Digital Menu Boards for Restaurants: 2024 Guide

Digital menu boards are transforming how restaurants display and manage their menus. Here's what you need to know:

  • Replace paper menus with digital screens
  • Easy to update prices and items quickly
  • Improve customer experience with clear visuals
  • Connect with other restaurant systems for efficiency

Key benefits:

  • Better look and appeal
  • Cost savings over time
  • Fewer ordering mistakes
  • Ability to show promotions and specials

Main features:

To choose and set up a digital menu board:

  1. Select appropriate hardware
  2. Pick user-friendly software
  3. Design clear, readable menus
  4. Train staff on system use
Aspect Traditional Menus Digital Menu Boards
Updates Slow, requires reprinting Instant, remote changes
Cost Ongoing printing expenses Higher upfront, lower long-term
Visuals Static images Dynamic content, videos
Integration Manual Connects with other systems
Analytics Limited Detailed performance data

Digital menu boards are becoming essential for modern restaurants, offering flexibility, efficiency, and improved customer engagement.

2. Advantages of Digital Menu Boards

Digital menu boards offer many benefits for restaurant owners. Here are the main advantages:

2.1 Better Look

Digital menus make food items look more appealing. They use high-quality screens to show:

  • Clear pictures of dishes
  • Easy-to-read prices
  • Current promotions

This helps customers choose what to eat and can boost sales.

2.2 Easy Updates

Changing menu items or prices is simple with digital boards. Restaurant owners can:

  • Add new dishes quickly
  • Change prices instantly
  • Update promotions in real-time

This saves time compared to printing new paper menus.

2.3 Money Savings

Over time, digital menus can save restaurants money. Here's how:

Savings Explanation
Less printing No need to print new menus often
No shipping costs Digital updates don't require delivery
Less food waste Easy to remove items that are out of stock

2.4 Fewer Mistakes

Digital menus can help reduce order errors. They do this by:

  • Showing clear item descriptions
  • Displaying accurate prices
  • Updating quickly when items are unavailable

This leads to happier customers and fewer mix-ups.

In short, digital menu boards can improve how restaurants look, work, and serve customers. They offer a modern solution to many common restaurant challenges.

3. Main Features of Digital Menu Boards

Digital menu boards have key features that help restaurants serve customers better and make more money. Here's what they can do:

3.1 Clear, Bright Screens

Digital menu boards use high-quality screens to show:

  • Clear pictures of food
  • Easy-to-read prices
  • Eye-catching promotions

These screens help customers see what's on offer and make choices quickly.

Digital menus can connect to the restaurant's cash register system. This means:

Benefit Explanation
Accurate prices Menus show the same prices as the cash register
Quick updates When items sell out, they can be removed from the menu right away
Fewer mistakes Staff don't need to update prices in two places

3.3 Smart Menu Suggestions

Some digital menus use computer programs to suggest food to customers. These programs:

  • Look at what customers usually buy
  • Suggest items based on past orders
  • Help customers find new foods they might like

This can make customers happier and help restaurants sell more.

3.4 Tools to Understand Sales

Digital menu boards come with tools that show restaurants how well they're doing. These tools:

  • Track which foods sell best
  • Show when the restaurant is busiest
  • Help owners decide what to put on the menu

By using this information, restaurants can:

  • Stock the right amount of food
  • Plan staff schedules better
  • Choose which items to promote

These features help restaurants run better and make customers happier. They're a big step up from old paper menus.

4. Selecting a Digital Menu Board System

When picking a digital menu board system for your restaurant, think about these key points:

4.1 Screens and Equipment

Choose the right hardware for your needs:

Hardware What to Consider
Screens Size, picture quality, brightness
Media players Power, storage space
Mounts Wall or stand options

Pick tough equipment that can handle daily use in a busy restaurant.

4.2 Menu Software

Good software makes managing your digital menu easy. Look for:

  • Simple ways to change menu items
  • Tools to plan when to show different menus
  • Ways to check how well your menu is working

Make sure the software is easy to use and can grow with your business.

4.3 Future-Proof Your System

Think about how your restaurant might change:

  • Can you add more screens later?
  • Will the system work with other tools you use?
  • Can it handle new features as they come out?

Choose a system that can keep up as your restaurant grows.

4.4 Money Matters

Think about the costs and benefits:

Costs Benefits
Buying screens More sales
Software fees Happier customers
Setup and upkeep Less work for staff

Figure out how much you'll spend and how much you might gain. Pick a system that fits your budget and helps your business.

