In part 3 of our series on moving food in a QSR environment, we are going to take a closer look at dayparting. Most QSR’s have breakfast items, lunch items, maybe even dinner items. It is important for these to be displayed at the appropriate times on the menu boards. This way the customers know which items they have to choose from.
So how do you change your menu boards?
Well, in the past we have seen individuals use the “remove and replace method.” This is where the entire menu slick is taken down and a new one is put up in its place. They even have magnetic ones where you can have menu items printed out on magnetic strips. You have to peel off the old item and then you’re able to stick the new strip up. You have to get it lined up just right, and do the same with your price changes.
What I saw recently, which I thought was kind of interesting, I guess you would call it a game show menu board. They actually had photos of menu items on a cube. Whenever they needed to change the item, an employee would have to manually spin the cube around to have the new item’s picture shown to the customers.
With these menu systems, you have to rely on an employee manually changing out the menu boards. They have to take time out of their other activities that they are engaged in. Maybe there are even customers in line and they just have to wait until the menu board gets switched over. Also, you have the added expense of potential wear and tear and replacement of those items as they’re continually handled and manipulated to reflect your changes.
For years, that was our only option when it came to dayparting on menu boards. Now, thankfully, we have digital menu boards. With Noventri Digital Signage you are able to schedule out your dayparting as far in advance as you would like.
So let’s say every day you know that at ten thirty you are going to switch over from your breakfast menu to your lunch menu. You can schedule that in to change automatically. Perhaps there are certain promotions that are going to happen every week, maybe you have a Tuesday seniors day, or perhaps fish on Friday. Any of these things can be programmed in advance so that way you don not have to worry about changing your menu boards. It will happen automatically.
For even more automated control, you can tie in your existing POS systems inventory database with Noventri Digital Signage. For instance, perhaps you’re running out of roast beef. It could automatically remove that item from off your menu boards and replace it with something else you would like to promote. This way your customers stay well informed and you do not have to take time out of your schedule to manually change your menu boards.
For your establishment to be profitable, it is obvious that you need to have a good dayparting strategy. With Noventri Digital Signage you are able to implement that strategy automatically. You do not have to worry about manually changing out your boards, but it can take place behind the scenes so that you can get back to making good food and taking care of your customers.
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“Can I just buy TV screens from a department store and use them for digital signage displays?”
Of course, you can. You can also use a porcupine for a seat cushion. Either choice presents you with certain and specific pains. (See below: 7 Reasons Consumer Screens Are NOT For Digital Signage Use)
The main reason anyone even considers consumer grade is to try to save money. However, the price between consumer and commercial screens can be as little as a few dollars and the difference is shrinking all the time. Is saving a few dollars up front really worth the risks?
Here is some food for thought. The last link between your message and your audience is your screens. That is why reliability is crucial. In the end, you can have the greatest content in the world but it makes no difference if no one can see it. Commercial grade screens are designed and built to handle the usage requirements of digital signage, hence providing the reliability needed to be successful.
Knowing how important screen selection is, Noventri spends a lot of time vetting suppliers before we associate the Noventri name with them. On rare occasions, you can find a company that has great products along with great support. NEC is one of those companies. NEC screens have an amazing track record for being reliable. They are the only screen supplier that has a 3-year onsite overnight warranty and their team is phenomenal. Their focus is on providing great business products. NEC does not even make consumer grade screens! Since our clients expect personal communication and attention to detail, having a company like NEC is a perfect fit.
Or we could sit on a porcupine. We made the right choice. We’re confident that you will, too.
7 Reasons Consumer Screens Are NOT For Digital Signage Use
1. If customers purchase the Consumer TV on their own, there is a high probability it won’t work correctly and they’ll be chasing problems which their digital signage supplier probably won’t be able to support.
2. Many manufacturers will NOT honor the warranty on Consumer TVs if they are used for professional or Digital Signage applications, even if purchased from a digital signage integrator.
3. Consumer TVs are not made for 24/7 operation. Even though many work just fine, it’s impossible to predict failure rate due to 24/7 operation.
4. There is almost no chance that the supplier will be able to find an identical model, even a few months later.
5. Consumer TVs can’t be mounted vertically (Portrait Mode) because they will overheat. Commercial grade screens have special venting and fans that make this possible. If a consumer screen is mounted vertically (Portrait Mode) you may also find that the screen may not be visible if standing anywhere but directly in front of the screen. The viewing angle is for consumer screens is engineered for the TV to be mounted above someone’s fire place or sitting on an entertainment center.
