards.

3- Run promotions:

Other than being able to make menu and pricing changes on a whim, running promotions and specials tends to be objective #2 for those interested in a digital menu board system.  Whether it is smoothies in the summer or coffees in the winter, part of a larger marketing campaign or something done spontaneously, digital signage allows you to instantaneously incentivize your captive audience that is relying on your menu boards to deliver their options.


4- Reduce perceived wait time by providing information and entertaining with live TV, etc.:Digital Menu Boards

A somewhat nebulous factor when determining ROI, “customer satisfaction” is a main cog of any business.  What isn’t disputed is that the happier the customer, the more likely he or she will return and spend more money.  Reducing wait times (anywhere) goes a long way in altering the customer experience.  When it comes to digital menu boards, having eye-catching and entertaining content for those waiting will distract them from looking at their watch.

5- Educate customers on how to order/what to expect in your restaurant:

Most people get a little anxious when they don’t know how to order at a restaurant.  You think you know what you want but where do you go to order?  You’re looking at the menu board but a line is forming behind you.  Who is up next?  What options do I have for toppings?  These are just some of the thoughts that can run through one’s head.  Using the scheduling function that most digital platforms have, you can interrupt the display of your menu items to educate your customers.  As in #4, this will only serve you better as your customers will have a better experience.

6- Test marketing without spending hundreds to print marketing materials:

Much like adding and playing with promotions and specials, digital signage allows you to test new items as frequently as you’d like.  Think of it this way: using traditional means, you have decided to introduce a new item at your restaurant.  Well in order to do so you need to get the word out.  Mailers, flyers, a new menu board, posters, etc. are created in an effort to do so.   Now, how much product do you buy to support the potential sales?  Worst case scenario, what if it flops?  You have now wasted hundreds, if not thousands, in marketing efforts and on food.  Conversely, you add an item to your digital menu boards in the same fashion as a promotion and see if it sticks.  In doing so, you conservatively purchase product to support the potential sales.  If you “sell out,” this is a good problem.  Thankfully you have the means to remove the item from your menu boards until you’re restocked.  As for the worst case scenario, use your system to sell it for half off to minimize waste!

7- Branding – list social media, strengthen brand experience, etc. – especially if franchise, corporate can control the brand look and feel:

In its simplest form, menu boards are used to show what your restaurant has to offer in regards to menu items and pricing.  In addition to what has been listed above, a digital system can also be used to reinforce the brand of your restaurant.  Billions of dollars are spent every year by companies blasting their brand in peoples face; naming rights on arenas and stadiums, sponsoring events, logos on a field of play, etc.  Not that digital menu boards should be the beginning and end of your brand building, but it most certainly can be used to at least splash your logo on to all of the screens during a predefined time period.

Despite these 7 tips, I am not suggesting digital menu boards are for everyone.  You have to be prepared to make the system work for you.  Digital signage companies will get you to a point, and the good ones will make solid recommendations to get you to the next level.  However nobody knows your business and your customers like you do.  Listen to them, play with your system, and GET THE MOST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK!

Ready to entertain a digital menu board system? Shoot us a message at info@origindisplays.com or give us a call today at (888) 235-2579.