One of the fastest growing mediums at QSR and Fast Casual restaurants is Digital Menu Boards. As a result, many concepts are reaching out to their agency of record to help find a Digital Menu Boards partner that is right for their brand.
If you find yourself in this situation and as you look for the right partner to meet your clients’ needs, here are some points to consider.
1. Scalability. The first thing you’ll want to consider is the number of locations the brand has. It doesn’t matter if your client has three stores or 300+ stores, every brand has a plan for market domination and growth. If you’re working with a huge national brand with more than 100 locations you’ll definitely want to find a digital menu board provider who has experience implementing at that scale and beyond. As you do your research you’ll find there are companies that are capable of supporting wide-scale operations and others that say they can accommodate but don’t have the experience.
2. Digital Menu Board Configurations and Messaging. An important consideration for agencies and brands is how, where and when product and brand messaging will be delivered. A few brands are completely streamlined but most allow franchisees some level of control over the number of Digital Menu Boards installed onsite, where they get installed and even the left-to-right customer ordering flow. These variables absolutely impact a customer’s exposure points and overall experience. You can get the same number of product and messaging impressions out of a three board setup that you can out of a suite of six if you employ content zone and day part strategies. Look for a vendor who understands user-centered design concepts like user flows and journey mapping.
3. Corporate vs. Franchise Mix. Consider the numberof corporate versus franchised stores for the concept. If, like most brands, you have a combination of both corporate and franchise stores, you’ll want to look for a partner that allows the corporate brands to maintain their brand compliance at the corporate level, but also allows franchisees some control (or perceived control) to update what is displayed on their local menu boards. When the majority of the investment resides with the franchisees, it’s important their needs are heard while still ensuring that corporate clients have their key messages and promotions intact. You’ll want to find a partner who understands how to please both audiences.
4. Frequency and Admin of Content. Finally, you’ll also want to consider how often your brand rolls out Limited Time Offers (LTOs) and makes changes to messaging, pricing and products. One of the biggest differences between digital and static menu boards is it allows operators to swap content out more easily and thus, more frequently. Look for a vendor that will architect a system that can be managed efficiently by your agency, by a corporate-designated admin or in-house if that is preferred. Plus, mobile is everything now, right? You’ll want to find a partner who offers the ability for clients to make changes to their menu boards on-the-go, so busy field marketing managers or franchise operators can easily change pricing or imagery from anywhere.
As you do your research, be sure to examine all options carefully to understand and find the right partner for your situation. Experienced Digital Menu Boards Partners should be willing to outline workflows that accommodate your specific needs and make your agency look like a bunch of resourceful rock stars.