Digital Menu Boards are a special type of Digital Signage project that is typically defined by the content on the menu screens more so than the technology and services needed to enable the vision into a fully operating resource to direct and entice guests while increasing basket size. Since these digital menus are a form of digital signage, CMS (Content Management System) software is needed along with the CMS server hardware that is usually a part of the CMS platform. If the digital menu board also requires some interactive features, some software platforms have certain interactive capabilities already built-in. If there is certain functionality needed though that is not a part of the CMS system, then a custom build of the interactive application would be needed to deliver the functionality required. Certain digital menu board projects prefer a self-serve model, using kiosks and digital ordering stations to keep orders processing and help reduce perceived wait times. In some cases, a custom video wall is preferred for digital menu boards or at least some of the digital menus. In those scenarios needing kiosks, videos walls and ordering stations, certain CMS platforms that specialize in those areas would be used.
Then after all these technical aspects are sorted out from software and servers to displays and 3rd party devices, the content for these screens still needs to be acquired and created, which is what we specialize in – delivering content for digital signage specifically since 2000. Some digital menu board projects could want stock content, feed services, and other media to comprise their media programming for these screens. Similar to Digital Informational Boards, digital menu boards may need to show some specialized data into a branded layout, but the data still has to be extracted from business databases, which could require some custom coding and APIs to enable. Most of the content though is typically pre-designed, especially the layout, menu items and resource items. Certain content can be dynamic, such as pricing, special packaging or emergency messaging to be flexible to changing opportunities based on available inventory, weather, and other variables. Menu boards don’t have to be static versions of the physical menu. They should take advantage of the digital aspects of the platform to promote certain items and increase overall sales.
Applications for digital menu boards are not solely for restaurants and other food service environments by the way. Digital menus and informational boards could also be applied to auto service centers, salons, medical practices, specialty stores and other location-based messaging needs. In regards to the digital menu process, the more input provided accelerates and energizes the project and leads to a more satisfying experience overall. Therefore, for us to proceed with any signage project, we need each client to be invested not just financially, but time invested as well, carving out resources and time to keep the project moving forward. Failing to do so, drags out projects needlessly. With that in mind, having a project timeline, defined resources from both parties and checkpoints will help maintain momentum.