QSR Menu Boards: Why Your Company is Missing Out
In an industry that is as hypercompetitive as quick-service restaurants, standing out from the competition is pivotal for long-term success. Industry leaders are getting a leg-up on the field by implementing eye-catching, interactive electronic menu boards that wow customers and greatly improve the in-store experience. Don’t let your business fall behind. In this explainer, we will walk through why digital menu boards are taking the QSR world by storm, and how your business can use them to its advantage!
What are Electronic QSR Menu Boards?
Let’s start with the basics: Digital menu boards are digital displays used in Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) to present their menu offerings and promotional content in a dynamic and engaging manner. These electronic menu boards have replaced traditional static printed menu boards in many fast-food and quick-service establishments, and adoption will only increase in the coming years. Why is this? Overall, these menu boards enhance the customer experience, improve operational efficiency, and enable quick-service restaurants to adapt to changing market conditions more effectively. In the section below, we dive into more detail about what sets QSR digital menu boards apart from their print counterparts.
How are Electronic Menu Boards Different from Traditional Signage?
More Sales and Better Engagement: Data points to digital signage being far more effective at driving desired outcomes than print signage, plain and simple. Whether your business is looking to increase sales, reduce perceived wait times, or improve the in-store experience, digital signage provides upgrades across the board. This only makes sense intuitively. Picture yourself in a pizza shop. Are you more likely to buy a slice of pepperoni pizza if you see dazzling, moving imagery of a steaming fresh pepperoni pizza, or the word “pepperoni” on print signage? The answer is obvious. By providing more robust visual stimuli, digital signage also shortens perceived wait times by distracting the viewer and giving them something to engage with while they wait. If your QSR struggles with long wait times, this is a huge added benefit.
Dynamic Content and Offers: One of the most significant advantages of digital signage is its ability to showcase captivating and personalized content while also allowing for swift changes. With just a simple click of a button, your QSRs can easily swap out advertisement creatives, empowering you to run time-sensitive promotions and effectively influence customers to make specific purchase decisions. For example, is there a high school in your area that lets students out at 3:00 pm? Your store can customize your QSR menu boards to automatically update to display offers and menus that are more appealing to that demographic to take advantage of that traffic surge. On a larger scale, you can simply adjust your menu depending on the weather, time of day, and more, all to drive more sales.
Building Your Brand: Digital signage creates a perception of a more contemporary environment, strategically positioning your brand and encouraging return business. All other factors being equal, such as location and price, would you prefer to visit a mundane, ordinary restaurant, or one with interactive signage displays and a modern/futuristic aesthetic? Digital signage enhances the in-restaurant experience, which proves to be immensely valuable for building your brand and positioning yourself as an industry leader.
Cost Savings and Waste Reduction: Say goodbye to the arduous, troublesome process of printing, hanging, and trashing print signage. By investing in electronic QSR menu boards, your company can save both money and effort on replacing print signage, while significantly reducing waste in the process. Instead of ordering new print signs and dealing with the burden of replacing your old creatives, you can effortlessly update your signage and displays with just a click of a button.
Data Collection: Data-driven decisions are crucial for business growth in any industry. When your business utilizes integrated menu boards, you gain the ability to analyze the performance of your advertising campaigns and truly understand their impact. This empowers your enterprise to demonstrate the effectiveness of ad creatives and measure their true influence on sales and revenue. By integrating your menu boards with your sales data, your business can witness the tangible impact of its advertising efforts, opening up vast growth and optimization opportunities not possible with print signage.
Ease of Management: We touched on this a bit already, but a major benefit of digital menu boards is how easy they are to manage. When your menu boards are powered by a robust content management system, managing one store is as easy as managing several hundred. You can change your creatives across however many locations you need with the click of a button, saving you and your business loads of time and headaches. Digital signage also enables you to pivot quickly and roll out new creatives much faster than in a traditional signage environment, giving your business more flexibility. Your business should not be lagging behind the competition in capitalizing on the latest trends. Digital signage ensures you stay ahead of the curve.
How to Get The Most Out of Your Menu Boards
Location is Everything: What good is your signage if it’s not in a prime location? When preparing to install your signage, consider vantage points and where your menu boards will get the most eyeballs. Consider factors like height, angle, etc. Nothing should be off-limits. You don’t want the hassle of having to relocate your menu boards after they have already been installed. Make sure you get it right the first time.
Consider installing signage elsewhere in your QSR besides just behind the counter. Interactive self-service displays are growing in popularity, and your drive-through (if you have one) can certainly benefit from going fully digital.
Leverage Compelling Visuals: The most important trait of digital signage is the ability to use dynamic, motion-oriented visuals. If your company uses its digital signage to display only static imagery, you are missing out on a major opportunity.
Ultimately, your signage is only as useful as the content on it. It does not make much sense to invest in digital signage if the signage you plan to display is not a considerable upgrade from what you are doing in print. It is critical that your business spares no expense when ensuring your imagery and graphics are as compelling and eye-catching as possible. If you need help with nailing your visuals, the DEEL content studio is an excellent resource. We work with industry leaders on projects ranging in scope from food photography to motion graphic animation. If you have a content need, we have a solution for you.
Before we move on, here’s another best practice to keep in mind when coming up with your visuals: make sure you aren’t using too much text. Using too much text can make your visuals hard to read and distract the viewer from what is really important. It is critical to place trust in the consumer to understand your offering without communicating all of the little details via text, although it may be tempting.
