Digital Menu Board, Digital Signage, Menu, Menu Design

Are You Using Your Menu Board to its Full Potential?

screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-3-01-44-amMany more restaurants and companies such as Cracker Barrel’s Holler & Dash, are shying away from traditional signage to digital signage. In a world that is so technologically advanced, make sure you are using your menu board to its full potential to stay ahead of the competition.

Make sure your menu board has a design that is catchy and fitting to the atmosphere of your restaurant. Chalkboard menus can be a pain to update daily or even seasonly. Menuat offers a chalkboard design, giving you your fun atmosphere without the hassle or mess.

Pictures are worth a thousand words. Do you have a picture of one the items your restaurant offers? Instead of just item names and prices, show the customer what great meal they are about to purchase. You can even make a slideshow to show multiple items.

Social media is all the rage. Show customers what awesome comments others visitors are making about your restaurant by integrating a Facebook or Instagram account to your menu board.

SCHEDULE A DEMO with Stewart today to get the greatest menu board for your store!

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 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.

Client Profile, Digital Menu Board, Menu, Menu Design, Menuat, Restaurants

Client Profile: The Kookaburra & Social Media Integration

The Kookaburra, a Saint Augustine staple for coffee and Aussie Pies, opened the doors to their second location in Saint Augustine last week.

Kookaburra Digital Menu Board

The Kookaburra- Downtown Saint Augustine

As one of Menuat’s clients, The Kookaburra’s owners are able to actively respond to the seasonal demand that comes with operating a business in a tourist destination. The Kookaburra is located right in the heart of Saint Augustine’s Historic District and uses Menuat’s Instagram integration feature to engage with their customers.

The Kookaburra’s customers spend more time looking at their menu as the photos rotate, resulting in up-selling and suggestive selling of menu offerings.

Managing Partner, Spencer Hooker, states that “The Kookaburra has enjoyed a marked increase in sales after switching out our chalkboards for digital menu boards. The organization of the menu, the legibility of the display, the speed of updating our offerings and the ease of use have all served to streamline our operations and queue management. The menu boards have paid for themselves several times over.”

Digital Menu with Instagram Integration

Digital Menu with Instagram Integration

Digital Menu Board, Digital Signage, Menu Design, Products, Tips

Photo Editing Apps for Digital Signage & Social Media Images

At Menuat, we get a lot of questions from business owners about creating images to use on their digital signage or social media pages. Many problems seem to come from resizing images to fit the appropriate space. Most of the time these edits are not too difficult or involved if you know how to use a few simple tools. Here are a couple apps to help you create striking photos for your digital signage or social media pages.

Pixlr Image Resizing

Pixlr is a photo editing application that can be used for photo editing (resizing, watermarking, adding text, effects, stickers etc.). Here is a basic tutorial for resizing images through Pixlr.

First, download the Pixlr app on your computer (there is a phone app also but resizing is not available). Then go to the ‘File’ dropdown menu on the top left of your screen and open the image you would like to resize.

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Next, go to the ‘Fast’ drop down menu and select ‘resize’.

pixxxlr

From this screen, edit the shorter side of the to your desired dimension while keeping the aspect ratio locked. Don’t worry about the opposing dimension becoming larger than the your desired size. We will fix that in the next step. Click Apply.

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Next go to the ‘fast’ tab again and select crop. When the dimensions appear, change the opposing dimension to your desired height or width. A grid will appear previewing the image at the specified dimensions. Use the dot in the center of the grid to move the grid to capture the area of the image you would like to display and click apply.

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Then save the image with an appropriate filename and adjust quality to ‘medium’ for a faster load time.

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There are a lot of photo editing apps available on the App and Chrome Stores. Most of them basically do the same things. Some alternative user friendly apps for photo editing include RePix, PhotoScapeX, and FX Photo Studio Pro.

Digital Signage, Products, Restaurants, Technology

Using Technology to Create a Personal Experience

Many independent restaurant owners are weary to adopt new technology for many reasons: cost, perceived difficulty of use, loss of connection with customers etc. However, in recent years, restaurant tech companies have responded to these pain points from restaurant owners and adapted accordingly. Now there is a wide array of products available to help improve customer engagement and create a personal experience for each individual customer.

