Digital Menu Boards: What You Need to Know


Dan Williams, Senior Director for Client Activation at STRATACACHE, is a former marketing executive for McDonald’s where he was responsible for retail marketing strategies for 14,000 locations. Having had a first-row seat for the digital signage revolution for over 20 years, Dan shares his insight into why signage is changing and what we can expect for the future.


Menu Boards and the Quick Service Restaurant Experience are synonymous with one another.  Adding digital menu boards to the QSR takes it to the next level, enhancing the customer experience.  Whether you are a casual customer or a frequent user, just about everyone glances at a menu board during the ordering process.  For some it is a habitual reaction and for others an integral part of the decision making process.  And interestingly enough, we all flip-flop between these two approaches based on our mind-set and the reason behind our visit.


Our “Digital Menu Board Insights” will help you drive both sales and a better customer experience.


Digital Menu Board Insight #1:  Leverage the 40/60 Equation

40% of your customers know what they want before they get to the point of order.  These customers have a regular order, and look to accomplish this as quickly as possible.

The remaining 60%, those who can be influenced by what they see on the menu board, are split into two groups:

  • Those who know what they want, but could change their minds
  • Those you are open to ordering suggestions.


Digital Menu Board Insight #2:  Follow the 7 Second Rule

For customers ordering at the front counter or in the drive-thru, the experience is usually rushed.  The feeling of needing to be quick can be created by the customer’s schedule, an anxious crewmember, or by the next person waiting in line. Either way, Quick Service Restaurants have shown an average menu board viewing time of approximately 7 seconds.  How well the QSR approaches the customer’s use of those 7 seconds has a direct impact on the 60% of customers who are open to options.  (See Rule #1)


Digital Menu Board Insight #3:  Find the Right Balance of Content

The basic premises still remain; customers use menu boards for information, while restaurants see menu boards as a focal point for marketing.

  • Content that is customer centric, relevant and appealing while working hard to drive results should be the goal.
  • Keeping content fresh is a way to create relevancy.  But too much of a good thing can confuse your customers.  It takes approximately two weeks for regular customers to get use to a menu board change.


With STRATACACHE, turn traditional menu boards into revenue generating tools by creating deeper engagement that fully optimizes your investment.  Deliver on the expectations of your customers, restaurants and franchisees by building strategies and activation plans unique to you.  Want to know more? –Let’s Talk.