Test, Test, and Test Some More: When utilizing digital signage, it is critical that you take advantage of all of the excellent optimization opportunities that exist. As you are launching your menu boards, ensure you come prepared with a strategy for your displays. A systematic, organized approach to your imagery will make it much easier to measure results and understand the impact of your signage.
The beauty of electronic menu boards is how easy it is to swap out your creatives. Because your signage is intimately connected to your sales data, you can see the performance lift from certain imagery, and accurately measure the impact of different creatives. Do not fire from the hip and swap out signage when you feel like it. Ensure you are keeping a close tab on results, what you have already tried, and what is still left to test. Once you find a winning combination, stick with it and enjoy the results! However, don’t get too complacent. There is also room for improvement, and your company should look for continual optimization opportunities. We assure you they exist.
Use the Right Hardware: To ensure you get the most out of your boards, ensure your business has invested in high-quality hardware, from media players to screens. Many companies don’t account for things like ambient lighting when selecting their screens, and end up with hard-to-see menu boards due to light coming in from windows. When choosing your screens, select higher brightness commercial screens that are tailored for the retail environment. These will be much easier to see, and come with a non-glare coating to ensure pristine visibility at all times. If no one can see your signage, it is not going to have the impact you want. Be sure to invest in good hardware, and consider external variables when making your hardware decisions.
What’s So Special About DEEL Media’s Menu Boards?
We’ve talked a lot about how great electronic QSR menu boards are, and why your company should consider implementing them, but why partner with DEEL Media for your digital signage project? Here’s why:
Unmatched Expertise: What sets DEEL Media apart from the pack is our expertise in every aspect of solution delivery. We don’t just provide you with signage and let you figure out the rest. We work alongside your business as a trusted partner through every step of the process, from consulting, to hardware acquisition, to installation, to content creation, to support. Our holistic, 360-degree view of the digital signage process is what makes us so special.DEEL Media’s QSR menu boards enable you to curate menus based on the data we get from your store in a simple, intuitive manner. This enables you to streamline your operations and put your best foot forward while letting your data go to work for you.
Granular Content Management: In our industry-leading content management system, everything on your menu boards is treated as an individual piece. This enables you to easily edit components of a visual without having to start from scratch. For example, if you’d like to change your “Number 2 Combo” on your menu, you are able to swap out only that piece, while leaving the rest of the visual unchanged. This saves your business a considerable amount of time and effort that is better spent delighting customers.
We Are Support-Obsessed: It is inevitable that you will run into challenges with your menu boards at some point in time. Responsive and knowledgeable customer support can make a massive difference in resolving issues quickly and ensuring a smooth experience. When you have an issue with your signage, you need help now, not days or weeks from now. DEEL Media prides itself on industry-leading support response times. We have a response time of about 15 minutes, while other providers may take days or weeks to respond and address your support inquiries. When you partner with DEEL Media, rest assured you are partnering with the best.
Let’s recap what you’ve learned. Digital menu boards have emerged as a game-changing technology for quick-service restaurants, and are revolutionizing the way QSRs engage with customers and manage their menus. By replacing traditional static signage with dynamic and captivating displays, electronic menu boards enhance the customer experience, leading to increased sales and a better in-store experience for your business, prompting more repeat visitation. The ability to update content in real-time and run time-sensitive promotions enables QSRs to adapt quickly to changing market conditions and take advantage of potential opportunities. Additionally, data-driven insights empower restaurants to make informed decisions and optimize their advertising strategies for continued growth.
To maximize the benefits of QSR menu boards, businesses should focus on strategic location placement, ensuring compelling visuals, and implementing continuous testing of creatives.
At DEEL Media, we provide a holistic approach to digital signage for QSRs, providing expertise in every aspect of the process, and empowering businesses with the tools they need to succeed in their digital signage journey. If you are interested in learning more about how DEEL Media can help your QSR reinvent its digital signage, we encourage you to schedule some time to meet with our team. It is well worth your while!
Meet The Author
In the 1990’s Bill pioneered the use of Internet technologies in the restaurant industry and in 1996 was cited as “Innovator of the Year” by Internet Week Magazine. Co-founding DEEL in 2009 marked the culmination of years in film, television, audio visual, interactive, Internet and restaurant technologies experience. As President & CEO Bill currently leads DEEL’s blueprint for growth and strategic business partnerships.
What is Digital Signage, And How is it Different From Regular Signage?
What is Digital Signage, And How is it Different From Regular Signage?
In technical terms, digital signage refers to the use of digital displays or screens to present information, advertisements, or other forms of content. It involves the use of technologies such as LCD, LED, or projection screens to display multimedia content, including images, videos, text, and interactive elements. Simply put, it is a more engaging way to display messages than traditional signage.
You can find digital signage everywhere, from retail stores, to airports, to hotels, to restaurants, to schools. It serves as a dynamic and flexible communication tool that allows businesses and organizations to deliver targeted messages to their audience.
The first key difference between digital signage and run-of-the-mill signage is the ability to display crystal-clear, dynamic content. This can completely transform the experience of a shopper, visitor, or whoever is viewing your signage. The bright display is hard to ignore, especially when it is in video format. Digital signage is simply more effective at attracting attention than conventional signage. Think about your personal experiences. Which menu board do you think commands more attention, a chalkboard with the day’s specials, or a visual display with bright colors and real, moving imagery showcasing one of the day’s specials?
Beyond higher engagement, another major difference between digital signage and traditional signage is the flexibility provided by digital signage. Rather than taking down your signage every time you want to communicate a new message or make an edit, digital signage enables you to store all of your content in one centralized location, and make changes to display with the push of a button. This makes life considerably easier for any organization that runs promotions or is frequently making tweaks to its offerings.