The days of making a menu in power point and pinning it the wall of your cafe have long gone. Technology has made it easy to put your menu on digital signage, and update it on demand. But like other upgrades, most restaurant owners wonder how fast they can achieve a return on investment. Apart from easy scheduling, digital signage offers many benefits like improving visual appeal and enabling remote management, all of which has proven effective in increasing sales.
The most powerful thing about digital menu boards is how convenient they are for you and your customers. A paper menu is only as good as the last time you printed it. As soon as something changes (the price goes up, you run out of stock), it’s out of date. Because a digital menu board can be updated on demand, it’s always current. You can also run several types of menus – in addition to your rump menu you can show specials, lunch, brunch, dinner, desserts, drinks – and you can choose what time of day you want any or all of them to appear. A traditional printed menu simply isn’t that convenient.
With digital signage, a world of design opportunity opens up. Visually appealing menu boards make all the difference to customers, their retention and their repeat business. Animated graphics are suddenly possible (try that with a printed menu). The better impression you make, and the clearer your information is presented, it’s more likely people will remember your menu. And that makes a difference to your return on investment.
Choosing the right hardware is critical. Most screens simply can’t handle the rigours of a restaurant – whether that’s kitchen heat, cooking grime or accidents caused by careless patrons. Significantly, a lot of hardware won’t have a warranty that covers use in this kind of environment. You also need to consider how customers view the screen – will they be bright enough, can they be used in portrait mode (surprisingly, many can not) – and you need to consider how you’ll update your menus. Which is where your content management system (CMS) comes in.
It’s clear that you’ll want to update your menu at some point. How often you do that, on what screens and – for those who have a network of stores – in what location will determine the kind of CMS you should get. There are many in the market, some will be over-engineered for your needs, some will be difficult to use, others will be totally inadequate. It pays to window-shop and find one that works for your team, and for your customers. We recommend Laqorr, and are more than happy to show you under the hood. Ask us about it when doing your research.
When running a cafe or any kind of quick service restaurant, you cannot ignore the importance of digital menu boards. They help when your customers are making their decisions, they help boost sales, customer retention and help improve your bottom line.