How to Set Up a Digital Menu Board for Your Bar or Restaurant
By Bryce Patterson
Digital menu boards are a vital tool for modern bars and restaurants. Offering clear visibility, easy customization, and tons of resources for showcasing your social media and the community around your business, a digital menu board is the 21st century tool your business needs.
A digital menu board can increase sales and bring customers back again and again, as well as improve your draw for special events. For many business owners though, making the shift from a traditional menu to a digital menu board can be intimidating.
A lot of you have asked us about the set-up process. What do I need to get started? Can I get set up without help, even if I’m not tech-oriented?
Don’t worry- the process is streamlined and user-friendly. We’ve put together a quick guide to get your digital menu board up-and-running at max capacity in minutes. Let’s get to it.
Digital Menu Board Set Up: Where?
The first decision you’ll need to make with your digital menu board is placement. Keep in mind that the technology you’re using can be fragile, so you’ll want to keep your menu board out of the way of grease and steam.
Start by asking: Where will my digital menu board be most visible for the maximum number of my customers? It can be helpful to sit at a handful of tables around your venue, as well as at the bar, to get a sense of the view from different areas and angles.
The size of your screen will have a big impact on placement as well. While a bigger screen can be seen from a greater distance, any kind of digital display will generally pop more than a regular printed or chalkboard menu. If you’re working with a smaller screen, you’ll want to place it somewhere that customers congregate when they’re ready to place an order.
From here, the biggest decision you’ll make is the orientation of your digital menu board. Depending on your unique space, you may find that a landscape or portrait orientation allows your screen to stand out more clearly; especially if you already have more than one existing television screen in your space. If you choose to use multiple digital menu boards, consider splitting your offerings across multiple screens while rotating in promotions.
Not sure what hardware to use to best showcase your offerings? Check out our roundup of the best budget TVs in 2019.
Digital Menu Board Set Up: How?
It can seem intimidating, but setting up a digital menu board doesn’t have to be complex. Evergreen’s software works off of a Raspberry Pi, essentially a really simple computer with ports to connect a keyboard, mouse, and an HDMI cord for the screen.
Right out of the box, your hardware includes an SD card programmed with all the data it needs to work. Double check that this is in the slot, then plug in the power and connect the HDMI input (also included) to your screen. Connect your mouse and keyboard to the USB inputs to start editing. Once everything is set up, you’ll be able to make updates from just about any device, including smart phones, tablets, and more.
Evergreen asks for your WiFi information before mailing the device, so once it’s turned on, it should connect to your network right away. If you have any wireless connectivity issues, check out our setup guide here. Once everything is set up, your device will check for updates every few minutes as long as it’s connected to the internet.
Your device also has an ethernet port, if you choose to connect to the internet this way. Simply plug the ethernet cord into your device and it should be good to go in about 60 seconds.
And that’s it! You’re ready to create your digital menu, promote your events, and increase your sales. It really is that simple. Download the Evergreen mobile app to control every aspect of your menu board from a single place.
Any questions? Our customer success team is standing by if you have any hiccups getting going, and we offer a huge range of resources to ensure your success.
Digital Menu Board Set Up: How Can I Optimize My Board?
A digital menu board is essentially a one-stop shop for sharing all the information a customer might want to know about your business. With that in mind, you’ll want to showcase a range of content along with your food and drink options.
Connecting your Facebook and Instagram accounts to your digital menu board is a great way to show off the community aspect of your restaurant or bar. This process is really simple- learn more here.
Events are a big money-maker for most bars and restaurants, and a digital menu board is the perfect way to drive interest and build up FOMO. For best results, include high-quality images and a little text to capture the interest of your patrons. Looking to start small? Check out these ideas for exciting, creative happy hours.
Do you have special seasonal options, rotating taps, or exciting new menu items? Highlighting these on your menu board is a great way to show that your bar or restaurant is always changing and evolving, which can drive repeat business.
Limited time offers and “get ‘em before they’re gone” specials are a great way to clear out excess inventory and drive extra purchases. Remember- 1 in 5 customers makes an unplanned purchase after seeing an exciting item or offer on a digital screen.
Ready to get started? Sign up for a free demo today.