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Even small QSRs need digital menu boards

February 09, 2017

Even small QSRs need digital menu boards

In your daily dining experiences, you’ve probably come across every type of quick-service restaurant (QSR) menu board out there. Small pizza and sub shops often use individual letters placed on a backlit board. Some small sit-down restaurants rely on chalk boards. Historically, there’s been a correlation between the size of the restaurant and the quality of the menu board. However, due to a number of factors, restaurant owners who are not tech savvy have jumped in and are now embracing digital menu boards.

Quick service, by its definition, means customers are only in the store for a short amount of time. It’s imperative to catch their attention. Let’s face it, digital menu boards do attract attention. Even the worst implementation of a digital menu board—e.g., displaying a scanned copy of a print menu on a large digital menu board—will grab more attention than the low-tech alternatives.

Today, selling digital menu boards to small QSRs is a blue ocean opportunity for VARs. Some reports indicate that there are more than 500,000 QSRs in the U.S. The majority do not have a digital signage strategy. Luckily, selling digital menu boards is easier than ever for a number of reasons.

  1. More affordable, powerful—The price of HD monitors has dropped while the technology has improved and become easier to install and maintain.
  2. Digital displays help sell—It’s been proven that impulse purchases increase with digital menu boards. Additionally, slow-moving items can be helped by being prominently displayed. While some will tout that digital menu boards can increase sales by 20%, real-world implementations show a more realistic increase of 3–5%, which is plenty reason alone to justify an implementation.
  3. Meet or exceed regulations—Additionally, digital menu boards can include calorie details of menu items, which can keep your customers in compliance with any local or state regulations, or help with health-conscious consumers.
  4. Small chains can benefit—For those QSRs with multiple locations, it becomes very easy to create a consistent cohesive menu across all locations with a click of a button. Updates across all locations can take place in real time. Consider the calorie information requirement in some states. If your customer changes the ingredients in their pizza sauce, all calorie info can be updated immediately to remain in compliance.
  5. POS integration—It’s easier than ever to integrate digital menu boards with the POS software the QSR uses. Prices can be changed within the POS and instantly reflected on the menus. Also, if the kitchen runs out of an ingredient, items that call for that ingredient can be automatically removed from the menu boards.

As a trusted advisor, talk to your QSR customers about their signage strategy today. The end goal might be a simple digital display or maybe even interactive kiosks for self-ordering. The reality is that small QSRs need every advantage they can get to compete with large chains. Help them migrate from wherever they are to where they need to be. For additional signage content and ideas on how to help your QSR customers, visit us new.ingrammicro.com/c/solutions-proav-contacts.aspx.