One way to maximize sales for a QSR or Fast Casual Restaurant is to use dynamic digital menu boards, but implementation can be overwhelming. How do you justify the cost to implement them? How can you maximize their effectiveness? Isn’t there someone who can find an ideal solution for your unique needs, and just make everything easy??
Here, we’ll discuss the top 5 reasons to implement dynamic digital menu boards, along with how to add them with ease, and why even single-location QSRs save money by going digital.
1. Federal regulations are here to stay (And so are dietary restrictions)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has made an official mandate that all QSR and Fast Casual Restaurant establishments with 20 or more locations must add calorie labeling to their menu boards by December 1st, 2016. With this requirement, QSR owners are scrambling to implement rollouts for new menu boards on a grand scale.
Dynamic digital menu boards simplify the process of making updates to meet FDA regulations, and with a lowered total cost of ownership (TCO) in the long run, as compared to static signage updates. Considering not only the price to install static signage, but also design, print, and shipping costs, it’s difficult to ignore the savings that can take place when updates can be made at the touch of a button. Digital menu boards also optimize the menu board space, which is critical since the addition of calorie information has the potential to crowd the visual space.
It also bears mentioning that calorie labeling isn’t the only dietary fact that customers are looking for. According to statistics, the market for gluten-free sales is projected to rise to $23.9 billion dollars by the year 2020*, approximately 15 million Americans have food allergies**, and 3.2% of American adults are now vegan***. Having easy-to-read menu boards with dietary icons helps to increase brand loyalty, and speed up the ordering process so that your customers can make self-educated food choices.
2. Increase sales with irresistible- and targeted- images.
Dynamic digital menu boards allow QSRs to show high-resolution images of hot menu items, whetting their customers’ appetites and influencing their purchase decisions. Quite frankly, a fading image of a hamburger just isn’t going to do that the way that a vivid video of a glistening bacon burger will.
The possibilities of up-selling substantially increase with the use of Point of Sale (POS) digital signage. Imagine the ability to create targeted up-sells; displaying vibrant digital images of complimentary choices based on high profit margin items.
Dynamic digital menu boards also allow QSRs to daypart and weekpart their menu boards, featuring targeted menu options depending on an exact date and time. QSRs can automate menu boards to offer breakfast foods at 6am, automatically change to their Wednesday Buffalo Wing special at noon, and switch to feature potato skins when the weekend crowd comes looking for a snack.
These are just a few examples of how digital menu boards can engage with customers for an experience that will bring them back for more, increasing your Return On Investment (ROI) and allowing the digital menu boards to quickly pay for themselves.
3. Digital Menu Boards: the price is right up your alley.
An obvious concern when upgrading to digital menu boards is cost. Whether on a small or large-scale roll out, static menu board signs are clearly less expensive than digital menu boards… but only at first.
Single-location QSRs may see static signs as an easy and low cost menu board option, but opening a new business means fine-tuning for success. Swapping menu items and promotions means constantly updating menu boards, which also means designing, printing, shipping, and installation costs. The freedom to test new ideas for your menu options, without wasting time or money during the process, can be a deciding factor in your business’ success or failure.
Even when your menu is established, maintaining your customer’s interest means having a competitive edge over your competitors. This means trying new menu items, presented through visual graphics, without the costs involved in routine static sign replacement.
4. Easy updates to enhance your brand.
Digital menu boards allow you to update your menus either on-site or remotely, creating brand consistency at the touch of a button.
This means that even when your customers are travelling to a different state, your sign on the side of the road is a symbol of the same comforting brand experience they know from home. And you can universally update that experience to all of your stores, in minutes.
Dynamic digital menu boards also allow QSRs to engage with their customers in ways that build on brand loyalty, alternating promotions with branded videos that entertain and decrease perceived wait times. Showing brand-building content, along with your latest promotions, keeps your customers focused on everything that your menu board has to offer.
5. Conquer the crowds, one step at a time.
Granted, digital menu boards can be intimidating, but they don’t have to be. Start with one digital menu board, and expand as your business grows.
Just as you would test out a new menu item at a single location before a chain-wide rollout, you can test out digital signage in one location and expand with the same versatile equipment in a variety of structural layouts. The key to adding effective digital menu boards is to make sure that it’s done by an expert who can optimize menu board placement, lighting, and public safety.
QSR and Fast Casual Restaurant owners are faced with hundreds of complicated decisions, and we understand how limited your time is. That’s why we make it easy to engage with our expertise, connecting with you via email, phone, Sykpe, and on-site visits. We seek to understand your unique needs, with fast turnaround time for dimensional drawings and CAD images so that you can visualize your digital menu boards with ease. We also offer project and installation support so that implementing digital menu boards is fast and easy; giving you one less thing to worry about.
* Statistics and Facts on the Gluten-Free Foods Market in the U.S., www.statista.com, November 17, 2015.
**Food Allergy Basics: Facts and Statistics, www.foodallgery.org, November 17, 2015.
***Vegetarianism in America, www.vegetariantimes.com, November 17, 2015.