Digital Menu Boards Done Right


I will be honest, even though I work in the AV industry, I often get annoyed by some of the applications of digital signage in real life.

So often I feel like a restaurant or retail establishment will invest all this money into digital signage or digital menu boards without ever really taking the following into consideration:

  • Does this digital signage enhance our customer’s experience?
  • Does this digital signage market a particular product or products that we want the customer to buy?
  • Is this digital signage a nuisance for the customer in any way?
  • Does this digital signage have an actual purpose other than just looking cool?

What do I mean?

Well, for example, a few months ago I went into a fast food establishment with the hopes of getting a simple vanilla ice cream cone.

This fast food establishment had digital menu boards.

The digital menu boards rotated / shifted slides so much that it took the better part of two minutes before the “DESSERTS” portion of the menu board became visible for me to see what my delicious options were.

And, as I was reading, before I knew it, the slide shifted again and the DESSERTS portion of the menu was gone.

I was really annoyed.

I realize this is a serious #firstworldproblem. But it’s true.

It’s not the first time this has happened. I hate going into a retail establishment and the digital signage just looks flashy but doesn’t actually serve a real purpose.

So, I like to give props where props are due and share when I see an example of it done well.

At Southpoint Mall here in Durham, North Carolina – there lies a little part of the food court that houses the Nestle Toll House cookie counter. DEEEELICIOUS.

Well, Nestle Toll House recently updated their menus to digital menu boards and I LOVE the way they’ve done it.

They have FOUR total Panasonic displays – the first three on the far left all are STATIC (for the moment) with the menu of that day and the specials of that day. The LAST display on the far right shifts with different images of different specials, options, etc. etc. The images are gorgeous and made my mouth water while I was standing in line.

I had no idea that Nestle Toll House had smoothies at their counter and that far right display showed me all the options.

I still ended up just getting my standard Little Bit O’ Trouble (two chocolate chip cookies sandwiched with icing in the middle) – but I love the way they used their digital menu boards to market what they’re trying to market that particular day WITHOUT confusing or annoying the customer (me).

What about you? What cases of digital signage or digital menu boards have you seen recently that have been done WELL or done POORLY?