17 Tips to Design Your Dream Digital Menu Board: Attract Customers and Increase Orders!

Introduction

In today’s digital age, restaurants are embracing the dynamic world of digital menu boards, transforming the way they present their offerings to customers.

These digital displays unlock a new level of creativity and control, allowing restaurants to showcase their food in a more engaging and informative way.

But with this newfound freedom comes the question of layout: how can you design your digital menu boards to maximize impact and drive sales?

This blog helps you to create attractive digital menu board design, with tips and free menu board templates provided by DotSignage

Mix & Match Your Menu: Flexible Digital Menu Board Templates

Now, restaurants can untie their creativity with dynamic presentations, mouth-watering visuals, and even interactive features.

But designing a digital menu board from scratch can seem daunting. That’s where digital menu board templates come in!

mix and match your menu

These templates are pre-designed layouts that provide a foundation for building your ideal menu board.

They eliminate the need to build a menu board from the ground up. This can save you significant time and design resources, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business.

While templates provide a starting point, most are highly customizable. You can often adjust colors, fonts, images, and even incorporate your logo to create a menu board that reflects your brand identity.

The Art of Menu Board Design

Menu board design goes far beyond simply listing food items and prices. It’s a strategic tool used to influence customer decisions and ultimately drive sales.

An effective menu board design should be a captivating blend of information and visual appeal, guiding customers through your offerings and enticing them to choose specific items.

Ensure your menu is easy to navigate. Use large, easy-to-read fonts with high contrast against the background. Avoid cluttering the space with too much information.

learn to create menu boards design

Strategically arrange elements to guide customer attention. Use bold fonts, larger images, and brighter colors to highlight premium items or high-profit dishes.

Structure your menu in a logical way, categorizing dishes based on type (appetizers, entrees) or course. Consider using sections or grids to improve readability and information flow.

You can create a menu board that effectively communicates your brand identity, showcases your food offerings in the most enticing way, and ultimately guides your customers towards making purchase decisions that benefit your business.

Design Like a Pro: 17 Tips to Create Engaging Digital Menus

In today’s tech-savvy world, restaurants are embracing the dynamic possibilities of digital menus. These interactive displays offer a wealth of benefits, transforming how restaurants present their culinary creations and engage with customers.

But what exactly are digital menus, and how can they benefit your restaurant?

Digital menus are essentially electronic displays that showcase your restaurant’s offerings. Unlike traditional menus, they offer a dynamic and interactive experience.

High-quality food photos, video clips, and even the ability for customers to explore additional information about specific dishes, all at their fingertips.

1. Use Psychology To Boost Sales

limited time offer menu boards design

People buy based on emotions and a desire to solve problems. Sales psychology helps you identify your target customer’s needs, fears, and aspirations.

By addressing these emotional drivers and positioning your product as the solution, you create a stronger connection and influence their buying decision.

People are more likely to buy from someone they trust and feel a connection with. Sales psychology emphasizes building rapport with your customers, actively listening to their concerns, and demonstrating genuine care.

This fosters trust and a positive perception, making them more receptive to your offerings.

Limited availability or time-bound offers can trigger a fear of missing out. Sales psychology uses tactics like limited-time promotions or highlighting low stock to create a sense of urgency, prompting customers to act quickly and secure the deal before it’s gone.

By applying these principles, you can move beyond simply presenting features and instead create a compelling narrative that resonates with your target audience.

This approach uses psychology to influence their decision-making process and ultimately drive sales.

2. Make It Effortless to Read

Crafting easy-to-read text goes beyond just font size. Aim for shorter names and descriptions. This breaks up the text visually and makes it easier to digest.

use easy to read font for customer to read the menu board easily

Avoid jargon and overly complex menu item names. Opt for clear, everyday words that your audience understands.

Use categories and menu items to organize your template.

Explain how your dish is different and worth a try if possible with images.

3. Use Colors palette smartly

Color is a powerful tool in any designer’s armory, and digital menu boards are no exception. Used strategically, color can grab attention, enhance readability, and even influence customer behavior.

