The past decade has seen a significant evolution in the fast-food/casual restaurants for digital signage displays and digital menu boards. We have accepted the foray of digital technologies into our daily lives, much quicker than we had ever imagined.

In the QSR/Fast Casual domain, print menu boards were sufficient for quite a while and then there was a natural shift towards static digital displays.  The digital displays were more eye-catching than their static counterparts and held a strong foothold in the market. But, the customers wanted more than just plain static displays.

Entry: Dynamic Digital Displays and Dynamic Digital Menu Boards.

Transitions, animations, video clips were quickly added to the mix. The dynamic content can be placed over different parts of the screen or, it can take up the entire screen(s).

Digital signage has continued to enhance brand and marketing messages in various business verticals around the world, the QSR/Fast Casual restaurant industry is boasting impressive financial results with eye-popping digital menus.

Many QSR/Fast Casual restaurateurs agree that digital menus are a worthwhile investment. Studies show that dynamic content draws 63% more attention than static content, and reduces perceived wait times by 35%.

Let’s take a look at the primary uses of digital displays in restaurants today:

  • Display the core strategic items to drive the right product mix
  • Act as an up-selling tool to push items such as drinks, sides & dessert
  • Promote Limited Time Offers (Think Starbucks: Pumpkin Spice Lattes promoted during the holiday season)
  • Display Brand messaging to build a brand following
  • Promote Branded merchandise
  • Digital Displays are great ambassadors in pushing the loyalty program to customers

Being DMB professionals we know video is good for the brand but, we also know that too much of anything is not good! There are five golden rules to be followed to maximize deployment of video in your dynamic digital displays mentioned below:

  1. Identify potential messaging element for video content from the options mentioned above.
  2. Dedicate enough video space on the screen so customers cannot miss the content being played – typically ½ to 1 full screen out of a 3 or 4 screen menu board is optimum.
  3. Have enough videos queued to play in a spot, so the average customer waiting in the line is able to watch it no more than 3 times. Customers wouldn’t be too happy watching the same visual over and over again.
  4. DO NOT (all caps!) play videos on multiple screens at the same time. This not only creates confusion but it also does not drive the intended message or behavior to result in the desired action. Too much video will end up confusing the viewer.
  5. Combine Animations and Videos to be effective. Simple/subtle animations for items in their original menu spots should be implemented to place highlights. Bigger and more important initiatives should make use of compelling videos to send the message across.

A picture is worth a thousand words. A video is worth 30 pictures per second. Let’s use it wisely, and not overwhelm the customer.