5. How to Set Up Digital Menu Boards

Setting up a digital menu board is easy if you follow these steps:

5.1 Planning and Design

Before you start:

  • Choose your menu layout
  • Pick colors and fonts that match your restaurant
  • Think about how to organize your menu items

You can use tools like Canva or Adobe Creative Cloud to make your menu look good.

5.2 Installation Steps

Here's how to install your digital menu board:

Step Action
1 Put up your screens where people can see them
2 Connect your media player to the screen and turn it on
3 Install the menu software and set it up
4 Add your menu design and set when to show it

5.3 Employee Training

Help your staff learn the new system:

  • Show them how to change menu items and prices
  • Teach them how to fix common problems
  • Make sure they feel okay using the new tech

5.4 Creating Menu Content

Good menu content helps your digital board work well:

  • Use clear pictures of your food
  • Add prices and food info
  • Show special deals and offers
  • Keep your menu up-to-date

6. Digital Menu Design Tips

Here's how to make your digital menu look good and work well:

6.1 Menu Layout

Make your menu easy to read:

  • Use a grid to separate items
  • Keep it simple and tidy
  • Don't put too much on the screen

6.2 Using Colors

Pick colors that match your restaurant:

Color Tips Why It Helps
Dark screen on white wall Stands out
White screen in colorful room Easy to see
Use only 3 main colors Keeps focus on food

6.3 Text and Readability

Make sure people can read your menu:

  • Use big, simple fonts
  • Make prices and items clear
  • Use bold or italic for important info
  • Don't use too many different fonts

6.4 Adding Images and Videos

Use pictures and videos to show off your food:

  • Add high-quality food photos
  • Use short videos if you can
  • Don't add too many moving parts
  • Make sure pictures fit the screen right

7. Managing Menu Content

Keeping your digital menu boards fresh and useful is key. Here's how to do it:

7.1 Time-Based Menus

Show different menus at different times:

Time Menu Type
Morning Breakfast
Midday Lunch
Evening Dinner

This helps you show the right food at the right time.

7.2 Seasonal and Special Offers

Keep your menu exciting:

  • Add holiday items
  • Show new dishes for each season
  • Put up special deals

This can make people want to try new things.

7.3 Automatic Content Changes

Let your menu update itself:

  • Set times for menu switches
  • Change prices without touching the screen
  • Remove sold-out items quickly

This saves time and keeps your menu correct.

7.4 Remote Management

Control your menu from anywhere:

What You Can Do Why It's Good
Change prices Keep up with costs
Add new items Show new dishes fast
Fix mistakes Keep customers happy

This helps you run your restaurant better, even when you're not there.


8. Connecting with Other Restaurant Systems

Linking digital menu boards to other systems in your restaurant can make things work better. Here's how:

8.1 Linking to Inventory Systems

When you connect your digital menu to your inventory system:

Benefit How it Helps
Menu updates automatically Shows only what's in stock
Removes sold-out items Customers see what's available
Helps manage stock Less food waste

This makes work easier and keeps customers happy.

8.2 Online Ordering Integration

Connecting digital menus to online ordering helps:

  • Keep menus the same everywhere
  • Get orders right
  • Sell more online

This makes it easy for customers to order and helps you make more money.

8.3 Showing Social Media Content

Putting social media on your digital menu can:

What to Show Why It's Good
Customer reviews People trust other customers
Food pictures Makes food look good
Social media contests Gets people excited

This gets customers more involved and can make them want to share about your restaurant.

9. Measuring and Improving Performance

9.1 Key Performance Metrics

To see how well your digital menu board works, keep track of these numbers:

Metric What It Shows
Sales data Which items sell well
Customer interaction How people use your menu
Menu item performance Which foods are popular

9.2 Testing Different Designs

Try different menu designs to find what works best. Test these things:

  • Menu layouts
  • Pictures and videos
  • Special deals

See which ones help you sell more food.

9.3 Getting Customer Feedback

Ask customers what they think about your menu. You can:

  • Use surveys
  • Check social media
  • Talk to people in your restaurant

Ask them:

  • What they like
  • What they don't like
  • What food they want to see on the menu

9.4 Making Things Better

Keep improving your digital menu board:

Action Why It Helps
Update menu often Keeps things new
Look at your numbers Shows what to fix
Try new ideas Stays ahead of other restaurants

10. Future of Digital Menu Boards

Digital menu boards will keep getting better in 2024. Here's what we might see:

10.1 Augmented Reality Menus

AR menus will make ordering more fun:

Feature What It Does
3D food models Shows dishes in 3D
Virtual kitchen tours Lets customers see the kitchen
Personal suggestions Recommends food based on what you like

These changes will help customers see and understand the menu better.