Different colors evoke distinct emotions and influence our perception.Ensure your color scheme aligns with your brand identity.

colors palette for restaurant menu board

The ultimate goal of your menu board is to clearly communicate information. Use color strategically to draw attention to specific items. While color can be a powerful tool, too much of it can be overwhelming.

For example, if we take the logo of Subway which is yellow and green. Yellow represents joy and optimism. And green stands for good health.

4. Guide People with Design

Digital menu boards offer a unique opportunity to not only present your menu offerings but also to easily guide your customers towards making specific choices. Just like a well-written story, your menu board should have a clear hierarchy.

Our eyes naturally follow a specific pattern when scanning information. Utilize this knowledge by strategically placing high-impact elements in areas where customers’ eyes are most likely to land.

Feature enticing descriptions, high-quality food photography, and even short video clips that showcase your dishes in their most delicious light.

This can subconsciously trigger cravings and encourage customers to explore specific menu items.

Grouping similar items together can make the menu easier to navigate. Consider creating “combo meals” that bundle a popular entree with a side dish or dessert, creating a perceived value and potentially boosting sales.

Highlight limited-time offers or dishes with limited availability using countdown timers or specific wording. This can create a sense of urgency and encourage customers to act before it’s too late.

5. Place Expensive Items on the Right

We tend to read menus from left to right, similar to how we read books. The first few items we encounter establish an initial “anchor price” in our minds.

menu item placement on menu boards

By placing higher-priced items on the right, they appear closer to this anchor, potentially making them seem more reasonable in comparison.

By placing an even more expensive item on the left side of your menu, the desired “expensive” item on the right may appear more attractive in comparison.

Studies suggest a subconscious bias towards information presented on the right side. Positioning high-profit items on the right leverages this bias, potentially increasing their chance of catching a customer’s eye and influencing their decision.

6. Invest in Quality Visuals

Your digital menu board needs to be a visual feast, a mouthwatering display that entices customers and drives them towards making delicious choices. This is where investing in quality visuals becomes your secret weapon.

A well-crafted food photo doesn’t just show a dish; it tells a story. It evokes emotions, triggers cravings, and subconsciously suggests a delicious dining experience.

invest in quality visuals

High-quality visuals convey professionalism and attention to detail. They create a sense of trust and credibility, assuring customers that your food is as delicious as it appears on the screen.

In a crowded restaurant scene, high-quality visuals can help you stand out from the competition. They create a unique and memorable experience for customers, leaving a lasting impression and encouraging them to choose your restaurant

For a truly dynamic experience, incorporate short video clips showcasing the culinary artistry behind your dishes.

7. Highlight Seasonal Offers

Seasonal offers are a great way to attract customers and boost sales. Highlighting these offers on your digital menu board can make a big impact.

Regularly update your menu with seasonal offerings, price changes, or upcoming promotions.

highlight seasonal offers on menu boards

Bright, eye-catching colors draw attention. Use them to highlight your seasonal offers. This makes them stand out from the rest of the menu.

Add relevant graphics or images. For example, use snowflakes for winter specials or sun icons for summer deals. These visuals immediately signal something special.

Emphasize that these offers are available for a limited time. Phrases like “Only this month” or “Limited-time offer” create urgency.

8. Incorporate Motion Graphics

One powerful way to leverage this dynamism is by incorporating motion graphics.

These subtle animations and visual effects can transform your menu board from a static list into an engaging and interactive experience that captivates customers and influences their choices.

Use subtle animations like gentle pulsating effects or smooth transitions to highlight signature dishes or high-profit items.

This draws customer attention and subconsciously positions them as more desirable choices.

Short, looping animations showcasing the preparation of specific dishes can be incredibly enticing. Consider using subtle background animations like a gentle parallax effect or a slow fade showcasing various menu items.

Ensure the style and tone of your motion graphics align with your overall brand identity. Playful animations might suit a casual restaurant, while more sophisticated movements might be appropriate for a fine-dining establishment.

Remember, the goal is to enhance user experience, subtly influence customer choices, and ultimately drive sales for your restaurant.

