How Will Digital Menu Boards Save You Money?

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Aside from creating a more visually appealing experience for your diners and increasing your revenue when used properly, digital menu boards can also save you money. What follows are some tips on how to capitalize on the best savings when using digital menus in your restaurant.

As a restaurant operator, all investments should be carefully evaluated to determine maximum impact, but digital menus are picking up speed in the market because they have the potential to drive costs down and capitalize on a revenue boost, something ideal for any restaurant owner.READ MORE >>


Less Really is More: In Favor of Smaller Menus

In a world where it seems like you might reach more customers by having so much variety you appeal to everyone, it might seem shocking to consider that a smaller menu can actually work in your favor. Research, however, shows that it’s a great time to consider tightening up your menu and keeping offerings in a smaller wheelhouse.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 >>


5 Creative Design Tips for Digital Menus

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The upper left corner, center spot (above register) are key areas of the menu.

Designing artwork for digital menus is a unique challenge. Unlike static/cardboard menus, you have the option to use rich media, animations, motion graphics and takeovers. The capabilities are practically endless!

Because it’s a different kind of medium it requires a different type of creative design style. At WAND we’ve created thousands of digital menus and (besides designing them making us incredibly hungry all the time) we’ve picked up on some design tips. Here are five of them to think about as you design your menusREAD MORE >>


Digital Signage Versus Digital Menus

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At WAND we get asked the question constantly; what’s the difference between digital signage and digital menus? After all, when everything is said and done the bottom line is you have a digital menu on a screen so what does it matter if it’s from a digital signage company versus a digital menu company?

Oh…where to start.

Having pioneered digital menus in the restaurant industry, we know a thing or two about digital menus. And believe us, we’ve seen many companies use digital signage for their menus. Sometimes they can work (for smaller operators with one or two locations and a small menu) but for multi-unit restaurant operators it can be disastrous. Here’s why:READ MORE >>


10 Ways to Increase Sales with Digital Menu Boards

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As you know, one of the most powerful tools in your restaurant are your menu boards. Customers spend valuable minutes looking over these boards searching for their perfect meal or dessert.

A great menu board can make or break your business which is why so many restaurants have made the switch from static to dynamic digital boards. Digital menus allow you to customize your menus and make changes on-the-spot to increase your sales and profits.

Here are 10 ways you can increase sales with Digital Menu Boards:

1. Display the right promotions at the right time.
Got a holiday coming up? A heatwave on the way? A new product launch? Take a look at your calendar in advance and map out exactly what promotions you want to display. Then complement those with on-the-fl y updates as new promos come out.

2. Make critical price changes.
Once a quarter (if not more) analyze your menu prices to determine how profits are looking. Is there a price you may need to bump up or decrease? Sometimes just a small price change can make a huge impact over time.

3. Make the FDA (and customers) happy – be calorie compliant.
Follow the FDA’s mandate to display calorie counts on menu boards and be sure to update your boards with calorie counts. Not only will you make the FDA happy but customers will be happy as well. An added bonus is customers will spend more time looking at your menu boards as they determine how many calories to consume, so any special promotions or deals you have will jump out even more to them the longer they look.

4. Manage product recalls ASAP.
Ugh. Product recalls, not a fun task for anyone. Be sure to update your menu boards ASAP as soon as you get word of a product recall. Make sure to set up a process for your store, if you don’t have one already, for how to immediately pull product recalls off your menu. Be sure to communicate this process to all store management.

5. Adjust menus based on product availability.
When a product suddenly runs out and becomes unavailable it can be a nightmare for management. During your closing inventory check add a step for store management to update your menu boards if you are out of a product or close to running out.

6. Correct mispeelings.
Be sure to do a spot-check of your menu boards each time you update them and check for any misspellings. It only takes about 10 minutes but will save your staff from countless customers pointing out the spelling mistake on the menu.

7. Update product images.
They say you eat with your eyes so take a look at your menu board from the customer perspective and look for any product images that should be added, updated or removed. Choose product images that are the most mouthwatering, irresistible images to display.

8. Display your ingredients.
Most customers like to know what goes into their food. Take a look at your menu board and determine if there’s room to display ingredients. It might not work for everyone but if you’ve got a health-conscious, organic-loving clientele then it can make a big impact.