6. Power On/Off on Consumer TVs cannot be controlled with the Digital Signage Player; they’ll need to be turned On/Off manually.
7. The life of a Consumer TV is about half that of a Professional Digital Signage Display.
Are consumer grade screens a viable alternative? Post your comments and questions below.
This is becoming common place on websites. You’ve seen it. And I know you’ve used it. The link to opt out of an ad.
Have you ever NOT looked for this option when a commercial pops up on your screen?
Clicking it gives you a sense of relief and satisfaction. “You thought you were going to tell me to buy something, but you were wrong!” Then, with a smug look, you navigate to the information you really want.
This conditioned response is more pronounced while watching TV. A commercial comes on, and if you have a DVR, you fast forward. Or you channel surf. I know I’ve seen my share of 5 minute snippets of various Lifetime Original movies while waiting for the game to come back on. Let’s face it. Watching some mushy show about a love lorn frontier woman who is married to a man that treats her bad is better than a commercial. Barely, but still better.
Let’s carry this philosophy over to digital signage. Does it make sense for business owners to put commercials or video content on digital signage in hopes of improving the customers’ shopping experience? Consumers are already trained to ignore and avoid anything that looks remotely like a commercial. While they may see your signage, they won’t look at it for long. In fact, they will quickly “Skip This Ad” and move on.
We believe it is vital to remove the association between TV commercials and your digital sign. We want your message to reach the targeted audience. Wouldn’t it be a shame if your investment in digital signage went to waste because you were encouraging your customers to “Skip This Ad?”
Sadly, some organizations choose to go for the “wow factor” and end up sacrificing what really works. Poor results mixed with the high cost inherent with video usually ends up giving the illusion that digital signs don’t work and the entire concept gets discarded.
Avoid this scenario like the plague. Or in this case, like it’s a commercial!
Use content that works—do it in a way that people would want to look at it —this way you and your digital signs will be a success!
Does it make a difference where your screens are mounted? YES!
The Eiffel Tower, Mount Rushmore, The Egyptian Pyramids, and the Great Wall of China all have something in common. Whether they have an audience of one, or of thousands, they can be seen by everyone. These landmarks wouldn’t be nearly as impressive if they could only be seen by one person at a time.
The best way to make your digital screens viewable by the masses is to move them off the floor! Hanging them by the ceiling or on the wall with proper tilting can go a long way. The cynics will say ‘Yeah, but the higher they are the harder it is for them to read.’ Then get a bigger screen! Make the fonts larger! There is always a way around distance. There is NOT a way around having your message blocked while there is a group of people in front of the screen that is on a floor stand. Even one person standing in front of the screen can be enough to destroy your message if your screen is on the floor.
While floor standing screens have their place, make sure that everyone can see your screens by taking the high road, not the low road.
SIDE NOTE: Although this isn’t an article about touch-screens, one reason why touch screen kiosks are strongly discouraged is because they’re intended for one person to use them at a time. Who wants to wait in line to see the Eiffel Tower one person at a time? I would rather enjoy the Eiffel Tower with my friends and family. The same feelings or principles apply to digital signage. People are at your place of business to do something other than stop and admire the new digital screens. So make your digital signs a part of their day-to-day lives by giving them the information they need that is easily viewable by many.
LCD screens are a high-value item. You don’t want someone, just anyone, fondling it. And you don’t want outside influences creeping in and slowly destroying it. So you need protection. Digital Signage screens in public areas are vulnerable to all of the above and unless they are properly protected, someone or something will find it and damage or destroy it.
Electronic signage looks great, and when properly managed, brings value to all industries. But if steps are not taken to keep it safe, well… things happen. Indoors or out, digital signage that is within reach of hands will soon find someone groping and touching buttons and settings. Also, indoor and outdoor signage is easily violated by such elements as dust, moisture, and temperature fluctuations.
The right enclosure provides protection from roaming hands and creeping elements. Since advertising networks and message centers are controlled remotely from a central location there is no need to access screens on a regular basis, so locking them away makes sense.
Many owners of digital media networks may balk at the thought of enclosures. What will they look like? Will the enclosures take away from the experience? Will the enclosures blend or compliment with the environment or décor?
Whether they are free-standing, wall or ceiling mounted or displays that are inset into walls with protective screens, choices of materials coupled with innovative design guarantees that enclosures and custom frames will blend with their surroundings.
With so many choices it is recommended that companies look to an experienced reseller that can provide insight into matching a network’s needs to available enclosures.
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