May 7, 2018

Advertising And The Digital Menu Board

The digitally-fuelled age of today coupled with a fiercely competitive business melieu has induced the restaurateur to seek fresh ways to stay and grow in business. Further, the ever rising advertising costs in print , television , out-of-home as well as the internet has put the focus on digital point-of-sale advertising through the menu boards which double up as an advertising screen.

The Need For Menu Board Advertising

The digital signage menu board is the face of the restaurant since most often the menu board is placed conveniently at the entrance for attracting the eyes of the customer even before a face-to-face interaction with the restaurateur or it’s staff indoors. Thus, it is imperative for the menu board to communicate the right advertising message for the right target audience and at the right times.

There is hardly any restaurant today which hasn't yet adapted to digital menu boards or digital advertising. Despite becoming commonplace, the digital menu board with its graphics, playlists, moving images, video and interactives ? has retained it’s novelty even after its advent several years ago.

What is a digital signage menu board?

  • A digital signage menu board is usually a rectangular board or screen which displays a list of items, content and graphics.
  • This list of items, content & graphics are stored in the computer by the restaurateur in advance ( devised by him or with the help of online /offline agencies )
  • The rectangular menu board or screen is electronically operated through the devices of either a computer or a computer along with a media Player.
  • When the screen is switched on by the computer and /or the media player, the electronic circuits fitted behind the screen illuminates the content and graphics thereby producing a marvellous visual impact .
  • Often, video and animation footages form the content and it’s display on the screen by computer controls and the media Player facilitate a compelling effect .
  • Digital technology has made possible the invention of large LED/ LCD screens/menu boards which we see displayed in reputed restaurant chains such as McDonalds, KFC, Subway and the likes
  • The consistent upgradation in screen technology has made possible the latest additions in screen/menu board devices at affordable prices and with warranties on quality & durability

Types of Advertising messages conveyed through the menu board

The menu board has become an important device in conveying the advertising message of the restaurateur. Apart from listing the menu items, the price points, the content ? the menu board funtions as the prime advertising platform for enticing the target customers and garnering sales.

The following are the kinds of advertising messages which the restaurateur can convey ;-

  • Announce menu specials, up-sells, cross-sells of the day with automated menu updating through digital software. These can be displayed prior to specific time bands eg, Chicken Steaks, Chicken burgers from 11am -1pm, Nachos, Tacos & Burritos (1pm -3pm ) and so on.
  • Announce price discounts eg, ‘get 50 cents off on a combo package on one Hamburger and one 500ml cola’, schemes such as ‘buy 1 and get 1 free’, or ‘get free gift coupons for the live music entertainment in town for purchases of above $40’ and so on.
  • To Display the restaurant’s name / logo prominently in order to highlight the business brand ie “Harry’s ? the first name in burgers”
  • To Display menu items with a product mix branding, ie Harry’s Ham Burgers, Harry’s Chicken Burgers, Harry’s Cheese Burgers etc.
  • To Convey a particular unique benefit of an item ie ‘Harry’s Tenderloin Steak ? the best in town’ or ‘Harry’s Cheese Burger ? the best value for money’.
  • To convey health incentives on the food items ie ‘be healthier with our chicken burger’ or a public interest message ?a health tip on obesity like - ‘ burn 200 calories every day by running 500meters or jogging 2kms. You may even brisk walk around our premises as long as you like !’ . However, for announcing any kind of health benefit, the restaurant must practice what it preaches.
  • Restaurateurs can device playlists on their menu items which can be showcased sequentially and at real-times in order to entice the target audience.
  • A video run of a specific menu item can be advertised. The spectacular visual appeal as of a barbecue would be truly appetizing and have the customers droolling for the item and the like. Digital software has also enabled multiple video runs at real-times.

Recent studies and surveys

Point-Of-Sale advertising, as the Quick Service Restaurants have learnt through trial & error, remains the most effective form of advertising with most businesses garnering over 40% average additional sales yearly. Compared to the (meagre) investments in digital signage systems , this has indeed become a very profitable advertising platform today.