The Purpose of Digital Signage: 6 Ways Digital Menus Drive Sales

It’s more than just what’s on the menu…

Digital menu technology isn’t just about electronic menu boards. It blends industry expertise, specialized creativity and advanced technology to tantalize your guests and boost profits. Simply put, digital’s dynamic imagery looks better and gets results. Plus, by going digital, you can impact in-store customer behavior like never before. Here are six reasons why digital signage is important, and how it can help you boost profits.READ MORE >>


How to Make People Buy After You’ve Got Them Inside Your Restaurant

wand-corp-digital-menu-boards-moesAs a restaurant operator you make a ton of decisions on a daily basis. One of those decisions is how to influence what people are buying when they visit your restaurants. Many operators overlook ways they can increase customer loyalty, promote key products and incite last minute sales…right in their own restaurant.

While you are dependent in many ways on the activities of corporate marketing for , no one knows your restaurants better than you do, so it’s important you optimize your in-store signage and promotional areas to your advantage.

Here’s a checklist of a few areas in your restaurant where you can market directly to your customers and increase the likelihood they’ll buy:READ MORE >>


Creating a Digital Menu Board Content Strategy and Marketing Calendar

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A Digital Menu Board content strategy and defined marketing calendar is key to success. One of the biggest mistakes we see clients make is they don’t have a clear content strategy and they are unsure how often they are going to change out promotional offers, LTOs and update menu items.

As you plan your Digital Menu Board campaigns, you should keep the operating schedule of your restaurants, and plan to deploy and maintain your content over that schedule. Here’s a checklist for defining and operating your campaigns:READ MORE >>


Six Common Digital Menu Boards Mistakes

Digital menu boards are still a relatively new technology and many limited service restaurants have yet to install them. However, for those restaurants that have made the switch from static to digital menus, we’ve noticed there are several common mistakes that are often made when deploying them for the first time.

The mistakes are minor and easy to make, but they can make a big impact on whether or not you’re fully maximizing the digital menu boards installed in your restaurant.

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Here are the six most common digital menu board mistakes we see here at WAND:READ MORE >>


Ensuring Digital Menu Board Uptime – Tips for Success

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Ensuring Digital Menu Board uptime is one of the most important aspects of this unique medium.

Your menus are tools to drive revenue, and as such, they need to be up and running with the appropriate content on the screen, at all times the restaurant is open.

This blog post is written to help better explain how to create digital menus with the best uptime possible. Here we go!

Have a Robust Internet Connection

Enterprise Digital Menu Board deployments use the internet to deliver content to the many restaurants in the network. It’s important to have a robust internet connection at your site. Some sites even use cellular or satellite data technology to back up content delivery in the case of land line internet outages, or in rural areas where wired service is unavailable.

Don’t Use Streaming Services

Using media players that store content and continue to play when the internet goes down is better for content uptime than solutions using streaming services where the content must be flowing over the network to play.

Configure Your Firewalls Carefully

The security of your menu boards is also a high priority checklist item. If you use firewalls on your store network, you’ll need to carefully configure the access to the media players so they can function. Media players need to be protected from hacking or denial of service attacks, just like the other computers in your operation. It sounds funny, but displays should also be “locked down” so, for example, a person with a remote control can’t turn off your displays or change the input, causing a content outage condition in the restaurant.

Be Strategic When Making Software Updates

As with all software, updates are regularly made by software developers. The media player–and today’s sophisticated displays– each may have software updates to be installed periodically. These should be performed remotely, without any staff intervention. They should be done during off hours, so there is no impact on the operation of the boards during business hours.In the case of 24/7/365 restaurants, they should be performed one board at a time, during the least busy daypart.

Prepare for Display Fails

Media players and displays are both extremely reliable these days. However, we all know machines do fail on occasion. Working with top vendors, you’ll have access to a variety of support plans for diagnosing and troubleshooting equipment and software. You’ll also have choices of service plans, including onsite technician visits, advance exchanges for displays and media players.

Redundancy between media players (also known as “Failover” configurations) is also great temporary backup solutions for when equipment fails and you are waiting for a technician to arrive, or for an overnight delivery of a replacement display or media player covered by an Advance Exchange service contract. If a Failover-enabled display goes out, the content of that display can play on the display next to it. If a Failover-enabled media player goes out, its neighbor will take over the display it was driving and menu content will continue uninterrupted.

If you’re experiencing many issues with uptime be sure to contact your digital menu provider immediately. Often times there is a simple solution but there are instances where it may mean you are overdue for a hardware refresh or there has been a change in your security or software that is preventing menus from displaying properly.

The bottom line is if you’ve installed your digital menus optimally you should be seeing a high uptime. And if you continue to see repeated digital menu failures, be sure to reach out to your menu boards partner to develop a fix.


Three Ways to Maximize Your Digital Creative Services Investment

As the use of Digital Menu Boards continue to rise many companies are trying to adjust their digital creative services investment to maximize this channel, and integrate it into their multi-channel marketing strategies. The shift from static to Digital Menu Boards means you can change out LTOs faster, run more promotions, incorporate video walls, react to environmental conditions, and stay FDA compliant by adding calorie counts.

Digital Menu BoardsUnfortunately, most companies do not have the designer skill set in-house or in their agency partner to develop content for this unique medium. This is why the digital creative services department at WAND is always insanely busy! (Which we love, by the way, we just keep throwing Red Bull at them to keep ‘em going).

At WAND we want to make sure you’re getting the greatest possible value out of your Digital Dollar so our Rock Star creative team wants to share three things you can do to maximize your creative investment.

1. Plan well in advance. Whenever possible, plan ahead. We all have things that pop up in our markets that require a fast reaction, but if you have regular menu changes, LTOs or seasonal updates, plan these out in advance with your WAND account manager. It’s the old Time, Quality, Cost equation – get two, sacrifice one. If you plan far enough out we can work with you to recommend a schedule of updates to help you maximize your Digital Dollar.

2. Make a prioritized list of your needs. The more organized you can be with what you need; the better we can help build packages and bundles to help you save money. For example if you know you’ll be updating your calorie counts in Q3 and you also have three LTOs you’ll be running at that time we can schedule these together and dedicate a designer’s time to design them for you. On the flip side, if we’ve started the ball rolling on the calorie updates and suddenly need to add-in the LTOs it becomes more time consuming for us and more expensive for you.

3. Purchase creative blocks. Creative blocks are one of the best ways to save on creative fees, especially if your company structure doesn’t allow you to plan very far in advance or your market is extremely fluid and changing. With creative blocks you purchase a set number of hours each month to be used for creative services. Doing this not only allows you to ensure you have creative coverage but it also makes it easy to calculate your budget for the year. It’s one of the best ways to maximize your digital creative services.

FDA Calorie Count Updates
One final note, we are already starting to see an increase in the number of customers who need to add calorie counts to their menus in time for the December 1st FDA caloric mandate. If you know you’ll need to add calorie counts to your menus this year we strongly encourage you to start this process sooner rather than later. We can help get you started with this any time, just reach out to your WAND account manager.

Cheers!


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.