10.2 Voice-Controlled Ordering

You might be able to order by talking to the menu board:

  • Say what you want
  • Ask questions about food
  • Get help with your order

This makes ordering easier, especially for people who have trouble reading or using screens.

10.3 Energy-Saving Features

New menu boards will use less power:

Feature How It Helps
Auto-brightness Screen gets brighter or darker as needed
Power-saving mode Uses less power when not busy
Solar power Some boards might use sun power

These changes help restaurants save money and use less electricity.

10.4 Personalized Menu Options

Menus will show food just for you:

  • Remember what you usually order
  • Show food that fits your diet
  • Suggest new things you might like

This helps you find food you want faster and might make you want to come back more.

Restaurants need to follow certain rules to make sure their digital menu boards are legal and easy for everyone to use. Here's what you need to know:

11.1 Menu Labeling Rules

The FDA says restaurants with 20 or more locations must show calorie info on their menus. This helps customers make smart food choices. To follow this rule:

What to Show Where to Show It
Calorie counts Next to each menu item
Calorie info for different sizes For items with size options
Calorie info for combos For meal deals

11.2 ADA Compliance


The ADA wants digital menu boards to work for people with disabilities. Here's what menus need:

Feature Why It's Important
Colors that stand out Easy to read
Big, clear letters Easy to see
Works with screen readers Helps blind customers
Captions for videos Helps deaf customers
Can use without a mouse Helps customers who can't use one

Restaurants can check if their menus follow these rules with an ADA tester.

11.3 Multiple Language Options

It's good to have menus in different languages. This helps:

  • Customers who speak other languages
  • People who have trouble reading

12. Upkeep and Problem-Solving

12.1 Software Updates and Security

Keep your digital menu board software up to date:

  • Fix problems and make the system safer
  • Help it work better
  • Get new features

Check with your menu board company often for updates and follow their steps to install them.

12.2 Hardware Maintenance

Take care of your menu board equipment:

Task How Often
Clean screens Weekly
Check for wear Monthly
Test cables Quarterly

Make a plan to do these jobs regularly.

12.3 Common Problems and Solutions

Here's how to fix common issues:

Problem What to Do
Screen won't turn on Check if it's plugged in
Menu not changing Look at internet and updates
Screen too dark or bright Change settings or get help

If you can't fix it, ask your menu board company for help.

12.4 When to Call for Help

Call your menu board company when:

  • You can't fix a problem
  • You need help with upkeep
  • You want tips on using the system better

They can give you support, fix things, and show you how to use your menu boards well.

13. Wrap-Up

13.1 Main Points Recap

This guide has covered key aspects of digital menu boards for restaurants. Here's a quick look at what we've learned:

Topic Key Points
Benefits - Easy content updates
- Better looks
- Cost savings
Setup - Choosing the right system
- Installing screens
- Training staff
Management - Updating menu content
- Linking with other systems
- Tracking performance

We've shown how digital menu boards can help restaurants work better and make customers happier.

13.2 What's Next for Digital Menus

Digital menu boards will keep getting better. Here are some things we might see soon:

New Feature What It Does
AR menus Show food in 3D
Voice ordering Let people order by talking
Smart suggestions Offer food based on what you like

To stay ahead:

  • Keep an eye on new tech
  • Update your system when needed
  • Use new features to help your restaurant

With a good digital menu board, you can:

  • Make your restaurant run smoother
  • Keep customers happy
  • Sell more food


Do digital menu boards increase sales?

Digital menu boards can help restaurants sell more. Here's how:

Benefit How It Helps Sales
Show best-selling items Makes people want to buy more expensive food
Display special offers Gets customers to try new things
Look nice Makes people enjoy ordering more

These boards can also quickly change what's shown. This helps move sales from cheap items to more expensive ones, which can make more money for the restaurant.

Why use digital menu boards?

Digital menu boards are good for restaurants because:

Reason How It Helps
Help people choose faster Customers can decide what to eat while waiting
Show fun facts Keeps people happy while they wait
Display ads Tells people about new food or deals

When customers are less bored and frustrated while waiting, they often:

  • Feel happier about the restaurant
  • Want to come back more
  • Buy more food

This makes digital menu boards good for both the restaurant and its customers.

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