The Rise of Digital LCD Menu Boards

22 May 2019

In the heavily competitive quick-service restaurant industry, being able to catch consumer attention is more vital than ever before. But how do you create that draw and that excitement without resorting to cheap tactics?

There has been a gradual shift towards digital in this most customer-facing of industries, with arguably the king of them all (McDonald’s) investing a rumoured $6 billion in its digital touchscreen kiosks, which have resulted in a healthy 3.5% sales bump.

Of course, McDonald’s has also invested in a number of other new areas - such as modernising the decor, increased table service options and an expanded coffee shop area. It’s the self-service kiosks that have really given the brand a major boost though, alongside digital LCD menu boards that have really brought the chain kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

The glistening, high definition LCD panels not only make your menu items look better than ever before but are a wonderful way to differentiate your restaurant from the competition. Going digital allows you to add extra dimensions to your menu and advertising.

Whilst traditional menus were sheets of plastic and paper, these vivid displays can be used to display graphics in motion, videos and even interactive elements. They can also be updated in an instant with new menu items and special offers, which will cut distribution costs in the long run.

More Than Sales

The wonderful thing about digital LCD menus is that they can be used as so much more than just sales boards. A digital screen by its very nature can be ever-changing, so rather than just listing menu items and their respective prices, it can be used as an advertising platform to boot, displaying ads not only promoting the restaurant itself but promotional partners too. This massively opens up the potential for marketers.

Once again looking at McDonald’s, the restaurant has also invested heavily in personal tablets containing games for kids that can also be used to order food directly to the table. On a smaller scale, a fish and chip shop in Merseyside recently installed a row of digital menu boards and used the boards to display live website updates, videos and more. For an independent restaurant, this really helps them stand out amongst their peers.

Networked digital menus can also synchronise content in a way that can be leveraged by smart brands looking for fresh ways to promote their identities. With around 94% of adults owning and regularly using a mobile phone, so many of us are now accustomed to using screens to order our products and services through apps like Deliveroo. With this in mind, it makes sense for quick service restaurants to adapt.

The Restrictions

Of course, LCD screens might be incredibly powerful, but they will not replace employees. A digital kiosk might be able to take your order - but you’ll still need a flesh and bone server to actually fill that order.

Some customers, meanwhile might find themselves confused by these technological monoliths, which could lead to lost custom unless the groundwork is there to make them more approachable to the tech illiterate. Overall, however, the benefits comfortably outweigh the drawbacks.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, Digital signage is all about creating a more customer-centric experience that will increase engagement and lead to more repeat customers. The various options available, from LED to high-quality LCD screens, also means that whatever your budget, there should be a solution available to you. So, if you’re on the fence about joining the next generation of fast food, it’s time to choose the right side.

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