So, embrace the power of motion graphics, but do so with a touch of class and strategic purpose.

9. Maximize Attention with Exciting Takeovers

maximize attention with exciting takeovers

Grabbing customer attention is crucial. Traditional static menus can blend into the background, failing to truly engage diners. This is where the exciting world of Maximize Attention with Exciting Takeovers comes into play.

Highlight limited-time deals or special promotions with eye-catching visuals and animations. Consider using countdowns or timers to create a sense of urgency and encourage immediate action.

As seasons change, showcase seasonal dishes with vibrant visuals and animations. Feature autumnal colors for fall specials, or evoke beach vibes with summer offerings.

Rotate a “Chef’s Choice” section that utilizes captivating visuals and animations to showcase a specific dish the chef recommends. This injects an element of surprise and can entice customers to try something new.

Engage customers with short, fun polls or quizzes related to menu items or food preferences.

Offer a small reward (like a discount) for participation, keeping them entertained and subtly influencing their choices.

While not for every restaurant, some digital menu platforms allow for simple interactive games. This can be a great way to keep families entertained while waiting, potentially leading to them ordering more appetizers or drinks.

By strategically incorporating “Maximize Attention with Exciting Takeovers” into your digital menu board strategy, you can transform it into a dynamic tool that not only showcases your menu offerings but also captivates customers, sparks their curiosity, and ultimately drives sales for your restaurant.

10. White Space is Your Friend

Don’t underestimate the power of empty space. It allows elements to breathe and prevents the menu from feeling overwhelming.

Strategically incorporated white space can enhance visual appeal and improve readability.

11. Use easy to read fonts. Don’t get fancy

Keep your menu board simple and readable! Use fonts that are clear and bold, like

use easy to read fonts

Avoid fancy fonts that are hard to read, even from a distance. People should be able to easily understand what you’re offering without blinking.

12. Keep It Clear And Simple For Easy Reading

Your menu board should be like a clear window into your delicious food. Make it easy for everyone to read by using:

Font Size Matters ditch the tiny print – go big and bold to make every item easily visible.

Simplicity is Key, Skip the fancy fonts that might be more confusing than captivating. Stick to clear, easy-to-read styles.

keep your menu board clean and clear to read

Fonts: Use clear, bold fonts like Arial or Helvetica. Skip the fancy stuff, people need to read it fast!

Colors: Choose high contrast. Dark text on a light background works best. Avoid anything that might blend together.

Structure your menu like a well-organized story. Group appetizers, entrees, and desserts logically with ample space between each item for easy navigation.

Less is More, Avoid cluttering the board with unnecessary information. Focus on highlighting your delicious offerings, not overwhelming your customers.

By prioritizing clarity, you ensure your menu board entices customers, not frustrates them. Let them spend less time deciphering and more time delighting in the culinary possibilities!

13. Size Of Display Considerations

While considering the size of Display here are some things you should take care of.

Readability from a distance: People shouldn’t have to crowd the menu to read it. Choose a size that allows for easy viewing from typical seating distances.

Balance with your space: A huge menu board might overwhelm a small restaurant, while a tiny one might be hard to see in a large space. Find the right balance.

Content and layout: If you have a lot of menu items or detailed descriptions, you might need a larger display. Simpler menus can work with a smaller size.

digital signage tv right placement and visibility

14. Choosing Between Dots And Lines For Connecting Items To Prices

Here’s a suggestion of choosing dots or lines for connecting menu items to prices:

Dots:

  • Clean and minimal: Ideal for modern or minimalist designs.
  • Less intrusive: Doesn’t visually cut across the item description.

Lines:

  • Clear connection: Makes it very obvious which price belongs to which item.
  • Can guide reading: Can subtly guide the customer’s eye from item to price.

The choice depends on your design style and what you prioritize:

Clarity: Go with lines for a foolproof connection.
Minimalism: Choose dots for a clean and modern look.

15. How bright should your menu board be?

The ideal brightness for your menu board depends on its location:

Well-lit areas: 350 – 500 nits (nits measure screen brightness). This is plenty bright for menus away from windows or bright lights.

