The Rising Trend of Digital Menu Boards in Quick-Service Restaurants

In recent times, quick-service restaurants (QSRs) have reinvented customer interaction mechanisms in response to evolving market demands. One prominent manifestation of this adaptation has been the resort to digital menu boards, which not only adhere to social-distancing requirements in the COVID-19 era but also resonate with the digitized ways of daily life.

Research conducted by Restaurant Business revealed a significant 83% of US restaurant managers recognize these digital menu boards as instrumental to their survival amid the pandemic. Furthermore, a Technavio study projects a sharp market growth of $2.14 billion within 2021-2025 – a clear reflection of their increasing acceptance.

Beyond the pandemic, QSRs have begun integrating artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) with these digital menu boards. Acquisitions like McDonald’s buying Dynamic Yield aim to personalizing menu offerings based on the customer’s preferences, current restaurant traffic, weather conditions, and trending menu items. AI integration helps translate customer data into personalized sales strategies, thus enhancing the likelihood of upselling.

Moreover, the advent of interactive digital menu boards has helped recreate the dine-in experience in the digital space. Subway plans to implement touchscreen boards that will allow customers to customize orders, have access to nutritional information, and receive prompts for possible add-ons, helping enrich customer experience.

While maintaining engagement through visually stimulating content, these digital boards have also adjusted to the rise in demand for online ordering and deliveries. Seamless real-time menu updates and price syncing between customer smartphones and digital boards highlight this adaptability.

Against a backdrop of environmental consciousness, these boards attest to sustainability, reduced wastage, and energy efficiency. Therefore, in view of all these advantages, it can be concluded that the shift towards digital menu boards is a broader reflection of restaurants embracing digitalization, thereby aiming to boost operational efficiency.

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