7 Mistakes to Avoid While Designing Your Digital Menu Boards 

In today’s fast-paced restaurant industry, staying ahead of the game is essential!

This brings us to digital menu boards – a game changing tool that promises to elevate your customer experiences, streamline operations, and supercharge sales for your restaurants.

The Hospitality Digital Signage market, specifically the Digital Menu Boards segment, has experienced significant growth in recent years. In 2021-2022 alone, the market was valued at a staggering USD 2476.13 million.

This upward trajectory is projected to continue with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.83% during the forecast period. By 2030, the market is estimated to reach a remarkable value of USD 3680.0 million.

These dynamic displays have completely revolutionized the way menus are presented, and they’re here to stay for a very long period of time.

These boards allow you to showcase your offerings with eye-catching graphics, highlight daily specials, and even make real-time adjustments to your menu as needed.

The result, you ask?

A dynamic, customer-centric dining experience that keeps customers coming back for more.

But does having a digital menu board mean it will supercharge your restaurant’s sales?

Sought of BUT it’s owing to these 7 mistakes restaurants often make that leads to a loss of their effectiveness.

Avoid these While Designing Digital Menu Boards

digital menu boards design mistake to avoid

1. Too many menu items

If the menu board is crowded with too many items, it could lead to a dissatisfactory experience for your customers.

too many menu item in design

They won’t be able to read anything putting them in a position to either leave or order once and never come back.

Even if you have some amazing items on your menu that can be tried, the customer might not even notice them.

A lot of restaurants who are just starting out, to avoid costs, stuff all their menu items on a single menu screen. This practice could be disastrous.

Take care of the below to maintain the menu in a proper format:

  • Try to keep the menu items less than 30
  • Keep categories or sections
  • Pay attention to the chronology of the menu sections
  • Dedicate screen space to your menu specials
  • Keep menu item names short

Pro-Tip: If you have too many menu items and it is the need of the hour to have more than 30 menu items per template, try to limit them to 50 max.

2. No signature ‘specialty of the house’ items

promote restaurant special offer on tv screen menu

If you have menu specials that are a crowd favorite or represent the authenticity of your place, it would be prudent to have them highlighted on your menu.

It can be a good revenue generating item on your menu and if not highlighted, you are missing out on a lot.

If you are yet to create a special menu, you can create a separate section for your menu favorites.

You could also include high quality menu image of this particular section.

Here is how you can leverage on your menu specials:

  • Highlight them in a different section
  • Give them unique names that intrigue customers to try them
  • Showcase what makes these items worth ordering
  • Club them with sides and create a combo
  • Keep improvising on the taste and quality of this menu item

Pro-Tip: If you have too many menu specials, you can try to create a weekly special section instead and highlight one item for a week. That way, your chances of sales increase.

3. Improper categorization and order

categorize special restaurant offer on digital menu display

If you have not set your menu categories in the right order, there is a high chance your customers might lose interest in your menu.

It’s good to start your menu categorization from sections that correlate with each other. If you go with a random placement of categories, it will confuse the viewer as to what is the core offering of your restaurant.

This becomes very important when you have multiple cuisines that you are working with. You need to divide your menu into templates that represent each cuisine.

If you only have one screen, it would be nice to opt for a slideshow. If, however, you are insisting on keeping everything on a single template, it would be nice to categorize everything cuisine-wise.

Take note of the below:

  • Display category names that are easy to read
  • Try not to include too many items in a single category
  • Keep connected categories in order so it gets easier for customers to place orders
  • Try to fit only 4-5 categories on single template (depending on the menu items you have in each)
  • Seek customer feedback and improvise on your menu

Pro-Tip: Avoid overlapping categories so as to avoid more confusion.

4. Poor choice of menu font and color

proper font and theme color in menu boards templates

It is easy to get swayed while choosing the right font and color for your menu template. Trust us when we say that simplicity is the key here.

While choosing the right font for your restaurant menu, choose fonts that are legible.

If your customers are not able to decipher the menu, it can obviously lead to frustration. They could skip a few menu items altogether.