Areas with sunlight: 500 – 800 nits. This counters sunlight’s effect, keeping the menu readable.

Very bright areas (outdoor): 2,500 nits. Super bright screens ensure menus are visible even in strong sunlight.

16. Too many menu choices can lead to no choices at all

Ever felt overwhelmed by too many options?

That’s what happens with menus too! When faced with a huge list of choices, people get stressed and can end up making no decision at all.

This is called decision fatigue. Keep your menu focused with the best options to avoid overwhelming customers.

A focused menu with fewer choices allows for faster customer decisions, smoother kitchen operations, and most importantly, the ability to perfect each dish.

Studies have even shown that offering fewer options can lead to increased sales, as seen in a case where jam samples at a grocery store.

Don’t be afraid to experiment! Analyze your menu and consider consolidating options.

17. Beyond the Decimal: Is the “.99” Era Over?

While the classic “.99” pricing strategy has been a restaurant mainstay, its effectiveness might be waning. Traditionally, the idea was that customers focus on the leftmost digit, subconsciously perceiving a $5.99 item as “closer to five dollars” than six.

However, with the rise of credit card payments and mental rounding-up, the impact of those cents might be less significant.

This shift suggests a potential benefit to cleaner, decimal-free pricing. It simplifies menu boards visually and eliminates the need for mental calculations. However, abandoning the “.99” strategy entirely shouldn’t be done without consideration.

Data-driven testing specific to your restaurant can reveal whether the traditional pricing holds water for your customer base. Ultimately, the best approach may depend on your unique business context.

DotSignage: A Template Playground for Digital Menu Boards

DotSignage shines with its extensive library of pre-built templates, making it a great option for creating professional-looking digital menu boards quickly and easily. Here’s what you can expect:

Over 750+ Templates:

DotSignage boasts a massive collection of templates specifically designed for digital menu boards. This vast selection caters to various restaurant types and cuisines, offering a starting point for almost any menu concept.

Systematically Categorized Template Categories:

Browsing a library categorized by restaurant style: pizza menus for Italian restaurants, burger boards for casual diners, or sleek, minimalist templates for fine-dining establishments. DotSignage likely has something to suit your specific needs.

DotSignage’s extensive library of 750+ digital menu board templates makes it a powerful tool for restaurants seeking a quick and easy solution to create professional-looking and customizable digital menus.

Easy to use menu board editor:

While designing the menu board editor, our team here at DotSignage had one goal in mind – to create a simplified version such that anyone without any design experience can easily create digital menu boards.

Everything has been designed and developed keeping simplicity in mind. Right from effortless image resizing and placements to customization of menu items and fonts, you can give your creativity a big push with our template editor.

If you are short of time, we already have 750+ menu board templates that can be picked up and used on the go.

Conclusion

The digital revolution has swept through the restaurant industry, transforming the way menus are presented and experienced.

Static boards are becoming relics of the past, replaced by dynamic digital displays that unlock a treasure trove of creative possibilities.

This guide has equipped you with the knowledge and tools to design captivating digital menus that not only showcase your culinary creations but also strategically influence customer decisions and drive sales.

From leveraging the power of psychology to utilizing high-quality visuals and interactive features, you’ve learned how to craft a digital menu board that entices customers, simplifies navigation, and ultimately guides them towards making delicious choices that benefit both your business and their appetites.

Remember, your digital menu board is a silent salesperson, a captivating display that speaks volumes about your brand and culinary philosophy.

Embrace the possibilities, unleash your creativity, and design a menu board that becomes an extension of your restaurant’s unique identity – a visual feast that whets appetites, sparks conversation, and leaves a lasting impression that keeps customers coming back for more.

If you are looking to step up your digital menu board game, DotSignage can be a perfect fit.

Right from an easy-to-use template editor, advanced scheduling to news feed and weather feed integration, we have it all.

Sign up for our 7-day free trial and experience how digital menu boards can transform the growth journey for your restaurant.

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