One of the most frequently asked questions we get at WAND is how many Digital Menu Boards does my restaurant need?

Here’s a general guideline we give clients for QSR restaurants:

A stand-alone QSR restaurant with one to three registers (lanes), should have a minimum of two paired boards.

For a store with heavier traffic (5 + lanes), 5 or 6 boards are recommended: a pair of boards can be positioned to serve each pair of lanes.

Large restaurants can benefit by adding POP and pre-sale boards (additional displays located where the line starts in the store), and another one or two in the dining room. These displays warm up customers, and get them thinking about your current LTO and/or promote today’s high margin, easy to prepare lunch item (just as one great example). The dining room is a great place to run dessert items to get consumers to return to the counter.

In a very large store or one with multiple entrances, consider eight or nine boards: three sets of paired displays and POP boards at each entrance and one in the dining room.

Increasingly, QSRs are recognizing the operational efficiencies and increased sales enabled by Outdoor Digital Menu Boards, so you should consider pre-sale boards at the entrance to the lane(s) as well as one to three menu boards at the point of ordering.

Restaurants in Mall Food Courts

Nowhere are Digital Menu Boards more effective at increasing sales than in restaurants in mall food courts. No matter what the concept, sales will benefit from bright displays, with large food items—preferably with subtle motion, steam, pouring drinks, moving ice, and other video and/or animations to attract the consumer’s eye and help them gravitate toward your restaurant instead of a neighbor’s.

The strategy here is to put up as many displays as possible within the constraints of the size and layout of the restaurant. Make sure you have really “vibrant” content, displayed on top quality extra bright commercial screens. This will create an overall experience/perception driver that says “we’re modern and clean”, and crushes the competition.

Fast Casual

Most new Fast Casual concepts have one to three registers/lanes. Menus tend to be simpler, so the emphasis should be on imagery and benefits— for example, “healthy” is a big motivator. If menus are simple enough, choose larger displays and hang one or two from the ceiling above and behind the counter at an appropriate sight line, height and viewing distance. Depending on the store layout, you may not need multiple boards for each lane.

From an installation perspective, it’s worth noting that we’ve done some really classy and “organic” looking installations that fit in well with a “healthy” or “rustic” store design. Not what most people normally associate with big digital displays, but it’s a winning motif. You might be surprised by how much a DMB can look like a chalkboard if you put a wood frame around it!

Convenience Stores

There are lots of locations inside a convenience store that could benefit from Digital Signage. From a menu perspective, one or two displays, mounted from the ceiling above the deli counter could suffice. Larger stores, with multiple “food zones” can benefit from two menu boards at each station. Specialty coffee areas can also benefit greatly from DMBs, especially if flavors are featured and frequently changed.

Market Delis & Quick Serve

Market delis and quick serve counters present a unique opportunity to leverage impulse and planned spending from customers already in your location. These locations focus primarily on quick lunches, family meals, and impulse buys served right within the marketplace. Specialty foods are a great focus for these digital menu boards, and upsell opportunities are plentiful.