Random Menu Board Thoughts II

Every so often something dawns on me and I think to myself, “I need to write a blog about that.”  Then I get to thinking that there isn’t enough substance to talk about on the one topic.  So for the second time I am going to touch on a couple of random menu board thoughts.  Some may be redundant from blogs past but they have come up again recently and I feel that they should be reinforced.RandomYour entire menu doesn’t have to appear on your boards
A lot of people seem dead-set on having all of their menu items and pricing appear on their menu boards.  I get the thought process but if the menu is extensive it can prove to be counterproductive.  With so many items, lines begin to form and people who are queued for ordering get anxious with people breathing down their back which make for a sour overall customer experience.  In addition, your menu boards are your opportunity for you to promote what you WANT to sell, namely highly profitable items.  In a prevalent position, make a note on the boards that states something to the effect, “to view a full list of our delicious items, grab a take-out menu from the counter.”  Depending on how long your counter is, there should be 2-3 stacks.

Sign companies have the ability but not the know-how for one-offs
We are a menu board, drive-thru and digital signage company… OK so we are a sign company too.  However, the stark contrast between us and other sign companies is that we have proven products for the industry.  For as many times we have seen someone go the route of a sign company for a drive-thru, we have replaced a drive-thru manufactured by a sign company.  The fact is, they don’t have the correct lighting, plexi, graphic holders, visibility, etc.  This isn’t to say that they couldn’t engineer something that would work and stand the test of time but they certainly aren’t going to invest the R&D on a one-off.  Save yourself the aggravation.

Digital Signage includes costs that no one can do anything about
I have thousands of conversations year-round regarding digital signage and yes I can tell you that prices have decreased steadily in the last handful of years.  With that said, the hardware pieces are areas that some people still tend to get taken aback by.  If you do it they way that is suggested, which is to use commercial grade monitors, then $850+ is going to be the neighborhood for a 40-42″ screen.  As for the media player, you get what you pay for.  There are lesser models that don’t provide the video card or overall horsepower that can be purchased for “cheap,” but you’re bound to run in to playback issues in the future.

Value should be assigned to expertise
Some may think, “a sign is a sign.”  Fair enough, but when it comes to menu boards you should not lose sight of the fact that designers in this space have specific training to design menu boards that enhance the overall look and engage customers, all the while influencing their purchasing decisions.  Any graphic designer with minimal talent could take a list of menu items, align left, take the pricing and align right.  You’ve saved $100/menu board up front, but what will that cost you in lost revenue on the back end?

All-in-one shop vs. bits and pieces
Getting back to those that believe a “sign is a sign;” we have often had a difficult time getting them to see the big picture because they have a one-track mind to get the best deal possible.  This could be conceived as sour grapes but I just want to point out a recent example where a gentleman was consumed by price.  His needs- Drive-thru menu board and communications, speaker post and install for everything.  After sharing a conversation with him, he asked that I put my pricing in an email, thus becoming a number on a piece of paper.  Long story short, he ended up getting a drive-thru from one place, speaker post from another, communications equipment and install from another, the digital signage is going to be done by his son and the install for the drive-thru and digital by another.  Conversely, a company like ourselves could have done EVERYTHING for $500 more.  It baffles my how few people put a value on time.  Specifically in this case where the gentleman was collecting numbers from everywhere and anywhere for 2 plus weeks.  Now he has a project management nightmare on his hands.  Oh, but he also has $500 extra bucks.

I just read this back and I do sound a bit ornery.  Believe me, I’m not.  I’ve learned that in these specific instances it is better to be direct than to beat-around-the-bush.  Any thoughts?  Leave a comment below and share!  Or you can email us at info@origindisplays.com and we’ll add it to this blog.  888-235-2579