Howard Company Blog

Menu Board Redesign: Call in the Professionals!

September 12, 2018 / by Cheryl K

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 the question: do you have someone in your resource group who can offer expert experience in the menu board and point-of-purchase business?

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?

We pulled a couple of menu board examples off the internet to illustrate the point. Is this chalk board 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?

Chalk board menu

The messy menu listings and unorganized columns make it difficult for guests to visualize what the ice cream shop is all about. Visitors probably spend a lot of time in line trying to decipher what there is to order, what the flavors are, etc. This makes the wait times longer. How many customers leave because it takes too long to get to the order station? You can imagine what that does to the bottom line!


Howard Company

The second image is an example of content and detail overkill. Again, there is no focus on what the restaurant is about. Without pictures you lose customer engagement – they spend way too much time in line trying to figure out what to order. Or they leave and head down the street looking for a nicer environment and a simpler menu!

Isn't this better?

BBQ Concept Menu Board

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 enhanced with space and pictures that draw the dining guests’ eyes immediately. The clutter and long descriptive text is gone. This menu has bold colors for contrast to define the categories. Best of all it’s easy to read so you aren’t struggling to see the prices.

The good news is this isn’t an overly expensive menu board system. It is a non-illuminated magnetic menu board. Even start-up operations can afford to display a high quality menu board that engages the customer. With any menu board display - whether it is digital, illuminated, or magnetic - good design along with some product organization can go a long way to improving your guest experience. The goal is to allow guests to flow through the line, easily find what they want to order, pay and enjoy. 

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.

New call-to-action

Topics: Menu Boards

Cheryl K

Written by Cheryl K

Cheryl K has been part of the point of sale and menu board industry in many capacities for the past 25 years.