9. Share daily features.
Got something to share with your audience? A new product, store anniversary, employee birthday? Don’t be afraid to use space on your menu boards to show a daily feature or share something that’s important to you and your store

10. Complement guest buying habits.
You know your guest better than anyone else so be sure to audit your menu board and make sure it truly appeals to your customer. Not sure what they want? Get out of the office and spend some time chatting with customers as they’re looking at the boards. Getting direct customer feedback in the moment is invaluable.

When you make the switch to invest in digital menu boards make sure you’re using these tips to get the best return on your investment possible.


Digital Menu Boards – Just Starting Out, or Going All Out?

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Getting Digital Menu Boards installed is an exciting thing for restaurant concepts. They look awesome, you can swap out LTOs and test menu items faster and you save money by not having to print and hang static menu boards.

There are two approaches when it comes to installing digital menus and it all comes down to whether you’re just starting out with them or if you’ve decided to go all out. Let’s explore them

Just Starting Out

If you are just starting out, a lab is a great way to go. Pick a room in your HQ, and install the menu boards in a configuration that closely duplicates the setup you envision you’ll want in a store. If you have a lot of stores, vendors will bend over backwards to help you do this. This phase should last no more than 60-90 days.

The lab provides the opportunity for you to get to know the hardware and software, and your vendors. It’s here where you can test out the operation of the boards, and begin to make important decisions like what content to use on which boards. This is a great opportunity to test new creative ideas, and you should show the setup to as many people as possible, including potentially testing with consumers. The goal of a lab is to be ready to succeed in the first stores right out of the gate.

Pilots should be more than one store. If you have a lot of locations, then you already know evaluating critical operations infrastructure must be done at more than one site to get a true picture of how equipment and procedures will function day-to-day, week-to-week, year over year. This should last a maximum of 6 months. Consider piloting in multiple regions: North, South, East and West. This will ensure you get a clear picture of how your menu boards will work when fully deployed. It’s worth the investment.

If you have different shapes and sizes of stores (e.g. activated versus legacy, or mall store versus stand alone, outparcel versus urban) make sure you have each footprint represented in the pilot.

Going All Out

If you’ve already conducted a successful pilot, apply lessons learned for all stores. If you have especially complicated IT system, networking or security needs, or integration with other systems, your installations could be more complex and you’ll want to plan ahead and engage with any partners who will be involved in the rollouts early.

If you have diverse geography (or even more to the point, international locations) you’ll want to take into account all the special requirements those areas or countries may introduce to the mix. These could include things as obvious as language, but can also range from minutiae like country-specific power cords for displays to show-stopper situations like taxes and tariffs that might be encountered.

Economies of scale are important in the QSR and Fast Casual restaurant industry. If you run a multi-unit restaurant operation, you can benefit from economies of scale– discounts on equipment, resource availability, and potentially efficiencies in scheduling when you build out several at once.

When it comes to digital menus everyone moves at their own pace. Some people launch ten stores at once and …rely on their partners’ implementation expertise to achieve success, others like to take a one-store approach to understand the ins and outs to the fullest they can. In the end, our advice to use is to do what feels right for your concept.

 


3 Menu Psychology Tips for QSR and Fast Casual Concepts

Moes-southwest-wand-digitalMenu psychology can make a big difference in how much money QSR and Fast Casual restaurant operators make.

At WAND we are constantly looking at restaurant menus and we’ve learned quite a bit about how to create smart, money-making menus.

Here are a few simple menu psychology tips to make sure you’re using them to drive the most sales possible.

1. Use anchoring to increase ticket size. Restaurants often give two options for a drink size – medium or large. Let’s say the medium is $3 and the large is $4. However, when a third, more expensive option is offered (extra large at $5) it anchors the price points in the minds of the consumer and now that $4 doesn’t seem quite as steep. By simply offering a third option you can increase your ticket size. You can also use decoys, which is promoting a more expensive meal, to make the other meals seem more reasonably priced. Since people like to order something in the middle of the menu (not too low a price and not too high) adding a decoy can increase their likelihood to buy something more expensive than they might otherwise.

