4 Incredible Features of Digital Drive Thru Menu Boards

Arpita Chanda9/27/2021

What are digital drive thru menu boards ?

Drive thru digital menu boards are those eye-catching digital signage placed outside a restaurant with a separate lane to help people order from their car itself and collect once the order is ready. These menu boards showcasing food items, offers, or discounts improve customer experience and increase sales. A combination of static and digital images displaying the menu and promotions in real-time has caused a shift in indoor-outdoor customer dynamics. Customers prefer the drive thru because of the quick service and, these digital menu boards are a cost-efficient way to speed up the entire process.

What are digital drive thru menu boards

Restaurants and popular food chains are upgrading their static illuminated menu to outdoor digital signage. The high-impact audiovisual messages of these digital signages empower the restaurant to reach out to customers directly. When placed strategically, these menu boards drive sales and facilitate quick service.

The robust built quality of the drive-thru digital menu boards enables them to withstand harsh outdoor environmental conditions. These menus are customizable and, internet connectivity makes content management effortless. The high-resolution eye-catching display panels and vibrant food images have the power to draw in people and make them hungry.

The drive-thru digital displays have changed the perception of the illuminated menu boards and the ordering system. Equipped with cameras, intercoms, and digital signage software, these display boards have greatly improved customer experience.

Digital menu boards are a great way to get creative and amp up the marketing game. With the menu items displayed 24/7, restaurants can even tell their story or generate customer interest even at odd hours. Restaurants can convey messages in their unique way and stand out from the crowd. The inclusion of animated gifs and videos on outdoor digital boards serves as both educating and entertaining.

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Showing the Menu

The main advantage that digital menu has over the traditional signs and posters is the dynamic visual appeal. Restaurants can present a more realistic expression of how the actual food looks. They can control and direct the customer to focus on specific items simply with the menu design. With digital menus, restaurants have the advantage of using spaces and layout to highlight and point sales towards certain food items. The ability to change or edit the drive-thru menu at ease has helped restaurants change menu items according to the time of the day.

Simply putting up digital signage does not guarantee more sales. The presentation of the outdoor menu boards at the drive-thru lane is the primary cause behind the boost in sales. An overcrowded menu with a bad design or layout may affect the customer experience adversely. But an easy-to-read menu speeds up the decision-making process of the buyer leading to a positive user experience. Case studies have shown, easy-to-read outdoor digital signs with a simple design attracts customers and helps to retain them.

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Making Orders

The main point of a digital drive thru menu board is that people do not have to come inside the restaurant to place the order and wait to pick it up. Their design is as per the customer's convenience and safety. Using the outdoor menu, customers can place their order and pick it up from the designated window. The optimized and simplified digital drive thru reduces the guest ordering time. As per the 2020 Drive-Thru Study, digital drive thru menus brought down service time by an average of 12.3 seconds.

Speed and convenience while placing an order have increased the popularity of the drive thru lane. People prefer quality service that is simple and requires minimal effort from their end. Most American quick service restaurant offer drive-thru options satiating the fast-paced lifestyle of today's world. Using the perks of digital menu food joints can highlight specialties that customers can easily add to the order. The quick service increases the likelihood of customers adding sides or drinks and upsizing their meals.

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Payment for digital drive thru menu boards

With the simplified ordering process, customers usually have multiple options for payment. After placing their order from the drive thru menu, customers can pay directly at the pick-up window or scan or pay via the QR code provided in the outdoor digital menu board.

Since the pandemic, contactless payments have become the preferred mode of payment. Contactless credit cards and mobile payments are safe and faster than other means of payment for both indoor outdoor. Easy payment options also affect the spending behavior encouraging the customers to spend more on small spontaneous purchases.

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Cost Benefit Analysis

Lower operational cost is one of the driving forces behind the growing demand for the drive thru digital menu board. It saves time spent on auditing and updating the menu, saves printing costs, lowers food waste, and speeds up the whole ordering process. With digital menus, restaurants can make any changes in the menu without any additional cost.

Brightly lit drive thru menus reduces mistakes while ordering and decrease food waste. Case studies have also shown that timely and visually engaging graphics increase sales on promotional items. As sales increase, the ROI of digital drive-thru menu boards easily surpass their investment amount. With quality hardware and software, an outdoor digital menu board can easily last for years. The seamless order process and good customer experience help to retain customers and generate rave reviews.

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Digital menu boards can be integrated with social media

Social media is a powerful tool and, incorporating it into the menu boards drive more engagement. Showcasing Tweets, Instagram photos, and more can help recapture the audience's attention. It becomes an advertisement for viewers and makes them feel good when the restaurant values their opinion. Displaying social media posts from viewers would also save time spent in advertising content management. Interactive social media content acts as a free word-of-mouth marketing channel and help balance promotional content.

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Drawbacks of Digital Drive-Thru Menu Boards

Digital drive thru menus are mostly opted for by large restaurants. It is because of the total cost of the digital display. The initial cost of complete setup of the hardware and software is a major turn-off for many restaurants. Although the manufacturers assure the rugged built quality of the outdoor digital drive-thru menu, on average, the boards seem to last for around 6 to 8 years.

In addition to the time-consuming installation process, the maintenance and repairs of the digital menu boards are also costly and inconvenient. The related costs of content creation and content management for the display boards increase the total cost and make it difficult for smaller restaurants. However, the advantages of the digital menu outweigh its disadvantages. With this adjustment, businesses can make a huge difference in customer experience and increase their sales simultaneously.

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The Future of the Digital Drive-Thru Menu Board

Social distancing in the recent pandemic has given a boost to drive-thru restaurants. Various restaurant chains are opting for a digital drive-thru menu to enhance customer experience. It increases engagement and gives them more power to control while placing the order.

Reports from restaurants using the drive-thru menu reveal that customers were adding more sides when prompted by the menu. The installation of indoor-outdoor zoom boards or digital screens for real-time service has brought a futuristic touch to the digital menu boards. The restaurant can directly communicate with the customer via the digital screen and help them to pay or inform them about their order.

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