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These Menu Board Ideas Can Help You Get the Most out of Digital Signage

March 9, 2022
6 mins

Are you tired of switching out your menu board between breakfast and lunch each day? Digital menu boards eliminate that pain point entirely. If your restaurant or cafe still uses backlit paper menu boards, it’s time to go digital.

Why should you make the switch?

You should because switching to digital menu boards yields numerous benefits for restaurant owners. Beyond sharp visuals, a digital menu can entice customers, promote your brand, and lead to increased sales.

They also open up a whole world of creativity for displaying your menus.

You can use video, animations, and stunning imagery to reach your audience in unique ways. That will add to your overall customer experience and help advertise your business. Stick around to discover the benefits of digital menu boards and our top menu board ideas.

The Four Key Benefits of Digital Menu Boards

At first glance, most people assume the only benefit of a digital menu board is its visual appeal. While that’s a benefit for sure, it’s far from all that a digital menu board brings to the table.

Here are the four primary benefits you’ll enjoy from installing a digital menu.

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1. Boost Sales and the Average Order Value

A digital menu is a marketing tool that’s cost-effective and easy to use. Updating the menu is effortless – enabling you to add new menu items in no time.

Instead of a cumbersome print menu board that’s hard to change, a digital menu is a marketing powerhouse due to its ease of use.

You can quickly update your menu with specials and promotional offers to entice hungry customers. During checkout, program your menu to upsell customers with desserts, drinks, and other high-ticket items.

Since it costs nothing to change your digital menu display, you’ll see a speedy return on investment.

2. Reduce Perceived Wait Times

long line at a deli

Five minutes may seem like an eternity when a customer is unoccupied and hungry. That’s why you need something to entertain them with during the wait. Digital menu boards provide a much-needed way to preoccupy customers waiting deep in the line.

Instead of getting impatient, they’ll get to watch something – like an informative video of your chef explaining specific recipes.

Instead of static displays of your menu items, use animations, camera movements, and text crawls. Before your customers know it, they’ll be next in line.

3. Optimize the Ordering Process

Nothing is worse than waiting in line to order from a menu too tiny to see from far away. That’s inconvenient for customers, as they can’t decide what they want in advance.

Ditch the fine print and go digital to display your menu items with large, illustrious images. That will enable customers to make a decision while waiting in line.

The result?

Patrons will spend less time ordering at the counter – leading to shorter wait times.

To take it a step further, include nutritional and allergy information on the menu. That places everything the customer needs to make an order right in front of them.

4. Save Money on Creating and Managing Menu Board Content

Digital Deli Menu Screen

Did corporate come out with a brand-new menu for your fast-food chain? You’re in for an arduous chore if you have a backlit paper menu. You’ll need to buy paper, ink, lamination, and pay a designer. Then you’ll need to physically install the new menu board, which occupies your staff and costs money.

Compare that to having a digital menu. If corporate makes sudden changes, you can quickly adapt your digital signage without any hassle.

All it takes is a few clicks on your digital signage CMS to update your displays.

Updating your visuals won’t cost anything with a digital menu. That frees you up to experiment with your digital signage to your heart’s content. Changing up your content will no longer be an expensive and cumbersome task.

Read More: 10 Digital Signage Statistics for 2022 That Prove It Works

These Menu Board Ideas Will Help You Save Money and Boost Sales

Now that you know how a digital menu can benefit you, it’s time to start brainstorming. As with other forms of digital signage, the sky’s the limit for what you can do with digital menu boards.

It’s crucial to take advantage of all your digital menu’s unique features to get the most value.

That means using video, moving text, and animations to stand out from competitors.

To spark your creativity, we’ve come up with some innovative menu board ideas for various establishments.

1. Menu Board Ideas for Restaurants

digital signs showing off specials at a restaurant

If you run a sit-down restaurant specializing in lunch and dinner, you have some unique needs for your menu boards. Unlike a counter at a fast-food chain, you won’t need a giant menu for customers waiting in line.

Instead, you can use your menu boards for promotional and informational purposes.

For example, including a digital menu at the front showcasing videos and images of your nightly specials is a great idea.

Do customers regularly wait for tables during the dinner rush? A digital menu can provide some much-needed entertainment for those waiting. You can take advantage of this time by showing off high-ticket cocktails, desserts, and entrees.