2. Use a smaller menu to increase speed and reduce food costs. As restaurants like Chipotle and In-N-Out Burger have demonstrated, having a small and simple menu can be extremely successful. The less choices a menu has, the easier it is for your customers to choose what they want. Not only do they decide what they want faster so you can move them through the queue quickly, but restaurants can also train more efficiently since their employees don’t have to learn as many menu items to make. Plus there is the added benefit that you also don’t have to stock your inventory to produce everything under the sun; you only need to purchase a small amount of ingredients needed to deliver on that small menu.

3. Promote your best LTOs and specials in the upper right corner. Many restaurant studies have found the first place a person looks on a menu is the upper right corner, so this is the ideal spot for you to place your best LTOS or promotional specials. It’s also a great place to promote your most profitable menu item. If you’re using Digital Menu Boards use animation or motion graphics with your menu item in this space to draw people’s eyes to it even more quickly. When you use a dynamic image with movement people are more likely to look at it longer than they would other items.

There are many more menu psychology tips out there that can make your menus much more profitable. If you’re going through a menu redesign or adding new items be sure to think about how you can use these simple tips and tricks to drive ticket prices up. And don’t forget to add your calorie counts!


Why You Shouldn’t Display Your Restaurant Menu on a TV Screen

“Can I purchase a TV, plug in a jump drive, and run my menu using Powerpoint?”

This is one of the most commonly asked questions we receive about digital menus.

Sure, this approach – jump drive and TV screen – may work for some very small restaurant operators, but it is definitely not a feasible, long-term solution for multi-unit restaurant concepts or restaurant operators who desire worry-free, reliable equipment in their restaurants. If you want to use digital menu technology, investing in commercial grade screens rather than restaurant TV menus is key.

Here’s why…

Commercial Grade Screens vs. TV Screens

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Built to Last.

The old adage “you get what you pay for” doesn’t break down when we talk about display technology. Consumer grade displays (TV screens) only need the appropriate components to allow for 20,000 hours of operational time before failure to receive a UL listing (UL is ISO standards for display technology), whereas a commercial grade display generally needs to provide 3 times that amount. Looking at this as a value proposition — this means you’ll go through 3 of those “cheaper” displays (TV screens) in the same span of time you would with just one of the “more expensive” (commercial grade screen) options. In the long run, the cheaper option could end up costing you more than investing in a quality commercial grade screen.

TV Screens Aren’t Built to Withstand Heat and Grease.

One thing we all know about the restaurant industry is it gets hot and greasy fast! TV screens are made to be viewed from the comfort of our temperature-controlled living rooms and aren’t designed for the heat and grease of a QSR or fast casual restaurant. As a result, displaying restaurant menus on a TV screen will likely only work for a couple of years. Commercial grade screens, on the other hand, will last 5-7 years and are designed to withstand the conditions of QSR and fast casual restaurants.

TV Screen Warranties Do Not Cover Commercial Use.

Most TV screen warranties clearly detail that commercial use of the TV screen falls outside of the product’s warranty. Even if this isn’t the case for your TV screen, warranty repair work often requires that the owner bring the screen in for repair service. Imagine having to manage the takedown and transport of your TV screen during an extremely busy day (we all know that issues only arise on really busy days!). Not only that, but how well will your business operate with only a portion of your menu on display? Most commercial grade screens, in contrast, offer a warranty program to cover repairs, shipping, and installation of replacement or temporary screens when issues arise.

TV Screens Have Too Many (Unnecessary) Settings.

Regular TVs have a lot of different settings that can be used to control color, brightness, channel labels, inputs, etc. If you’ve ever accidentally stumbled into the settings menu on your TV and somehow turned everything green you know what we’re talking about! A restaurant manager may become extremely confused on how to set or adjust the TV settings properly to display their menu boards. Likewise, an employee may unknowingly change the screen settings when they’re attempting to display the restaurant menu on the TV and not know how to resolve the error. These situations are frustrating and unfortunately, all too common. Commercial screens, however, include a special user interface that allows the operator to set up the screens and ensure they are programmed to accurately display the menus.

Ready to take your digital menu boards to the next level with WAND’s Digital Menu Technology? Let’s chat.

Call 1 (800) RUN-WAND OR email [email protected]
www.WANDCORP.com