Drive thru digital menu boards

5 Signs It’s Time to Update Your Digital Menu Boards

Your Menu Boards Dish Up More Than Options — They Shape Entire Experiences, and Loyalty

As a quick serve restaurant (QSR) brand, you know how critical digital menu boards are to your business. Every board — from drive-thru lanes to interior boards above order stations — plays an important role in customers’ experiences. They inform, clarify, and delight patrons thanks to their ease of operation and ability to be instantly updated with new menu options and special offers.

While digital menu boards do reduce the amount of work that has to be done in keeping your brand’s offerings current for patrons, it’s important to understand that other factors influence their performance as well as customer perceptions of them.

Adjacent assets or special circumstances often reveal a need to update the menu boards to ensure they fit with your overall brand, reduce costs associated with operating them, or maximize the ordering process. Here, we’ll dig into these situations so you know when it’s time to consider a digital menu board update.

How to Know When It’s Time for an Update

1. Not Every Menu Board is Digital

The first sign it’s time for an update is the most obvious: a lack of complete digitization of all menu boards. While your drive-thru menu boards may be digital, interior boards may be analog — in the sense that they’re printed on a substrate and installed/updated as menu offerings change. This is fine, but every time options change or prices adjust, that means workers have to swap those menus out. It’s not a heavy lift per se, but it has to be executed across all locations. And if you’re a large QSR brand, that’s a lot of work and coordination.

static menu board

2. Your Organization is Rebranding

If the time has come for your organization to update its brand or even launch a new one, it follows that your physical locations may be receiving an update as well. In these circumstances, evaluating current digital menu boards for appearance, functionality, energy efficiency, and more is all worthwhile as their placement in your locations will likely be changing to better accommodate a new layout or site plan.

Signage rebranding

3. You’re Opening More Locations

Similar to the situation above, it’ll be important to evaluate current digital menu board design, configuration, performance, and location if your brand is planning to expand its footprint. Rather than implement a new menu board strategy with just your new locations, this is a great opportunity to evaluate others and potentially make some changes. This will help you maximize their performance across every location and create a more consistent ordering process for your brand (after all, the last thing you want is customers having different experiences at each of your locations).

Construction Progress

4. It’s Time for a Remodel or Refresh Cycle

In the greater hospitality industry, it’s common to update locations every several years to keep them in line with the latest trends, styles, and consumer preferences. QSRs are no different. When it’s time to start planning your next refresh or remodel cycle, remember that this too is a great opportunity to evaluate how digital menu boards are working for your brand. Are they streamlining ordering processes and compressing service times, or are they causing confusion, foot traffic issues, drive-thru issues, and so on?

Interior remodeled McDonalds

5. Maintenance is Becoming Problematic

Digital menu boards are nothing new. If you’ve had them in place for a few or several years, it’s likely that they may be experiencing wear and tear. Yes, even digital menu boards can become worn down by weather and simply by operating 24/7/365. If you’re finding that your organization is having to invest more in reactive or even preventive maintenance, consider pulling back and identifying the reason why that is the case. It may be time for a widespread update to your digital menu boards.

Menu Board Maintenance

Experience a Holistic Solution for Your Digital Menu Boards with Stratus

For decades, Stratus has been supporting quick-serve restaurants and other dining institutions with all of their brand implementation and facility maintenance needs. From interior and exterior signage, including digital signage such as manual boards, to energy management solutions and ongoing preventive maintenance programs, we offer everything you need in a single partner.

Through a combination of unmatched program management, a reliable network of thousands of field partners across the country, in-house manufacturing capabilities, and advanced technology, we can help you build a program for your digital menu boards that maximizes sales, improves customer loyalty, keeps energy costs down, and helps you achieve other key measures.

Contact us today to get started.