This Clarion Inn location is a full service hotel fully equipped with meeting and event space. It was built in Seekonk, Massachusetts in 1968 and the family that opened it in 1969 are still the current owners. Their digital signage features a local weather widget that many guests enjoy. Because they are an event space, they host weddings and “most brides will take a picture because they love that we feature them.” Clarion Inn is also utilizes social media integration featuring their latest Facebook posts as well as their latest award, the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence.
The Menuat Team is heading to Chicago this week for the National Restaurant Association Show. We will join the 2,000 other exhibiting companies and more than 44,000 attendees for the four day show at McCormick Place. This is Menuat’s first time at the NRA Show and the team is eager to get on the show floor and check out the newest restaurant technology. We will be exhibiting from booth 10423 in the Lakeside Center.
Menuat will be offering a free mobile app for iOS and Android for NRA attendees who sign up for Digital Signage service.
If you would like to schedule a one-on-one demo with a member of the team, click here or call (904) 495-0616 x703.
The Johnny Cash Museum in Nashville, Tennessee installed Menuat’s Digital Menu Solution for their Bongo Java Cafe opening next week. The cafe is the newest addition to the Museum which has been open for about a year.
The cafe inside the museum will feature innovative beverages, bagels, and sandwiches. Bongo Java is a Nashville staple with six other locations around the city and became famous in 1996 when a cinnamon bun was baked that resembled Mother Theresa.
The Museum opened on Third Avenue South between Demonbreun and Broadway about a year ago and has received Gem rating from AAA. Founder Bill Miller and his wife Shannon, worked in conjunction with The Cash Family to provide visitors an intimate look into the life and career of Johnny Cash. This is the only museum dedicated to Johnny Cash that has been authorized and endorsed by The Cash Family.
Last weekend Menuat’s design team, got a sneak peak of the Cafe while visiting the museum in Nashville.
Visit The Johnny Cash Museum Website for more information about the museum.
Schedule a Demo with Menuat!
Robyn Mooney, Owner of City Coffee Co. in Saint Augustine, Florida shares her experiences with Menuat’s Digital Menu Service.
City Coffee Co. has had Digital Menus and an Events Board from Menuat for about a year. We recently added a third monitor to their menus and added Instagram integration during their annual redesign. Their full menu is available here.
Schedule a Demo with Menuat!
Meet Menuat’s new Customer Support Specialist, Zak Roberts!
Welcome to the team, Zak!
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
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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!
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.
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.
Next, go to the ‘Fast’ drop down menu and select ‘resize’.
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.
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.
Then save the image with an appropriate filename and adjust quality to ‘medium’ for a faster load time.
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.