What Your QSR Needs to Know About Adaptive Digital Menu Boards

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At many quick-service restaurants, more than 70 percent of purchases happen at the drive-thru. So any way to drive sales, reduce costs and increase customer loyalty will be a huge benefit for these types of businesses.

One strategy that is proving successful in spades is the digital menu board. This technology can often be controlled remotely using any internet-connected device, so its content can be changed at any time. Some digital menu boards even utilize sensors for things like proximity, temperature, weather and more, providing data points that can help QSRs better interact with their customers.

Since drive-thrus provide a unique opportunity to engage directly with consumers, digital menu boards can help restaurants increase personalization and deliver the experience that customers are looking for each and every time.

Here are the top five benefits of using adaptive digital menu boards:

1. Increase Service Speed

One of the big benefits of digital menu boards it that they can help you speed up service at the drive-thru. Adaptive digital menu boards can help patrons order quicker by showing them only the menu options that are available at a certain time of day, as compared to a static display that may include breakfast items that aren’t available after a certain time of day. The adaptability of these boards allows for less visual clutter, which helps people choose faster. Additionally, digital menu boards speed up order transmission, ensuring food is ready to go as soon as patrons get to the next window.

2. Improve Order Accuracy

Another major plus of digital menu boards is that they can help improve order accuracy. Digital menu boards allow employees to convey order choices back to consumers as they speak so that they can confirm their selections before moving along. This can also help keep the line moving quickly and ensure customer satisfaction by reducing order errors across the board.

3. Drive Incremental Sales

Since the drive-thru accounts for more than two-thirds of all QSR purchases, digital menu boards can have a big impact on profits. They can be used to drive incremental sales by offering patrons items that pair well with things they have already ordered. They can also help by highlighting special deals and price changes, giving patrons information that encourages them to order other items that appeal to them. Over time, digital menu boards can learn what types of pairings are most frequent and begin to suggest them to more customers. The more context clues available, the better QSRs can serve their customers, and digital menu boards add significantly more data to the equation.

4. Make Real-Time Menu Changes

Perhaps one of the most unique features of the adaptive digital menu board is that it allows for real-time alternations to the menu. Some of them are able to measure weather, temperature and customer proximity on their own. Others connect to the internet to pull in these context clues, which ultimately help provide the right information to the right customers at the right time. If the weather suddenly changes from sunny to rainy and chilly, an adaptive digital menu can promote warm beverages and comfort food, vs. iced drinks and other warm-weather items. Menus can also be set to react to local events, such as the home team winning an important game, and offer special deals or highlight relevant menu items. Additionally, menus with the ability to change in real time can promote items that need to be consumed while fresh (think fried chicken or pizza) if there is a surplus and assure that it doesn’t go to waste. Finally, they can be used to successfully promoted limited-time offers and remove them when they are over.

5. Personalize Content

Finally, adaptive digital menu boards can personalize content based on a wide range of factors. In addition to understanding the local weather, events and restaurant conditions like LTOs and fresh items that need to be moved, this restaurant technology can go a level deeper and start to understand customers as individuals.

If QSRs are able to connect digital menu boards to consumers via their personal mobile devices or other opt-in services, they can start to execute personalization such as suggesting frequently ordered items. They can also offer specialized coupons or deals that are based on what customers are actually interested in.

Say you have a patron who stops by for a burger every Thursday afternoon. Using personalization through digital menu boards, you could offer this person a free order of fries or discounted up sell. Ultimately this can help you build loyalty with your patrons and keep them coming back.

Digital menu boards bring new context to the QSR’s relationship with its customers. They can improve operational efficiencies, save money and increase profits by driving incremental sales and building loyalty with customers over time. Technology like digital menu boards can help QSRs remain relevant now and in the future.