Insects, fish and even certain types of sushi are still moving when consumed by the few people that…well…are in to that. But I’m sure that 99% of the people that you ask would either say that they want their food to be dead, or to be a plant. The other 1% have either been dared to do so, or they’re on one of those TV survival shows being payed to do so.
This article isn’t about your diet, or exotic foods. It has more to do with your visual diet. More particularly, this article is dealing with Digital Menu Boards.
The “I Want To Hit You In The Face” Effect
The common misconception of throwing animations at viewers to “entertain” them while they’re making their selections is counter-productive. Just sitting here putting words to it makes it even more silly. These “entertainment” animations cause what I refer to as The “I Want To Hit You In The Face” Effect. Very scientific…I know.
When deploying digital signage menu boards, we need to keep the objectives of the QSR (Quick Serve Restaurant) in mind to make sure that they’re getting what they want. This is true with selecting hardware, software and content. These objectives can be negated by choosing the wrong solutions, especially that of content and animations.
In order to find out what objectives the typical QSR wants to achieve with digital signage menu boards, we asked several QSR providers about their own objectives and compiled a list of the seven most common.
1. Increase Revenue
2. Increase Customer Turn-Over
3. Reduce Costs
4. Reduce Time It Takes To Update Menus
5. Enhance Corporate Image
6. Automate Their Workflow
7. Comply with Menu Labeling Laws
As you may have already figured out, this is the first installment of a seven part series dealing with digital menu boards. In this part, we will discuss the restaurant operator’s first objective: to increase revenue.
Increasing revenue is relevant for anyone in business, so I’m going to lay this out very plain and very clear. Digital Signage menu boards are not equivalent to magic beans that grow into a giant bean stock with a magic hen waiting to regularly lay golden eggs of revenue.
A Digital signage menu board is a sign; a sign with a menu on it that offers additional flexibility as compared to its predecessor. Here’s the cool part. You CAN increase revenue with digital signage, but it’s not going to be with animations and it’s not going to lift sales by 30% (A number that’s carelessly thrown around the industry.) The “I Want To Hit You In The Face” Effect is when the content provider and/or the food vendor wants to hit everybody in the face with movement. Is movement really needed?
Recently my mother and grandmother went to a very popular QSR to get a dessert coffee drink. This particular QSR just “upgraded” their menu boards for the cafe portion of their restaurant to digital menu boards. They successfully achieved The “I Want To Hit You In The Face” Effect with their content. With what results? My mom had to select my grandma’s drink for her. She couldn’t comprehend all of the visual commotion.
Luckily for the employees at this particular QSR, my grandma’s reach isn’t what it used to be.
Another way to prove The “I Want To Hit You In The Face” Effect is to go to a nice sit-down restaurant with your spouse or a really good friend. While your friend starts to pick out what they want, slowly reach up to their menu, and start moving it until it’s close to unreadable. Don’t stop! Keep going until your friend looks at you and tells you “I Want To Hit You In The Face.” Congratulations! You just achieved The “I Want To Hit You In The Face” Effect. This is what my mom and grandma experienced along with everyone else trying to read those crazy animated menus. Think about the customer’s objectives. They want to get through the line, order, eat, and get on with their day. How many of you go to a QSR to be entertained?
Last time I looked for entertainment at a QSR I got stuck in the ball pit.
You mean I can’t use promos on my digital menus?
Of course you can!
A promo screen or promos that change out on the menus are a great way to start increasing revenue at the restaurant. Day parting the promos are even better. You need to have the three C’s:
A Clean, Clear and Crisp promo image designed into a Clean, Clear and Crisp menu board layout hits the hardest when trying to directly increase your revenue. Animations, Flash and Video on these promo boards may have a similar effect in sales up-lift, but violate the other objectives of the QSR. Animations decrease customer turn-over (slow down the line), increase costs, increase the amount of time it takes to update the menus, add visual clutter to the corporate image, create a complex work flow, and makes complying with menu labeling laws difficult, if not impossible.
In Part 2 of this series, we will discuss customer turn-over in more detail, and how digital signage menu boards can help.