2. Menu Board Ideas for Pubs & Bars

digital menus displaying cocktails at a pub

Are your customers even aware that your pub also serves delicious pizza? Then a lively menu board display is a fantastic way to get the word out.

Pub owners should strive to make their drink specials visually appealing with their menu boards – digital or otherwise.

With a digital menu, include colorful imagery of special cocktails, videos of bartenders preparing them, and eye-grabbing graphics showing off low prices.

3. Menu Board Ideas for Fast Food Joints

digital menu board for a fast-food restaurant

Fast food and menu boards are a perfect match. Besides behind the counter and the drive-thru, digital menu boards are popping up in a new place at fast food joints – the entrance.

Digital menus enable interactivity, something that a paper menu can never do. To speed up the orders inside, use touchscreen-enabled menus at the front. Patrons will place their orders while engaging with the menu – specifying and customizing their orders as they please.

Want an idea to boost revenue? Include a stand-out graphic encouraging customers to add a large drink and ice cream to their meals.

4. Menu Board Ideas for Coffee Shops

two baristas working at a coffee shop

It’s hard for customers to visualize which beverage they want if all they have is a chalkboard with text. It’s a best practice to include large images of your best-selling items, which a digital menu enables you to do.

To not lose that ‘coffee shop’ feel, install a template that has the classic ‘chalkboard’ theme.

Numerous templates are available for digital menus, with unique colors, images, and fonts. Also, use text crawls and camera movement to give the visuals some extra flair.

5. Menu Board Ideas for Food Trucks

menu board idea for food trucks

Digital menu boards will help your food truck stand out from the rest. To draw in customers, use dazzling animated displays for your logo.

Which food truck would you rather visit, one with a boring sign or one that has animated fireworks spelling out its name?

Another idea is to use menu boards at strategic times of the day. Running an ad for a sandwich with an ice-cold lemonade on a hot day will entice anyone who sees it.

6. Menu Board Ideas for Cafes

menu boards at a cozy cafe

Your digital menu also contributes to your restaurant decor. Nowhere is that more important than at trendy cafes. It’s effortless to program your digital menu to include your branded fonts, colors, and themes.

Now your menu will look just as sleek as the rest of your cafe.

Is your cafe in a busy downtown area? Put up a menu board outside on the street. Now you can advertise your daily specials to anyone walking down your block.

7. Menu Board Ideas for Bistros

digital menu boards at a bistro

Has business been low at your neighborhood bistro? A creative menu board is what you need to save the day.

Get the word out about your signature soups and sandwiches by placing a menu board with large images of them outside. For anyone dining in, you can display a warm ‘thanks for dining with us‘ message to remind them how much you care.

For smaller bistros, regulars often keep them afloat. As a way to thank them, include a personalized message on your menu pointing out their patronage.

8. Menu Board Ideas for Hibachis

digital menu display for a Hibachi restaurant

A Hibachi steakhouse provides a highly visual experience. That’s why using videos on your digital menu is a perfect idea. Anyone waiting inside will appreciate being able to see a video of your famed chef doing what he does best.

Do you offer independent delivery or takeout services? Highlight it in large letters on your menu board for all your customers to see.

9. Menu Board Ideas for Mongolian Barbecues

digital menu boards at a barbecue restaurant

Do you wish that more patrons had an appreciation for the Mongolian barbecue process? Why not use your digital menu to display educational videos? At the same time, you’ll be enticing hungry customers with all the visuals of your tasty barbecue.

To increase engagement with customers, use your menu to build a loyalty program. Offer special rewards and discounts for patrons that can’t get enough of your food.

Got a big eating contest coming up or another local community event? Your menu is the perfect place to advertise it.

Try Out Wallboard for Attention-Grabbing Digital Menu Boards

If you’re ready to enjoy increased revenue and customer engagement, feel free to try out our services at Wallboard. We’re industry leaders in digital signage, and menus are one of our many specialties.

Our team will help you devise a tailored digital menu solution for your business. The Wallboard Digital Signage CMS is one of the most advanced platforms on the market today. It enables you to effortlessly build dynamic menus using pictures, videos, and animations.

Are you ready to get started? Get in touch with our team today to schedule a consultation.


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