Best Digital Menu Boards for Quick-Service Restaurants: WAND Digital vs The Howard Company

A close-up of a digital menu board showcasing signature salads.

Comparison of The Howard Company and WAND Digital Menu Platforms

If you’re looking to make the move from static menu boards to digital menu boards, you might be feeling overwhelmed by the number of options with which to outfit your quick-service restaurant (QSR) or fast casual restaurant. We’re here to help you sift through it all to figure out the best fit for your business. We’ve pulled together a handful of comparisons of the best digital menu platforms on the market for QSRs. In this article, we’ll compare WAND Digital’s menu system and The Howard Company’s.

The Howard Company is more like a consulting firm

First and foremost, The Howard Company is more like a consulting firm or middleman for brick-and-mortar businesses that have drive-thrus, like banks, car washes, grocery stores, restaurants, QSRs, etc. They manufacture hardware (such as illuminated menu boards and drive-thru menu boards and accessories), and they recommend procuring Samsung display screens. The biggest difference between WAND Digital and The Howard Company is that The Howard Company does not have their own digital menu software. They license content management software from Navori, which makes digital signage software for several industries, including retail, business/corporate, transportation, restaurants and more.

WAND is focused on helping QSRs and fast-casual restaurants grow revenue with dynamic digital menus

WAND is laser focused when it comes to digital menu solutions. Because we built the platform, we know our own technology inside and out and have a strong bench of developers evolving the platform and experts who will support you every step of the way. This also means we don’t tack on licensing fees. And though WAND is not a display manufacturer, we make display operating systems work better.

WAND Digital wants to help you eliminate the costs of printing, shipping, and merchandising associated with static signage. WAND’s tools and platform enable users to leverage dynamic digital signage to increase revenue by consistently influencing the buying behavior of guests. Food service, QSR and fast-casual restaurant owners and operators are able to adopt this technology quickly in the face of labor shortages and increasing competition to automate the menu updating process. In addition, WAND’s API feature seamlessly integrates with most third-party data sources (including your POS), empowering real-time data compilation and adaption to the unique needs of each of your locations.

The Howard Company manufactures static signage

The digitization of drive-thrus not only gives restaurants a competitive edge in an ever-growing industry, but it has also permanently changed how drive-thrus deliver clearer information, better experiences, and enhanced safety to customers when they need it most. Though The Howard Company can help you move to digital for your menus (using a third-party software), they still manufacture static signage, which will leave you in the dust when it comes to market competition.

On top of manufacturing drive-thru menu boards and accessories and static signage, The Howard Company also creates branding materials and merchandising articles for interior and exteriors of businesses, as well as consults on interior design. It’s a lot of extras with a lack of focus on going digital.

WAND software is designed for maximum performance

WAND is hosted by AWS and backed by an offline automatic playback system. WAND software integrates with POS systems like Revel, Toast, PAR Technology’s Brink (all leaders in the QSR industry) and more, so you have a single source of truth for powering, managing and revising your digital menus. We also understand that reliable hardware is a big part of ensuring your digital technology works well. So, WAND pros will help you procure industrial-grade digital menu boards for your drive-thrus that withstand the weather in any region and climate that your stores are located in as well as best-in-class displays for indoor food service.

In summary, The Howard Company will consult with you in getting all of your digital and static signage and accessories up, though you might end up with a hodgepodge of technology and non-digital signage and pay more due to consulting fees and markups on licensing and monitors.

Ready to get started with digital menu boards?

Disclaimer: All information was obtained from public sources on or around the date of publishing this article and may have changed since then. References to The Howard Company are for illustrative and educational purposes only. We are not affiliated with or sponsored by The Howard Company.

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