How much do digital menu boards cost? Short answer.. it depends. If you are a DIY type person, you can buy a TV at your local big box store, connect a USB drive with a JPEG of your menu. While this may be the cheapest way, it has some serious drawbacks which we will get into. If after all our warnings you still think it’s a good idea, then your cost is around $200-400 per screen.
A better way to do digital menu boards is to use commercial-grade screens, a digital signage player and, cloud-based software. Most new installs are done this way because the extra upfront investment pays for itself in the long run. Let’s break down the parts of a digital menu board setup and what you should expect to pay for each.
Digital Menu Board Screens
Screens generally make up most of the initial cost of a digital menu board system. We recommend using commercial-grade monitors for a multitude of reasons. Brighter screens will make your menu stand out, especially in well-lit areas. Commercial-grade screens are generally brighter and will improve menu visibility.
Screen brightness is measured in nits and as a general rule, 350-450 is where you want to be for digital menus.
There are other factors to consider including onsite warranty service and screen lifespan. We cover these factors and more in the Digital Signage Screen Buyers Guide.
Digital Signage Players
A digital signage player is an internet-connected device that displays your content on a screen. These devices can sell for $50 to $1,200 and up. Most of the options we recommend for commercial applications are closer to the $400 – $1200 range. Like the screens, spending a little more will go a long way for reliability. Features such as remote support and the ability to control two or more screens can justify the cost.
Cloud-Based Digital Signage Software
There are a dizzying number of cloud-based digital signage software options. Most of the popular offerings show an advertised price of $20 – $80 per screen. A key feature is to have a web-based content management system where you can create and edit content. Get a demo of the content management system before you commit. Make sure it’s as easy to use as they advertise.
Be sure to see what level of support the vendor offers in case you need help. Email support is good but phone and chat are better. Lastly, choose a provider with an established track record and clients you have heard of.
Digital Menu Board Design
Quality menu board design is extremely important and can be expensive but there are ways to greatly save on costs. A template library with beautiful designs will give you a starting point for your menus. At SmarterSign, we offer design consultation and 1 on 1 training so you aren’t left to figure out it all out on your own.
What does a digital menu board system cost?
The hardware cost for a two-screen digital menu board system will start around $1,600. Expect to pay around $50/month for the digital signage software and support.
If you want to find out what digital menu boards would cost for your restaurant, you can schedule a call with a digital signage expert.