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Menu Board Redesign: Call in the professionals!


By Cheryl K on September 12, 2016


Whether you are a big chain restaurant operation or a small multi-store group, you surround yourself with resources and people you can count on to give you honest input on how to make your business a success. You value their professional opinions and hope their expertise fills in the holes of your experience.  Here’s my question: do you have someone in your resource group who can offer expert experience in the menu board and Point-of-Purchase business? 

Take a look!

When your guests look at your menu board, do they see an organized and uncluttered menu board system that engages them?  Do your pre-sale promotional signs prove out in actual sales? Just as your accountant helps you prepare payroll, or your electrician ensures your equipment is running in tip-top shape, you should reach out to a professional who can help you design your menu board so it optimizes your food offerings and give your dining guests a great customer experience.

What do they see?

To show you what I’m talking about, I pulled a couple of menu board examples off the internet. Is this what your guests see when they look at your menu board? If so, how can they make a decision for what they want to order? What does this say about how these restaurants value their walk-in business?


Example 1:




In the chalk board example, the messy menu listings and unorganized columns make it difficult for guests to visualize what the ice cream shop is all about. I’m guessing  visitors spend a lot of time in line trying to decifer what there is to order, what the flavors are, etc. I’d bet the wait time is forever and customers leave because it’s taking too long to get to the order station. You can imagine what that does to the bottom line of his shop!





Example 2:

In the second example, there’s way too much content and details, and again, where is the focus of what the restaurant is about? No pictures,
no customer engagement – they are spending way too much time in line trying to figure out what to order. And they are heading down the street looking for a nicer environment and a simpler menu!

Isn't this better?



Here’s a great example of food items organized in easy to find categories, with tasty food imagery that offers both popular and high profit items in the middle where it draws the dining guests’ eyes immediately. There’s not much clutter or long lines of description, has bold colors for contrast to define the categories, and best of all it’s easy to read and you aren’t struggling to see what the pricing is. 

And there's more!

The good news is this isn’t an overly expensive menu board system because it’s a magnetic menu board and is non-illuminated, so even start-up operations can afford to display a high quality menu board system that engages the customer. In ANY menu board display - whether it's illuminated, digital diplays or non-illuminated - good design along with some product organization can go a long way to improving your guest experience. Just think about how guests can flow through the queue line, easily find what they want to order, and pay. I would bet wait time in line is minimalized as compared to the restaurants with the noted menu boards above.

Last note:

Designing a menu board shouldn’t be an afterthought when making your business plans. Good operators know when to call on a menu board professional for advice on maximizing their profits. Be sure you engage a professional when it’s time to plan out and create a menu board system that not only improves your bottom line, but gives your dining guests a reason to return to your store!



About Cheryl K

Cheryl K has been part of the point of sale and menu board industry in many capacities for the past 25 years. Since 2007 she has worked with The Howard Company's ecommerce websites developing webstores and content, and administering the CMS platform. Along with this responsibility she has worked in Customer Service, Graphic Design, and most recently helped in the redesign of the Howard's corporate webpages. She enjoys the challenges of serving Howard Company business partners and looks for opportunities to make purchasing solutions less complicated to the everyday consumer.

We have a solution for you

The Howard Company is your best resource as you seek out products for your restaurant or retail store. We work with virtually all materials and we are as comfortable indoors as outdoors. Our focus on quality and service sets us apart in our various marketplaces. We want to be your first call when you need advice on your menu systems, Point of Purchase needs, or in-store marketing and merchandising. Our high quality solutions help you focus on building your brand, serving your guests, and selling more product!

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1375 N Barker Road
Brookfield, WI 53045

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