Digital Menu Boards

Digital menu boards are proving far more effective for restaurant marketers than the printed menu boards of yesterday. Learn more about the benefits here.

Digital Menu Board Effectiveness:

Studies show digital menu boards are far more effective than the yesterday version of printed boards, magnetic boards, and movable text.  One a per unit basis the math is clear and gives an easy justification for making the switch to digital boards:

The digital signage and professional display market will grow to US $13 billion by 2010, a 3.6% compound annual growth rate from US$10.9 billion in 2005 (Source: iSuppli).   By 2011 the North American market for large flat panel displays will be worth more than US$3.5 billion (Source: Frost & Sullivan).  Digital Signage have 47.7 percent effectiveness on brand awareness, increase the average purchase amount by 29.5 percent, create a 31.8 percent upswing in overall sales volume, generates 32.8 percent growth in repeat buyers and pull in 32.8 percent more store traffic. (Source: Info Trends)

For chain restaurants, the savings and benefits are even more pronounced.

  • Menus can be updated at a fraction of the time to implement and cost to roll-out.  Rather than weeks of working with a print house, working with a fulfillment house and cost of manually changing out the menus, digital boards can be changed out as fast as sending an email.
  • Many digital menu board systems offer tools to manage menus regionally.  This can be done much more effectively with digital menu boards than with printed boards.  In addition to managing geographically, the menus can also be managed based on time of day.  For example, as the clock rolls by each time zone, the menus can change to reflect content intended for a specific time period.  For example, as the clock strikes 11:00 AM in each market, the digital menu boards can change from a breakfast menu to a lunch menu.
  • Limited Time Offers (LTO’s) are also much easier to manage digitally.  In the old days, if you wanted to run a promotion, you could expect weeks or months of lead-time to get the promotional materials in the stores.  With digital menu boards, you can implement a promotion as soon as you have new creative and have prepped the operations teams.  Much faster!  In fact, you can prep the operations teams by streaming training to the units via the digital menu boards during non-operating hours.
  • Compliance is usually very tough in restaurant franchise systems.  Getting franchisees to put up the correct promotional materials, switch out menus between each day-part, and getting all locations to launch a new menu on the same day can be very challenging using the techniques of yesterday.  With digital menu boards, the franchisor/headquarters remains in control and can manage all of the menus from one central control panel.
  • Static boards are just that – static.  Digital menu boards allow for movement, rich graphic design, animation, and rotating messages.  That type of functionality allows restaurant marketers to employ more techniques to build the check average, unit sales, communicate the brand positioning and personality, and stretch their marketing budgets and effectiveness even further.  Digital marketing is the new frontier for restaurant marketers and it is only natural that – as pervasive and effective as digital marketing is – that it would find its way to the menu.

There is no doubt as the cost of digital displays continue to come down and the industry catches on to the power of digital menu boards that we will increasingly see the old coming down to make way for the new.

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