Digital Signage, Menuat, Opinion

IAAPA Show 2014

Last week the Menuat Team exhibited at IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions) Show in Orlando for the first time. The IAAPA Show is the premier trade show for the Attractions Industry with sister shows in Asia and Europe.

We were overwhelmed by the welcomed response (and all the games, rides, and flashing lights). In one day alone we spoke to potential clients from over 10 different countries. It was a great opportunity to learn more about the Amusement Park and Attractions Industry.

We are thrilled to begin working with some great concepts including: blacklight mini-golf courses, trampoline parks, and Zoos. Can you say ‘site visit’!?

Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth for information on Digital Signage and we look forward to seeing you next year!

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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.

Digital Menu Board, Menuat, Technology

Atlanta Foodservice Expo

Last week the Menuat Team attended The Atlanta Foodservice Expo at The Georgia World Congress Center. Over the two day event, the team met with many restaurant owners as well as students from local culinary programs who were eager to learn about digital signage in the restaurant environment.

Rob & Emily at AFSE14

Rob & Emily at AFSE14

With over 150 companies exhibiting, there was a variety of products to test from every sector of the industry. All of the usual suspects were in attendance, Cheney Brothers, US Foods, Square, and First Data. Notable newcomers include BitPay, a payment processor that allows merchants to accept Bitcoin, Red Hare Brewing, an independent craft brewery located in Marietta, GA, and Uber, the popular alternative to the traditional taxi service- More on those in a future post.

One of the big attractions of The Expo was the keynote address given by Chef Robert Irvine. He spoke to the importance of using the latest technology in restaurants to stay successful.

We could not have written a better keynote ourselves. Staying current with technology in your restaurant is imperative. There are so many new products on the market that help you analyze your restaurant’s operations to remain profitable and appropriately price menu items.

Menuat’s software, for example, allows restaurant owners and managers to change pricing, menu layout, and daily specials as needed to protect profit margins and increase up-selling. Most restaurants who install digital signage in their location see an increase in revenue from 5%-9%.


Be mindful of the numbers. They don’t lie.

Menuat

Welcome to the Menuat Blog!

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Welcome to The Menuat Blog, your source for everything you need to know about Digital Signage.

First of all- What is Menuat?

Menuat is the all-digital signage solution for restaurants, bars, and public spaces. Menuat’s software can be tailored to fit any venue from restaurants to public transit. The most popular application of our software is fast-casual restaurant menus, but it is also used in full-service restaurants, retail stores, concert venues, and airports. Our easy-to-use content management system allows the operator to log-on and make any necessary changes to the sign’s content without the need for expensive editing software or web development skills. All content is cloud-based and updates are made in real-time across all platforms (in-store, website integration, and mobile devices).

The Menuat Team has a broad educational background in web development, design, business, and operations with one common thread; we all have worked in foodservice at some point in our careers.

Menuat was born from the need of restaurant owners to be able to change menu options and pricing to protect their profit margins. Nothing is more off-putting than seeing a brash marker line through your favorite menu item. Restaurant owners need to be able to change their menu often, as the prices of their ingredients fluctuate frequently. Menuat allows restaurants to stay on top of the ever-changing landscape of the restaurant industry with the flexibility to respond to those unforeseen price increases and eliminate the costs associated with printing new menus.

Our content management system (CMS) has evolved from a simple menu solution to a multi-discipline platform that can be adapted to fit most applications such as advertising, event schedules, way-finding, and the retail environment.

The Menuat Blog will be your one-stop source for digital signage and restaurant technology. We will cover everything from emerging technology, new products, Menuat Features, questions from actual restaurant owners, and everything you will need to know to stay up-to-date with the industry.

If you’re thinking about installing digital signage and have questions that you would like addressed, please forward them to jeff@menuat.com or give us a call at (904) 495-0616.


Power to your Menu!