Why are outdoor digital drive-thru menu boards important?
The technology behind outdoor digital menu boards has been around for over a decade, but only a small percentage of Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) in the United States have made the leap to digital. Digital signage provides an innovative platform to deliver mouthwatering content to entice customers to purchase an item or two. It is also very beneficial to the quick service restaurant owner/operator. According to a study conducted for Samsung and highlighted in the article, ‘Promotional Campaigns Get Timely and Tactical in the Drive-Thru Lane‘, “Digital in drive-thru lanes decrease drive-thru times (more cars per hour means more sales), reduce food waste because of improved order accuracy, and reduce the labor costs of printing, shipping and putting new posters in place, and then verifying the right information is up where and when it needs to be.”
The following are a few common misconceptions restaurant owners/operators may have when considering the deployment of digital menus.
3 Common Misconceptions Restaurant Leaders Have About Outdoor Digital Menu Boards
The price is too high
When switching to outdoor digital menu boards, budget is always a primary concern. Although the initial investment of digital menus will (almost always) cost more than a traditional static menu board, over time the digital menu board will pay for itself - if the correct content strategy is utilized by the QSR. In the long run, it makes good business sense to invest in digital signage over static signage…not to mention it is greener for the environment! With digital, restaurants can eliminate the hassle, cost, and waste of printed materials. Digital menus are truly an invaluable tool for QSRs!
All LCDs are the same
Hardware really matters. In principle, it is conceivable to operate a menu system for a brief period with a flat panel TV from a big box store and an inexpensive, media player. However, this “easy” solution will most likely fail in a short amount of time, which means the restaurant will need to find a different solution, ultimately costing more money. Consumer grade electronics are not meant to operate for an extended period of time, especially at restaurants that serve 3-4 meals a day. In fact, consumer warranties caution over-usage. In the end, the chosen media player should include solid state components and LCDs need to be commercial-grade and feature 2,000 nits of brightness or greater to be viewed outdoors.
Deploying digital menus indoors is the same as outdoors
The digital revolution is more than just installing a few LCDs on mounts purchased online. An effective outdoor digital menu deployment requires a media player, all-weather enclosure, LCD, and creative, flashy content. Considerations for cabling, power sources, and the existing footer size/conditions are also important to review prior to arriving on site to switch from a static to digital menu. Before any decisions are made, a site survey should also be completed, because the location matters. Just because the static menu boards were in the same location for thirty years does not mean that the footer is prepared for the new digital menu board.
Although the initial investment for digital menu boards is higher, over time, digital will provide a more efficient and cost saving system for a QSR. The ability to deliver content or make changes to the existing menu - with the click of a button - is very appealing for operators. Digital menu boards can change the overall look, feel, and perception of the drive-thru. A quick service restaurant with the latest digital technology will always stand out from the crowd!
For More Information:
- Budgeting for an Outdoor Digital Menu Board Project
- 4 Mistakes to Avoid with Outdoor Digital Menu Boards
- The Top 9 Benefits of Outdoor Digital Menu Boards
- Best Practices for Installing Outdoor Digital Menu Boards
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