One of the most common questions we get about digital menus is whether or not someone can simply purchase a TV, plug in a jump drive and run a menu off Power Point or some easy to use application. Three steps and voila!
Sigh. If only it were that easy.
Skipping over the jump drive and Power Point conversation (we’ll save that for another time, though it’s a solution that may work extremely well for small operators, it will not work for large multi-unit restaurant concepts) if you’re using Digital Menu Boards you need to invest in commercial grade screens.
Let’s go ahead and dive right into the reasons why you should use commercial grades screens versus TV screens:
- Built to Last. The old adage “you get what you pay for” doesn’t break down when we talk about display technology. A consumer grade display needs only have components that will allow it to provide 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. Looking at this as a value proposition, that means you’ll go through 3 of those “cheaper” displays in the same span of time as you would with just one of those “more expensive” options. In the long run, those cheap options are going to end up costing you more than investing in quality that will go the distance with you.
- 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 living rooms or other leisurely places and aren’t designed for the heat. As a result, TV screens will only last a couple of years in a setting such as this and will get dirtier faster, whereas commercial grade screens will last 5-7 years and hold up extremely well under QSR and Fast Casual restaurant conditions.
- TV Screen Warranties do Not Cover Commercial Use. The majority of TV screen warranties spell out the fact that they will not cover damages if the TV is used in a commercial setting. They also usually place the responsibility on the consumer to bring their TV into a repair service if it needs repairs, versus coming out to the consumer to fix it. The last thing you want as a busy restaurant operator is to have to find the time uninstall your TV, bring it to a store, have it fixed (which could take days, IF they’ll even fix it under your consumer warranty), drive it back to your restaurant and remount and install it. Most commercial grade screens offer a warranty program to cover repairs and to ship and install replacement or temporary screens.
- TV Screens Have Too Many Settings. Good old regular TVs have lots 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 be extremely confused how to set up their TV settings properly to display their menu boards or an employee may unknowingly change them and not know how to get the menu back on the TV. This is frustrating when it happens with one TV, what happens if you have three TVs with menus, or five? Total headache. Commercial screens, however, include a special user interface allowing the operator to set up the screens, to ensure they are programmed accurately and continue to display correctly.
So there you go folks, the top reasons why you should use commercial grade screens over consumer TVs.
Oh and one final reason…using commercial screens means you won’t have to go battle the crowds at Sam’s Club on Black Friday to get your new TVs.