Digital Signage, Menuat

Menuat takes RFMA

Menuat will be exhibiting at The Restaurant Facilities Management Annual Show in San Diego in February 1-3. This is Menuat’s first time as an exhibitor at RFMA but it is not our first year attending. We will be running a fantastic trade show special for multiple units as well as a giveaway for Attendees who book an appointment with us through the RMFA Attendee Services Center.

RFMA or The Restaurant Facilities Management Association’s mission is to “advance industry awareness of facilities management, while promoting professional and ethical standards to serve customers with added value.”

If you’re planning on Attending RFMA in San Diego make it a point to come see the Menuat Team in Booth 1330!  Visit Menuat’s RFMA Company Profile

RFMA Exhibitor icon Menuat

Digital Menu Board, Menu, Menu Design, Menuat, Restaurants, Tips

Digital Menu Boards: Animation & Video Clips

Adding a video stream or advanced animations to Digital Menu Boards, if done effectively can boost engagement while cutting perceived queue time. However, if the animation or video is too busy and distracting, it can birth rage in hungry patrons.

There are infinite ways to attack this beast. The type of video or animation being added will make or break your customers’ experience. You want to animation to be relatively subtle, enticing and most importantly supportive to the material you’re trying to promote. If your animation upstages your menu content, customers’ attention is focused on the animation rather than the actual messaging.

With that being said, using a subtle animation or a dedicated portion of one of your monitors to display promotional videos that support your menu content can be extremely beneficial. The key is to finding the balance in infotainment. You want the customer to be entertained, but even more importantly, you want them to be informed of the action you want them to take, may it be up-selling on drinks, purchasing featured menu items etc.

 
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Lets take up-selling drink purchases as an example. You’re trying to sell more soft drinks, adding a video or animation in a promotional section of your board of a frosty cold soda gently fizzing is extremely enticing. However, if the soda flies across the whole screen with a blazing comet trail behind it, it is extremely distracting. It may be entertaining, but it is distracting from the other menu content. You want the sale from the promotion to be in addition to what the customer was already going purchase, resulting in a higher ticket value. When the customer is browsing the menu and suddenly the monitors are taken over by a giant flaming soda, the customer has to wait for the animation to finish before they can make a decision on what to order.

Here are a couple more examples from Menuat’s Design Team of subtle animations and video clips that support menu content. Schedule a Demo with Menuat Today!

 

 

 

 

 

Digital Menu Board, Digital Signage, Menuat, Products, Tips

How to Select a Monitor for Digital Signage

Shopping for monitors for digital signage can be overwhelming. When selecting a monitor that is appropriate for your specific needs and location, there are some important specs that you need to keep in mind.

Brightness

Brightness is measured in ‘Nits’. This information is readily available on the most manufacturers’ websites. A larger number of nits indicate a brighter picture. The brightness of the screen needed is determined by the ambient light of the monitor’s location. For indoor use with indirect ambient light, a minimum of 400 nits is recommended. For outdoor use, monitors over 900 will be visible in direct sunlight.

Bezel Size

The bezel of a monitor is the plastic frame around the screen. Although this sounds superficial, the size of the bezel determines the actual size of the screen on the monitor. If you were to run out to your local big-box store and purchase a 50” monitor with a 1” bezel, the available screen space is actually only 48”. These two inches can make a lot in difference in the amount of content you are able to fit on the screen.

Screen Size

The size of the screen, and the number of monitors to purchase, can be a difficult thing to determine. Basically, it comes down to viewing distance versus the number of lines on text on your menu. If you email your menu to Menuat, we will be able to recommend the size and number of screens you’ll need.

Ventilation

Most consumer grade monitors are only made to be turned on for six to eight hours per day. Digital signage is typically on display for much longer than eight hours per day, causing consumer grade monitors to get very hot. The ventilation systems on consumer grade monitors can be easily over worked. It is important when selecting a monitor for your digital signage that you choose one with adequate ventilation.

 

Commercial vs Consumer Grade Monitors

Another element to take into consideration when selecting the right monitor for your digital signage needs is choosing between commercial and consumer grade grade monitors.

The main difference between commercial and consumer grade monitors is that commercial grade monitors are specifically made for the digital signage application by amping up several key features to ensure lasting utility.

Run Time

Commercial grade monitors are made to be turned on 24/7 and employ systems that prevent burn-in. Burn-in occurs after prolonged use of a static images, text, or tickers. This causes a distortion in the picture.

Warranty

Warranty is another important difference between commercial and consumer grade monitors. Most consumer grade monitors are strictly meant to mounted in landscape mode. Mounting a consumer grade monitor in portrait mode will void most manufacturers’ warranties. Commercial grade monitors are made to be mounted either portrait or landscape to accommodate for multiple different applications and come with a three year manufacturer’s warranty. The consumer grade alternative typically comes with a standard one year warranty.

It is also worth mentioning that most manufacturers will declare a warranty void if the monitor is used for commercial purposes like digital signage. This comes down to the difference in durability of commercial and consumer grade monitors. Commercial grade monitors are specifically made to withstand higher temperatures and the indoor pollution of the restaurant environment.

Consumer Grade Screens

We do recommend a commercial grade screen as they’re tested in commercial environments to perform for many years. However, they can be cost-prohibitive. As a low-cost alternative, we’ve helped our customers source consumer-grade monitors from stores like Best Buy and Walmart. The screens we’ve recommended have performed well for digital signage purposes, although we haven’t tested them over years as commercial screen providers have done.

Based on model, make, and specifications, we can recommend the following consumer grade screens. These three models are fairly similar in that they are all 450 nits or higher, have a small uniform bezel, and decent ventilation. All models below are priced under $800.

Panasonic AS530

LG LB5900

Samsung UNH6203AF

When purchasing a monitor, be sure to ask about the in-store extended warranties available. Many of the Big Box Store offer a ‘No Questions Asked’ policy that will cover burn-in and allow you to mount your new monitor landscape or portrait without voiding your warranty.

If you would like to purchase a warranty after you have purchased or installed your monitors, you can go through a third party like squaretrade.

Schedule a Demo with Menuat Today!

Digital Signage, Menu, Menu Design, Menuat, Products, Software, Tutorial

Menuat’s Touchscreen Digital Menu Product Demonstration

This Demonstration of Menuat’s Touchscreen Digital Menu Software will show you the basic functions of Menuat’s software for the Retail Environment. You will see the customer-facing version first, followed by the Content Management System which allows the business owner to edit and manage their content.