How to Make Restaurant Digital Menu Board Designs: A Step-by-Step Guide

July 22, 2021

Restaurants, cafes and bars have begun installing digital menu boards in their establishments to replace traditional menus. Many of the restaurant menu board designs are revolutionary too! 

This is mainly because restaurant digital menu software allows you to make changes to your displays instantaneously, while ensuring a slick and professional appearance.

Digital restaurant menu boards can also integrate with social media apps to boost sales by up to 23%. Not to mention the costs you can save from all those menus you aren’t reprinting!

Overall, creating digital TV menu boards can benefit your restaurant. You can design TV menu boards in 3 simple steps:

  1. Purchase digital signage software
  2. Design your perfect menu
  3. Upload your menu to the platform

Turn Diners into Loyal Customers with a Creative Restaurant Digital Menu Design

What are TV menu boards?

TV menu boards are digital menus that you can customize and update as often as you like.

You can place it on any existing television in your establishment, and then make use of QR codes to bring the menu directly to your patrons’ smartphones.

This menu can easily be set to transition between your breakfast, lunch, and dinner offerings, and you can even add animations or transitions to draw attention to daily specials.

How a restaurant digital menu can benefit your outlet

TV menu boards allow you to:

  • Communicate the items on your menu clearly — and update as often as you need 
  • Add images, logos and graphics 
  • Utilize templates to show off your brand identity 
  • Promote new items and Increase sales
  • Cleanly switch between time-dependent menus — automatically 
  • Cut costs 
  • Keep menus up to date and accurate — including up-to-date nutrition information
  • Decrease customer wait time 
  • Improve the cleanliness and hygiene of your restaurant
  • Modernize your restaurant

Overall, digital TV menus for restaurants will keep your outlet fresh in an ever-evolving industry. You can keep up with your customers and improve business along the way by making the switch.

Top design principles in making restaurant digital menu boards

When creating a TV menu board, you will want to follow similar design principles to a standard menu. However, you do have more room for creativity as you can add animations and videos.

Make your restaurant menu board design readable

Hungry diners do not want to browse through dozens of items and not know what they are ordering. You can make your menu more readable by creating descriptive yet catchy dish titles with distinct headings. Ensure you add a caption with the ingredients and a simple description.

Electronic menu boards make it easier to add images and videos of your dishes as well. When customers can see the meal, they order more confidently. Instead of letting them guess what “Zesty Crisps” means, show them.

Emphasize the best items and promotions on your restaurant menu boards

Add a separate, highlighted section with the specials of the day and any top choices or promotional items. These sections on your digital restaurant menu should have photos and thorough descriptions to catch the customer’s attention. Highlight interesting or rare ingredients. Showcase what makes your special, well, special!

Avoid clutter in your digital menu board designs

With all the freedom that TV menu boards provide, you may feel tempted to add tons of pictures or videos of each dish, or multiple animations of your chef cooking.

These aspects — if used sparingly — can provide a great addition. But sometimes, less is more.

Choose a select number of items to have pictures, probably the more unique ones that would benefit from a visual. You can still add thorough descriptions but probably can skimp on an intricate description of something like a Caesar Salad that customers will recognize. 

As far as food videos go, try not to put them next to too many food items as they can distract customers from reading the options. Lastly, you may want to avoid any animations outside of your logo.

A step-by-step design guide for making the best digital menu boards

To start designing digital restaurant menu boards, the first thing you will need to do is to get one or more menu screens with internet connectivity. 

While we will focus on TVs, this same info can be applied to tablets that you hand your customers. If you go for the TV, make sure to position it in a place with clear visibility and heavy traffic to get the most views.

The next step is to purchase TV menu board software that lets you design and upload menus. High quality digital signage software is even better because they incorporate features above and beyond menus and can help you market your restaurant further. 

While there are many options to choose from, the UPshow’s platform provides an entire digital experience for your customers, complete with not only menu templates, but over 500 entertainment channels, trivia, social, trackable QR codes and more to keep your customers entertained. 

Lastly, you will need a laptop, computer, smartphone, or tablet that you can use to manage your TV menu boards.

Using digital menu templates for restaurants, diners, and bars

One way to design digital menu boards is through the use of templates.

To do this with UPshow, start by logging into the platform. From there, start designing a new campaign with our fully-integrated Canva plugin. You’ll have access to hundreds of stock photos, videos and audio clips to make your messaging more engaging!

Add basic details like the menu’s name (e.g., Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner) and a description. Some types of TV menus for restaurants may require multiple screens, especially if you have many items or use a larger font. Make sure you balance font size, readability and the number of dishes. 

If you want, you can add category names for items (e.g., Appetizers, Entrees, Sandwiches or Desserts). Then, you enter the dish’s name, description, and photographs. Make sure to add the price and nutrition information as well.

You could make an interactive menu that customers can access with a QR code. If you choose this option, you can reveal the dish’s information when the customer taps its name.

If you have a specific theme in your restaurant, you can translate that to the menu with colors, background images and fonts. Try to keep everything readable.

Once you have the digital menu TV ready, you can schedule when it will appear on your TV. Finally, simply upload it to your TV, and you’re ready to go!

Back of house digital menu boards

Why would you ever put TV monitor menu boards in your back of house? After all, diners shouldn’t be in employee-only areas. 

Think instead of using your back of house “menu boards” to drive opportunities. If you’ve integrated the technology powering your menu boards with your point-of-sale (POS) system, you can display critical KPIs alongside your menu information.

Program your back of house TV menu boards to display alerts when you’re low on an ingredient. This is especially helpful for daily specials that are limited by supply. If you’ve run out of an ingredient, your back of house menu boards will immediately update, and servers will know not to tell customers about an unavailable special.

These TV monitor menu boards can also be used to track sales. If your restaurant wants to push a certain promotion, display sale numbers alongside the dish name. This will keep your servers informed throughout their shift, allowing them to be even more effective. Plus, if you also display the server with the most sales, you can use this to encourage a healthy spirit of competition among your staff.

Use UPshow to get the most out of your restaurant digital menu board designs

If you want to stay relevant in the restaurant industry, consider investing in UPshow’s content management software.  

Digital menu boards for restaurants help patrons to feel safe by making the menu hygienic and hands-free, in addition to increasing visibility and therefore sales.

As the modern consumer shifts from paper to screen, creating options for them to look at the menu on their phone or a TV will help you to attract and retain customers. You can even add games and trivia to keep your guests entertained - and purchasing - for hours.

UPshow lets you design restaurant menu boards using templates, engage with your customers on social media, host games, and provide entertainment with over 500 content channels.
To learn more about how a TV menu board can revolutionize your restaurant, contact us today to schedule a demo.

Make your restaurant or bar memorable with our Bar + Full-Service Restaurant Solutions

Recommended Resources
Digital Signage and 6 Other Creative Ways to Communicate Information to Employees
3 Ways Good Entertainment Improves Your Customer Experience
Why Back of House Software Matters: Operational Excellence

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