Your table turnaround will be affected as well. Customers will take more time to place an order. The order-taking staff will have to tend to the menu questions they might have, ultimately leading to a significant impact on the table turnaround.

Take note of the below while choosing the menu font and color

  • The readability
  • Brand consistency
  • Font Size
  • Brand Identity
  • Compatibility

Pro-Tip: Contrast is the key. Choose colors that provide a clear contrast between the font and the background.

5. Lack of brand consistency

brand consistency in digital menu design

If you have a brand logo and established brand guidelines, it is crucial to adhere to them when creating your menu. Consistency in the color and overall look of your menu with your brand guidelines is essential.

Following your brand guidelines ensures that your menu aligns visually with the rest of your branding materials.

By incorporating your brand logo, color palette, and design elements, you create a cohesive and recognizable visual identity.

Consistency in branding fosters trust and loyalty among customers.

Brand consistency in your menu helps you:

  • Foster brand recognition
  • Increase trust and credibility
  • Helps you stand out from your competition
  • Delivers consistent customer experience
  • Helps strengthen brand loyalty

Pro-Tip: Be flexible but mindful. While brand consistency is essential, be mindful of adapting to your different customer personas without compromising your core brand identity.

6. Uninteresting Menu Names

give modern food menu name in restaurant display

Most of the restaurants opt to have item names that are original or generally used.

Having some kind of interesting twist to it would be nice to have.

Now, we are not saying to give a complete name change. This could obviously confuse your customers even more.

Adding attention grabbing adjectives to the names can be a good way to generate more interest through your menu.

‘Pasta La Vista’ – for a delicious pasta dish

‘Sizzling Spicy Shrimp’ – for a spicy shrimp dish

‘Cheesy Nacho Explosion’ – for a loaded nacho appetizer

‘Blissful Bruschetta’ – for all the bruschetta fans out there

‘Zesty Zoodle Salad’ – for all the health freaks

Here is how different menu names can benefit your restaurant:

  • Amplifies the storytelling factor
  • Enhanced perceived value
  • Helps generate social media buzz
  • Improved customer engagement
  • Increased memory

Pro-Tip: Stay Authentic. Ensure that the menu names align with the actual dining experience and the quality of the dishes.

7. Not putting descriptions

proper item description of food menu

This could be one of the biggest letdowns on your menu. If you are serving a cuisine that is new in the area, not putting descriptions can be a missed opportunity.

Make sure to include descriptions, if possible, specifically for items that are new on your menu and not a regular item.

Interesting and detailed descriptions could easily prompt a lot of the users to order items that they were not planning on ordering in the first place.

Make sure that you don’t give awfully long descriptions so that customers might not be interested in reading at all.

Here is how putting descriptions can help your menu:

  • Enhancing customer experience
  • Encourages exploration
  • Helps get more orders
  • Plays a major role in upselling
  • Useful for people with allergies or dietary preferences

Pro-Tip: Highlight key ingredients in your description instead of using a text that does not give any idea of what the dish is all about.

These are the most important pointers that you should take note of while designing your digital menu board.

With the right balance, you can notice how impactful a right menu design can be.

By avoiding these common mistakes and investing time and effort into thoughtful design, you can create digital menu boards that effectively showcase your offerings, reflect your brand identity, and help enhance the overall dining experience.

Well-designed digital menu boards have the potential to engage customers, drive sales, and leave a lasting impression that sets your restaurant apart in a digital-driven world.

If you are looking for a solution that gives you tons of options to create your menu boards, DotSignage is the right choice. You get 500+ menu board templates systematically categorized with 1000+ stock images.

Sign-up for our 7-day free trial today to know how easy it makes for you to create attention grabbing menu boards.

Smit Nebhwani

Smit Nebhwani is a tech entrepreneur with expertise in successfully building SAAS based products. Boasting over a decade of experience in the startup sector, he takes pleasure in sharing valuable insights on all facets of SAAS products. His extensive experience in the digital signage sector has established him as a reputable authority in the industry, and he channels this expertise through some valuable content. In his free time, Smit enjoys music, travelling and spending time with his family.

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