Your next digital menu board installation should a number of key considerations–which we’ll discuss here in a moment. Prior to, I must say digital menu boards represent one of the largest opportunities in the digital signage and digital out-of-home advertising sectors for a number of reasons. First, the mere size of the restaurant and quick service industry is massive. Second, digital menus are–for reasons previously discussed–a bit different than traditional signage installations and therefore create unique challenges of their own. Third, we continue to receive more requests for digital menu board hardware and software than any other single type or venue of installation. With that in mind, here are a few ideas on how one can truly make a digital menu board unique, engaging and effective.
Tip #1: Remember Guy Kawasaki’s 10-20-30 rule of PPT. It’s not only as true today as it ever was, it coincides perfectly with our discussion on digital menu installations. Attention spans are limited and so is screen space. Guy’s rule is simply this: 10 slides, 20 minutes, 30 point font. For digital menus, it needs to be reduced even further. 30 point font is good, but 10 slides is way too much and you don’t have 20 minutes. With a digital menu, you have maybe two minutes. That’s it.
Tip #2: Remember Engagement. Unlike other digital sign installations, a digital menu board is one that is actually looked at. That’s right, when people want to buy at a restaurant, bar, coffee shop or frozen yogurt stand (or wherever else the menu board is placed), they’re typically going to look and see what’s on the menu. The same is certainly not said for for digital signage in general where quality is used to draw-in audience eyes. In contrast, even the worst digital menu will be viewed, sometimes for a couple of minutes or more.
That doesn’t give the excuse to get lazy on the install or content. But it should require even more discipline in the message you display. As a digital menu board operator you may actually have a greater opportunity than perhaps any other digital sign operator: you have an almost guaranteed captive audience, at least for a few minutes. Be prepared to give them something that will engage, up-sell and cross-sell them. If that means pitching them on a higher-end milk shake they would not have purchased otherwise, but whose video on the display made it irresistible at the very moment before they intended to purchase, then your menu board could be considered a success.
Tip #3: Mounting is key. Have you ever been forced–because of tardiness–to sit on the front row of the movie theater? I think everyone has had the experience of a kinked neck from such an experience. The same issues can apply to matrons and patrons of quick service restaurants. Mounting a display too high, while it may be convenient for the restaurant owners and employees to get around, can be difficult for eyes to access. Sadly, many electronic menus are mounted far too high for most eyes to access readily. Yes, it’s important to have fonts large enough, but if they’re out of sight, they’ll most certainly be out of mind.
Your next dynamic menu board installation may not be flawless, but let’s hope some of these pointers will help to make the long-term effectiveness of driving more sales a true winner.