6 Steps for Managing Digital Menu Board Content across Multiple Locations

One of the biggest pain points we hear from customers is that it can be incredibly challenging to manage digital menu board content across multiple restaurant locations. This is especially difficult for corporate executives or franchise operators who travel frequently and need to change menu content when they’re on the go.

At WAND we want to make everyone’s life is a little easier. So here are six steps for managing your digital menu board content across multiple restaurant locations.

1. Strategy is key! Before you set loose your design team to create amazing menu content for your brand, take a step back and think about how you can make your content work for you. Things like introducing variable content, allowing limited local control, and ensuring that your content can be updated easily across the brand can make the time spent creating a strategy pay itself back tenfold. Here are a couple of quick tips to maximize the impact of your strategy:

  • Involve Operations Personnel:  Ops personnel can be a valuable asset to marketing teams when defining what content needs to be the most flexible vs. content that rarely changes.
  • More Options = More Work for You:  If every franchisee has 47 options of what menu items will show on their menu boards, you’ll end up with more iterations of content, making it harder (and more expensive) to scale your digital menu program. If optional items are a must, make them dynamic and allow the franchisee the ability to control them to mitigate costs.
  • Manage from the Top:  A good content management system will let you tier your digital content across your brand’s organizational hierarchy as you filter down to the store level. Create content campaigns for the brand, and provide focused local control to lessen the amount of work required by operations and marketing personnel at the brand level.
  • Talk to Your Team:  While this may seem obvious to most, general and district managers can provide great input on the functionalities they actually need for digital menu content.  Leverage your organizational intelligence, and get input from the feet on the streets before you start creating!

Step 1: Hold a strategy session or two and document your strategy.

WAND Worldwide Deployment2. Create a schedule. Start by figuring out what you want to do for updating menu board content in the next 3-6 months. Consider when you’ll want to promote current marketing campaigns, make seasonal updates or release limited time offers. You’ll also need to determine when you’ll make major menu updates such as adding calorie counts or introducing a new menu offering.

Step 2: Document your menu board schedule on a calendar so it’s easy to see when changes will be made.

3. Determine who gets access to change content. One of the best features of digital menu boards is the ability to use dynamic content, which allows you to create a number of different content options and allow operators to choose what content to show on their boards. For example, you could choose three content overlays to run on all menu boards at all restaurants no matter what. Then you could make five content overlay options (e.g. hot coffee, cold coffee, cheeseburger, salad, ice cream) and give store operators the ability to pick and choose what overlay they want to display at any given time. It’s a double win; a) since they know their individual store best it’s easy for them to decide what to promote and b) you won’t have to spend time managing individual content at the store level.
Step 3: Create a list of who gets access to change content at the corporate level and individual store level.

4. Stay organized. I can’t stress this one enough. Once you have your calendar in place make sure you stay as organized as possible. Given multiple menu items, LTOs, marketing campaigns and dayparting changes, it’s very easy to unravel quickly. Stay organized by making a task list, creating reminders on your Outlook/Gmail calendar for critical dates and submitting your creative requests well in advance. The more proactive and organized you are up front, the more flexible you are to react to market changes.

Step 4: Use task lists and calendar reminders to stay organized.

5. Go mobile. By far one of the coolest features of WAND Digital is you can easily make menu board updates on your mobile device (tablet or smartphone). Once you’ve created your menu boards there are a number of things you can do on the fly using your mobile:

  1. Make price changes
  2. Swap out promotional overlays
  3. Update calorie counts
  4. Create a ‘failover’ when hardware stops working

And like the desktop version of Wand Digital you can give the right people the right access to the mobile version so store operators can change their menu board as needed.

Step 5: Use the WAND Digital mobile app (only available in the Gold package).

6. Train your operators. You can have the best content overlays in the world, but it won’t matter if your operators don’t know how to change them.  Hold training sessions, create a “how to” document and send email communications to make sure operators know how to swap out this content. The best way to do this is via a webinar since you can hold them quickly and you can make a recording to share with those who cannot attend. You can either host the webinar yourself or ask your WAND account manager to have someone from WAND run the training webinar for your operators.

Step 6: Hold a webinar to train your operators how to swap out overlays and use the mobile app.