Static menu boards were once the standard norm and preferred by eating establishments for their simplicity and ease of use. However, times have changed, and more businesses in the food industry are now beginning to look to digital menu boards in order to remain competitive.

Digital menu boards can be employed in a number of venues that serve or sell food. This extends beyond restaurants and diners and may include:

  • The deli or bakery section of a supermarket

  • The cafeteria in a hospital

  • Hotel bars and restaurants

  • Concession stands in movie theaters

  • Cafes and snack stands on university campuses

Digital menu boards allow messages to be displayed in high quality definition. What’s more, vendors can incorporate news and social media feeds or participate in cross promotion efforts with other vendors and suppliers.

Types of Digital Signage Ads

  • Product and Service-Related Ads – One of the best ways to introduce new products and services is through a slideshow complete with product specs and features.

  • Promo and Special Sales Ads – It is not unusual to provide a one-time-offer especially if you have extra inventory items that need to be sold. Let your consumers know that they must act now if they want to take advantage of this limited time offer.

  • Company Ads – Let your consumers know why your company is the go-to authority in your industry. Tell your tale and company history through multiple slides consisting short descriptive text and images.

  • Holiday Ads – Holidays are especially a time for owners to be jolly because this is when businesses peak. Milk the opportunity by alerting consumers of new inventory items and mark-down prices.

  • Contest Ads – Contests are one of the best ways to encourage customer engagement and participation. Let it be known what the prizes and giveaways are and encourage consumers to sign up right on the spot by scanning the QR code with their mobile device.

Infinite Options

Content can be amplified with HD picture quality and even audio. Photos of select cuisines and combo meals can be shown in exquisite detail. Marketers can also use text to describe a specific menu item, such as:

  • Ingredients

  • The origins of the dish

  • How it’s prepared

  • Whether the item meets certain dietary needs, such as gluten-free, vegetarian or organic

Why Content is King

Fresh content is needed to continuously provide customers with new material to pique their interests. Pre-existing material is often not optimized to meet the needs of patrons whose needs are often changing due to constantly fluctuating trends. With digital content, a company can reintroduce their brand in a whole new light to elevate customer perception and impression.

Going digital is also advantageous in the sense that new content can be added instantaneously; there are no wait times associated with printing and delivery. Messages can also be changed in real time, so if one message results in higher sales and ROI, then that ad can be employed in more stores with greater frequency to replicate the same sales output.

Most eating establishments also offer limited time menu items, which can be displayed in close-up with a caption that entices customers to give it a try. This is where copywriting and sales pitches can be useful. Consider the following examples of captions and slogans for a new and limited time food product:

  • Try it now before it’s all gone

  • Don’t miss out on this succulent dish

  • Treat your taste buds to this mouth-watering cuisine

  • It’s not just delicious, it’s tummy-rubbing delicious

Content is Communication

Just as with normal ads, the effectiveness of digital menu boards comes down to your ability to communicate your message in a way that gets your customers to take action. It comes down to knowing your demographic and what they are looking for in a product. Create content for your display based on the following questions:

  • What categories of products sell well?

  • What keeps customers returning? Think in terms of product quality, price and service.

  • Which aspects of the business can be improved to drive sales upwards?

Being able to step in the shoes of your consumers and knowing what it is they expect and want from your business can help you craft content that elicits the desired response rate. You can also employ the use of surveys or questionnaires to really get to know your audience. Signage displays often produce better results than traditional banners and posters, but it won’t necessarily result in better ROI if the message fails to resonate with consumers.

Restaurants and diners have everything to gain by implementing digital menu boards. It is a way of communicating that takes advantage of the latest in digital technology. Incorporating visually appealing content in a dining atmosphere also makes for a satisfying eating experience.