As restaurant operators make the switch from static to Digital Menu Boards there is an unexpected element they quickly discover. They find out that it’s not just about screens and players (in fact, that’s the easy part) but it’s the Digital Menu Boards content management system that truly drives success.

With static boards it’s a relatively straight-forward process; you design them, print them, send them to the store and hope they get put up.

WAND Mobile TRMWith Digital Menu Boards you’re working with rich media, such as movies and animated graphics, which make boards extremely compelling. However, they also require increased attention from the creative side, an easy interface to support operations, and serious technical horsepower to pull off in the restaurant.

All these elements are managed through a content management system that you, your team, your agency and store franchisees will be using at various levels. As you’re looking at digital menu board alternatives be sure to look at the screen, player AND content management system to find something to best meet your needs.

Here are a handful of things to consider:

  • Usability – Is it a difficult system to learn? What training is available?
  • Dayparting – How does dayparting work? Can I define my own dayparts or are they predefined?
  • Automation – Will content automatically deploy to the stores? Can deployment be scheduled? How long does it take until new content is displayed in the stores?
  • Content – How is my content created? Is it easy to upload existing content? What are the specs and formats required?
  • On-the-Fly Updates – Can store managers make updates themselves? Can I control what they can or cannot change?

Some actually believe you can manage content updates screen-by-screen, location by location, by shipping thumb drives around, or sending zip files by email, but you’ll quickly find that doesn’t scale. Who has time to deal with this complexity in a fast-moving restaurant?  This is actually more labor intensive, and error prone than printed, static menu boards.

Like most strategic initiatives in today’s world, this is a combined business and technology decision.   From inception to completion, you can decide the amount of effort your internal team takes on, versus effort that can be accomplished by partners. Involve marketing, operations and technology teams to work together to determine the optimal approach for your company to take advantage of the best Digital Menu Boards content management system for your concept.