Make Digital Menu Boards Great

If your restaurant has been using digital menu boards for awhile, great!  Most likely, you’ve already seen a return on your investment.  One of the benefits of digital menu boards is the ability to test ideas quickly and see the impact on your profit and sales.

Experts from Technomic & editors from RestaurantBusinessOnline recently outlined 7 restaurant industry trends for 2017. In a digital age, restaurant operators have more information on their customers – spending trends, pricing, etc. “As a result, restaurants will turn to dynamic pricing to provide of-the-moment deals on overstocked items, charge higher prices at peak times and even adjust prices by location.”

We often tell our clients that small changes can often make a big impact on your bottom line. Here are a few things you can try without a designer, strategy team, or tech team.

Remove the currency symbol to increase your check size

Cornell University’s Center for Hospitality Research studied the impact of the currency symbol used on menus.  They discovered that diners spent 8% more when the dollar sign ($) was removed from the menu.  With digital menu boards, this change can be made in minutes.  In most cases, a small change like this would not require any menu board redesign.  Remember to track when you made the change and for how long you’ll monitor it before analyzing the results.

Improve Your Menu Board Content

Using descriptive menu labels can increase sales by 25%, so test different adjectives and menu item descriptions.

  • Identify trends and incorporate them into your labels & descriptions.  For example, things like cage free eggs, Non-GMO may make a big impact on your customer.
  • Since customers are scanning not reading your menu, you’ll want to use adjectives that make them stop, read, and have a mouth-watering impact.  The goal is for your guest to stop and focus on your words – then buy.
  • If you use brand name ingredients, (e.g. – Godiva chocolate cake), make sure the content reflects it.  It increases the perception of quality and customer satisfaction.
  • Invest in high quality imagery that reflects your product.  Also, make sure that your imagery reflects your product.

Highlight High-Margin Items Through Placement, Color, and Design

Stand back and look at your digital menu boards from the customer’s perspective.  What stands out?  Does your design succeed in focusing the user on the items YOU want to sell?  Simple changes like re-ordering items, adding a border around an item you want to highlight, or even changing the font color can hold the customer’s attention and persuade him to purchase.  If you’re using imagery, does the imagery reflect your product? Studies show that including imagery next to menu items increased sales by 30%.