Staying up to date with technology is a key responsibility of any franchisor.

One of the most powerful tools that restaurants and fast food outlets have been employing in recent years is the Digital Menu Board.

Digital Menu Boards allow operators to combine product offerings with eye catching, full-motion video. Digital Menu Boards can be updated easily by removing, adding and changing menu item information remotely and seamlessly.

The Major Benefits of Digital Menu Boards are:

  1. Remotely change content at a moment’s notice
  2. Able to change information on one or more store’s menu boards nationwide
  3. Potentially minimize future costs on having to replace static menu boards on ongoing basis
  4. Cut down on printing costs and menu shipping costs to various stores and vendors
  5. Cut down on produce wastage.  For example, while doing stock take you may notice left over products in the store.  By using the digital menu board you can instantly create a “New Special” to move the stock instead of having to discard it or advertise it at additional cost
  6. When having one central point where artwork gets uploaded and removed from your network it will assist you with maintaining your brand consistency by centralising control of marketing, promotions and menu board content.
  7. With digital signage software you now have the ability to tie in inventory levels with the point of sale (POS) to change marketing and pricing on the fly.

Choosing a Digital Menu Board Service Provider

When considering Digital Menu Boards – know your objectives, as converting over is a costly but very valuable investment.

  1. Make sure you secure a reliable digital signage company that can guide you through this process.
  2. Look for a company that will not only sell you the hardware and software but has a strong focus on helping your company and brand succeed. Ask for client references, as that will give you a great indication of the service you will receive.
  3. Choose a provider that includes a service level agreement to ensure your screens and content run smoothly.
  4. Make sure they have experience in hardware installations and where to place computer components. Correct installations extend functionality and lifespan on your hardware.
  5. Content is King – Ensure your content is professionally produced and that your chosen creative team understands your brand and message well. Whether it is colour images and graphics or short video clips, the content needs to be customer – engaging to ensure that the customers become enticed to buy.

Possible disadvantages

  1. Power cuts and load shedding, it would seem that every business should have a backup generator or solar powered system in place so the business can function without power interruptions. This should be a consideration, not only for the continued function of your Digital Menu Boards, but also of your lights, Point of Sale system and other machinery.
  2. The general lifespan of technical equipment is usually 2-3 years so it would be wise to budget accordingly on technical equipment.
  3. Technical call outs can become costly. Ensure that the installations are done correclty and the equipment was placed in an area where heat and dust can’t affect its functionality.
  4. Insurance would need to be taken out to cover the Digital Menu Boards.
  5. Depending on the software being used there could be an annual licence fee.

Ready or not, Digital Menu Boards are quickly becoming a major part of the quick-service and fast casual restaurant environments. Some chains are already reaping the benefits of this technology while others are focussed on their traditional model saying there is no need for a change at present.

For more information on Digital Menu Boards contact Advicast Multimedia on info@advicast.co.za or www.advicast.co.za