Digital Signage- Menu Personalization & Social Media Integration

Digital Signage in restaurants has really taken off in the last year. Most major franchises are either testing or have started to roll out digital signage in locations across the country. Smaller regional franchises and independent restaurants are taking digital signage an extra step by integrating with social media.

First, you need to determine which social media accounts you want to connect with. Instagram is typically the most effective given its visual nature. You can either filter posts that appear on a portion of your signage by having your customers tag you in their post or posts can filter by a business-specific hashtag. Customers love seeing their photos being displayed in-store. Its an easy and fun way to interact with your customers that will keep the coming back.

Location Beaconing Rewards Programs

Perka, a digital loyalty card software company was acquired by First Data and then merged with Clover Station POS system. Perka allows operators to create their own unique loyalty program that uses location beacons for automatic check-in. Location beacons use a low energy bluetooth signal to communicate with mobile devices in a specific radius. When a customer is automatically checked in on their mobile device, their loyalty information appears on the tablet so you can greet your customer by name. Order history is also displayed to create an even more personal experience- just short of being creepy.

Customer Relationship Manager

DineTime Host is a guest management solution that does everything from seating, queue, and customer profile management. When a customer reserves a table online or in-store their information is automatically added to the guestbook for future visits. From the guestbook, you can add notes, important dates (anniversary, birthday etc.) allergy information, feedback, or any other information that is relevant to their visit. For example, your restaurant just got a reservation for Bob Jones and last time he came in his wife, Sarah, did not enjoy her ahi tuna. The notes in their guestbook entry lets the staff know that the chef needs to visit their table to make sure everything is satisfactory.

Digital Signage, Menu Design, Menuat, Technology

Designing Content for Digital Signage

When implementing your digital signage campaign, the design and messaging can make or break your ROI. Given that design is not my area of expertise, I went to Menuat’s lead designer, Emily Charette, for insight. Emily is a former Turner-Duckworth designer whose portfolio includes high-profile clients such as The Coca-Cola Company, Dolby Digital, and Metallica. emilycharette-02-02

When starting a new project, what it the first step in the design process?

During the first design consultation, we gather as much information about the business as possible to determine the target market. Then we discuss the specific message the client would like to convey. Then, with that information, our designers are able to craft the best message to reach the target market. This is the fun part! But there’s some technical aspects too. It’s important that the message is clear, on target, and includes some kind of call to action. Without the call to action, the audience may become more informed about the business, but they aren’t directed toward making a purchasing decision.

After you have completed the messaging, how do you make that message visual?

First, we choose some supporting imagery. Choosing the right images can be difficult because as a designer, you are taking a message and converting it into visual cues that will convey that message. Its really important that the images are simple, high quality photos that will support the text. One of the great things about designing for digital signage is that you can rotate images while keeping the text static. That way, you can use different images that appeal to different segments of the target market. Imagery, color, fonts, and layout all combine to create the overall visual message.

When do the message and supporting images come together?

Once we’ve learned about the target market and the client’s message, we combine them in the layout. Its really important that the layout is logical, legible, and consistent the business’ branding. Contrast is used to increase legibility. Type sizing is affected by how much we have to convey on the boards, as well as how far away the viewers will be standing the board.

Arguably the most important element to creating the design for digital signage is making sure that it is in line with your current branding.

Customers don’t necessarily visit an establishment for their product or service. Yes- that’s a huge part of it, but its the overall experience that keeps customers coming back. Your customer’s experience begins with the first time they view your marketing materials (website, advertisements, a customer referral etc).

Any final words of wisdom to the design novices?

Design and messaging are paramount to any campaign – digital or static. Your design and messaging build a bridge between your brand and your target market. With effective design, new clients will run across the bridge and become customers for life.


Emily is the Lead Designer for Menuat and Principal at We Are Charette, a Florida based branding & design agency specializing in natural food products. For more information on Emily, visit WeAreCharette.com or e-mail her at Emily@WeAreCharette.com.