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When the thought of digital signage comes in mind, you think of those giant screens that display engaging commercials or digital menus at restaurants. They definitely call for an investment at the start but the ROI they give is definitely much more than what you are putting forth. If you do not believe us, this blog is for you.
Digital signage capture 400% more views than the static displays. 8 out to 10 passersby enter a store because of the digital signs. Quick service restaurants using digital menu boards account for 20% of the digital signage industry.
Why are digital menu boards needed in the first place?
The answer to this is quite simple. Putting the cost that goes in having printed menus that often need updates, digital menu boards serve quite a better part here. It’s not just the cost but also the time and effort that goes in the manual updates and printing of these menus digital menu boards better.
Now let’s go into the actual costs, shall we?
If you consider weekly updates in the menu — you need to print them four times a month, making it 48 times in a year. Twice a month will make it 24, once a month will make it 12. If you are someone that changes the menu every day, well it’s the whopping 365 days. Alternatively, digital menu board hardware needs one time investment. The software is available with both options — fixed monthly payment or yearly subscription but with so many options, they are charged at a very competitive price.
We leave it on you to decide which one is better to go for.
Economy of Scale is something that can be applied to Digital Menu boards i.e the cost saved on this is proportional to the number of screens used or stretched over a period of time.
With static menu boards, you are called to spend around $250-350 per store (You need atleast 2 menu boards to cover your all food item) to update in case of static menu boards. Multiply this by the number of outlets you have and there you have it. If you have hundreds of outlets, this could be $300,000 or more. It’s a whopping expense you are to bear for a single menu update.What if there is a typo?
This is for a single menu update. For the safe side, even if a restaurant is planning to have once update of menu in a month, the yearly expense is still a lot. And if the menu updates are frequent, the cost could go in billions.
With digital menu boards, you are saved at least $1,000-$1,500 per year per location so imagine the savings that you are going to make when your branches are on a higher side. This applies to a single branch restaurant as well.
Should Digital Signage still be considered a big investment?
“The one time investment on the hardware might sound a lot. It can be one of the reasons why restaurants might show reluctance to go for them. However, if factually calculated, these devices last for a minimum two years. With the right use, they could last for years. A sound software would just add a 100 or 120 USD to your cost annually per device. If you are a restaurant chain, you are up for a major discount here. Do this and you are saved from running to the printing shops to get the menu prints often. Instant updates can be easily made. We are talking about a smart tech solution here which is going to be better than the traditional age-old methods any given day” says Smit Nebhwani, Co-founder & CEO, DotSignage.
The cost on hardware is one time for a few years and you are saved from a lot of hustle and chaos that static menu boards often lead to. Digital menu boards on the other hand help you eliminate the cost of printing menus and marketing materials. You can easily design the menu or modify them without any assistance of designers. So in all, you have saved on resource cost, the printing cost and a lot of time.
Digital signage offer valuable additions in different forms
Not only money wise, but digital menu boards enhance the customer experience, ease out the work process of your staff, save their time and also help you make changes to a group of screens placed anywhere in the world remotely. Just install the right hardware of your need along with a robust software like that of DotSignage and you are good to go.
1. Digital Menu Boards positively influences the buying decisions of the customers
It’s human nature to focus on the cost but the benefits that menu boards offer in the long run cannot be ignored. With the instant offers that can be created and displayed on digital screens, order value can be increased. This might even prompt new visitors to check out your place.
If there are new items on your menu that you want your visitors to try, simply create a separate image for it so users pay special attention to it. The best part is that various images can be displayed on a single screen and a specific time can be allotted for each image.
One can also add upselling fillers like a diet coke or fries. These items come with a lot of profit margin and people normally go to order for them when it popups as an add-on order. This indirectly enhances your food order value. Another add on is that they help you reduce the perceived waiting time to order as well.
2. Easy to test new menus, make changes or corrections
One mistake on a static menu print, and it’s all gone for waste. With digital menu boards, you can easily test new menus on how they look and make changes if needed. Even if a menu goes live, you can make changes or corrections if need be.
Different menus might be good for different times since clearly people have different food items in the morning, afternoon and evenings. This can easily be managed using digital menu boards. The best part is that updates can be made anytime without any much of an effort or time.
3. Digital Menu Boards are more eco-friendly
Digital Menu boards do not need paper, they do not need any prints and they do not call for any paper wastage. This makes them a much more eco-friendly solution compared to the static paper prints.
A single hardware purchased lasts for years, needs less electricity, needs internet only when a new update or content is being pushed to the screens and works with all kinds of weather. The part where you need to run to a print shop to get prints in case of sudden updates is eliminated.
4. They help you enhance your brand image
Digital Menu boards help you establish a strong brand image. Consistency and simplicity are something that goes a long way when it comes to branding. Digital signages help you establish both.
With the same menu accompanied with the same images across all your outlets or restaurants, you can make sure a consistent look is followed for your outlets. All the screens can be managed from a single location. Devices can be grouped and a single update can be pushed to multiple devices. Things also get easier to manage as you expand further with more branches.
Conclusion: The cost-benefit analysis of Digital Menu boards v/s Static menu boards
Let’s say as a restaurant you own five outlets at the moment. Considering that scenario, lets analyse how the costs are gonna look like with static menu boards. Taking a minimum of one offer each month on your menu below are the calculations:
1. Menu prints: $200 per outlet x 5 outlets x 1 offer = $1000 USD/month. This accounts to $12,000 /Year
2. Menu Shipping: $75 per outlet x 5 outlets x 1 offer = $375/month. This accounts to $4500/Year.
3. Labor Costs: $50 per outlet x 5 outlets x 1 offer = $250/month. This accounts to $3000/Year
The total comes up to $19,500 per year for five outlets.
With digital menu boards the first year cost will add to a minimum of $500 per screen plus the $120 of software. For the next year, you will be saving the hardware cost and only spending on the software annually. Some softwares also offer in-built digital menu board templates along with canvas features to edit your menu. This comes to $600 for five screens for your five stores. Even if you go for two screens pers store, it comes to $1200.
DotSignage offers an add-on optional service where our professional team of designers can create the menu for you at a one-time charge of $60 per template.
The hardware cost could come to a minimum of $2500 for the first year for a single screen per store. Though this gets subjective because the hardware cost might vary for different locations. Calculations however clearly prove how much more cost saving digital menu boards are.
With all this, we can safely say that digital menu boards offer way more leverage compared to static menu boards. They offer more regular and organic ROI along with an elated customer experience. With contactless services being the need of the hour, digital menu boards are going to play a very important role in the restaurant industry.
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