At its very core, the sole purpose of a QSR is to offer a variety of menu choices, at competitive prices, that are prepared and served quickly. With such quick turnaround, and ultimately limited time for a customer’s exposure to messaging and promotions, it’s no surprise that one of the most valuable customer touch points is your menu board.
From the most basic chalkboards and printed posters, to painted designs, illuminated boards and magnetic strip menus, menu board design and functionality has continued to evolve. The latest stage in this evolution is the digital menu board.
While static menu boards are still a popular and effective choice for the fast food industry, digital technology is beginning to proliferate the market, from small chains to fast food giants.
Digital menu boards are becoming a convenient, easy-to-use, cost-effective solution for QSRs’ frequently changing prices, products and promotions. In addition to the operational benefits of digital menu boards (flexibility, dynamic content, changeability), QSRs like Dairy Queen and Wendy’s are beginning to see an increase in revenue after retrofitting digital menu boards into their US stores.
Sue Culver, the vice president of retail merchandising for International Dairy Queen says, “I get goose bumps thinking about it,” when referencing the endless possibilities digital signage provides in driving consumers to specific, margin-friendly menu items.
Dairy Queen tested the digital menu boards in 12 of their 5,900 location in the US and Canada and discovered that more than 80% of the time, the quantities of an item sold increased yearly when highlighted on the digital promotional playlist. Culver believes that “digital is the future in menu board merchandising.”
Wendy’s is experiencing similar results with their digital rollout.
Franchise owner Bob Lopez, with Wendy’s locations across the country, says that whenever digital menu boards were used in his stores to highlight combo-meal imaging and messaging, sales of the more profitable bundling options far exceeded that of stores without the technology.
Digital menu boards can deliver upsells such as adding a drink or increasing the size of the order, promoting choices not normally found on the everyday menu and even pushing overstocked items to help clear out inventory levels. They’re also a great way to capture the attention of youngsters, with cartoon characters and video game images promoting kid friendly menus they’re bound to beg their parents for.
While it may not be for everyone, investing in digital menu board technology offers the opportunity to increase your transactions and ultimately your bottom line.
Information pulled from the Nation’s Restaurant News website, Alan J. Liddle. http://nrn.com/archive/how-digital-menu-boards-help-drive-restaurant-sales – March 12, 2012.