From Pixels to Platters: 7 Stunning Menu Board Ideas That Are Set to Change the Dining Landscape

A digital menu at a restaurant


The world of restaurant marketing is seeing innovations like never before.

From digital signage for restaurants that create the best offering experiences to self-ordering kiosks cutting back on wait times, a lot has been going on indeed. And boy, is it on the rise! Local eateries or giant restaurant chains, e-menus are everywhere. But what makes these exciting and free of ennui? Twists that define this motion space.

Yes, it is the ideas that spice up your displays, and there are a handful to get ahead with. So, let us get started!

What is a digital menu board?

A digital menu board is an electronic display set-up mainly used in restaurants and cafes to present offering options and promotions. It often incorporates vibrant visuals and dynamic content to engage customers and simplify the ordering experience.

This technology allows for easy updates and customization, helping communicate menu items, pricing, and special offers in real-time.

10 menu board ideas to reimagine your restaurant space

Now that you are acquainted with how an online menu works, here are some ideas that will leave your audience asking for more.

1. Seasonal sensations

A digital christmas-special menu idea.

Go beyond the standard menu by integrating seasonal themes into your digital displays. For instance, showcase pumpkin-spiced items or harvest-themed dishes during the fall, complete with vibrant autumnal visuals. Similarly, highlight refreshing cocktails and light, fresh salads during the warmer days of summer.

2. Play Videos

Never underestimate the power of a good video showcasing a great menu. What a visual can do to you, a video can enhance it a lot more to your pallates. In fact, your diners may as well decide to order the dish highlighted on the video than the one they see as an image.

It is vital that both images and videos are displayed on your digital signage displays. If you have enough screens at your dispsal, you could program them to display a series of videos or simply showcase the videos after a certain defined minutes of your menu.

3. Local flair

 A digital menu idea showcasing the area's specialities Showcase the indigenous culture and produce on your digital menu boards. Highlight dishes made with locally sourced ingredients or feature profiles of local farmers and suppliers. This helps support the local economy and resonates with customers who value community and sustainability in their dining choices.

4. Theme-based designs

A restaurant theme based digital menu idea Tailor your digital menu to mirror the unique theme of your restaurant. For a beach-themed restaurant, use tropical colors and imagery; opt for an elegant, sophisticated design for a high-end steakhouse. Thematic consistencies help create a cohesive and immersive atmosphere for your guests.

5. Time-sensitive promotions

Capitalize on the dynamic nature of digital menus by showcasing time-sensitive promotions. For instance, display a countdown for limited-time offers or happy hour specials, creating a sense of urgency and exclusivity.

6. Dynamic chef’s corner

Create a ‘Chef insights’ on your digital menu, where daily insights, exclusive recipes, or a glimpse into the kitchen’s creative process are shared. Imagine featuring a live feed where the chef introduces the special dish of the day or a time-lapse video showing the artful preparation of a signature dish.

7. Ambient e-lighting

Enhance your restaurant’s atmosphere by syncing the menu board with ambient lighting and music. Create a morning ambiance with bright visuals and uplifting music, transitioning to a more relaxed, dimly-lit display with soft music in the evening. It helps elevate the customer experience by creating a mood that complements the dining environment.

8. Nutritional information

A digital menu idea showing calorie chart Address the growing health-conscious market by including detailed nutritional information next to each menu item, such as calorie counts, allergen information, or even the carbon footprint of dishes. Menus with allergen info cater to health-conscious diners and position your restaurant as a responsible, customer-centric establishment.

9. Hook on with price

Apart from getting your customers hooked to nutitional info, another sure shot way to grab eyeballs is price! Yes, playing on the price-sensitivity marketing card has helped reaped benefits to many brands. Studies have shown that if the currency sysmbol is not displayed along with the price, people tend to order more than where a menu has the currency sign displayed.

10. Menu animation

Believe it or not, adding a subtle animation to your menu, will grab more attention than a still image. For example, try adding some kind fiery animation to a spicy pizza or spices being sprinkled. Any form of animation, however small is sure to get you that attention. On a rough calculation, opt to have three-four animations on the menu and keep updating them as and when needed or when you update the menu. An important thing to consider is to ensure that the animation is in a way that diners are able to read the menu items properly. The animation should not hamper the readability of the menu.

How do digital menu boards maximize business output?

Menu board ideas that promise stunning visual content are more than just some projected eye candies. They help a business scale up the ladder and with a leap! Curious to know how? Read on.

  • A dine list with vivid animations can stimulate appetite and influence purchasing decisions, ultimately enhancing the overall customer experience.

  • Updating a digital menu is quick and cost-effective compared to traditional printed menus. This flexibility allows real-time changes, such as updating item availability or promoting limited-time offers.

  • Easier to highlight specials, promotions, and high-margin items. By strategically placing these items on the menu board, restaurants can subtly encourage customers to try premium options or add-ons, creating a potential for increasing the average order value.

  • E-menu cards help track customer interactions and preferences, providing valuable data for menu optimization. Understanding which items are popular or underperforming can inform strategic decisions about menu adjustments and promotional strategies.

  • Digital kiosks can streamline the ordering process, reducing perceived wait times. Efficient menu navigation and clear item descriptions help customers make quicker decisions, speeding up the ordering cycle and improving table turnover rates.

Tales that scintillate

Incorporating innovative menu ideas looks like a judicious investment for modern restaurants. It banks on customer experience, operational efficiency, sales expansion, and environmental sustainability. But is that all? Certainly not.

With technology taking over the hospitality landscape and restaurants embracing the same, paperless offerings are set to take the ROI to the next level. What’s more, is how businesses perceive and get the best out of this opportunity. The future is all about screens that speak to you and stories that stay long after you “e-read” them.

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Shivangi Chatterjee

Shivangi writes for Pickcel. She consumes knowledge on the world of business & marketing at the same rate she consumes her cups of coffee. When she is not writing, you will find her reading books, grooving to music or admiring art.

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