Using digital signs to decrease menu costs

Digital menu boards in a fast food restaurant.

“Menu costs” is a term in economics that refers to expenses associated with switching prices. While this term applies only metaphorically in most industries, menu costs in the food and beverage industry include the costs of changing actual physical menus. The article below details how food and beverage businesses can use digital signs to decrease menu costs and change prices quickly.

The old way of changing menu item prices

Businesses that use physical handheld menus or printed menu boards must reprint their menus each time prices change. Reprinting menus and menu boards can easily cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, and the reprint process may take several weeks.

During the reprint process, prices may change again. In some cases, the costs associated with changing prices may be less than any potential revenue gains. This friction results in many businesses updating prices infrequently, even as input costs and other expenses change.

Changing menu item prices via digital signs

Digital signs include any TV or monitor that people use to display custom content. A common use case for digital signs in the food and beverage industry is displaying digital menus.

With digital menus, businesses can change menu item prices in just a few clicks. Instead of taking weeks of reprinting and potentially thousands of dollars in costs to change prices, businesses with digital menus can change prices in just a few minutes without any additional expenses.

The ability to change prices quickly, inexpensively, and easily allows food and beverage businesses to achieve more predictable profit margins. As input costs and other expenses increase, businesses can update their prices quickly to reflect those changes. Additionally, businesses can use digital menus as a revenue generator by pricing items more competitively during busy hours or displaying upsell items.

Other important uses cases for digital signs in the food and beverage industry

Food and beverage businesses can use digital signs in a variety of ways beyond digital menus. Digital signs can display marketing and branding content, such as information on the business’s history and values. Also, businesses can display a range of real-time media content. For example, bars can display sports headlines, and cafes can display news headlines. During the current business environment with COVID-19, businesses can display health and safety protocols and QR codes for smartphone menus.

Getting started with digital signage for menu boards

Getting started with digital signage for menu boards is easy. Digital signs require a digital signage player, an online management account, and a screen. Digital signage players communicate with the user’s online management account and render content to each screen. Professional-grade installations often use NEC screens with built-in digital signage players.

You can take the first step towards getting started with digital signage by signing up for a free 14-day trial with Screenly. At Screenly, we build content management software for digital signs and supply a cost-effective and energy-efficient digital signage player, the Screenly Player.

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