Why TV Screens Don’t Work As Digital Menus

“Can’t I just purchase a TV, plug in a jump drive, and run my menu using Power Point?”

This is one of the most commonly asked questions we receive about digital menus at WAND Corporation.

Sure, this approach – jump drive and TV screen – may work for some very small restaurant operators, but it is definitely not a feasible, long-term solution for multi-unit restaurant concepts or restaurant operators who desire worry-free, reliable equipment in their restaurants. If you want to use digital menu technology, investing in commercial grade screens is key. Here’s why…

Commercial Grade Screens vs. TV Screens

Built to last.

The old adage “you get what you pay for” doesn’t break down when we talk about display technology. Consumer grade displays (TV screens) only need the appropriate components to allow for 20,000 hours of operational time before failure to receive a UL listing (UL is ISO standards for display technology), whereas a commercial grade display generally needs to provide 3 times that amount. Looking at this as a value proposition, this means you’ll go through 3 of those “cheaper” displays (TV screens) in the same span of time as you would with just one of the “more expensive” (commercial grade screen) options. In the long run, the cheaper option could end up costing you more than investing in a quality commercial grade screen from the get-go.

TV Screens Aren’t Built to Withstand Heat and Grease.

One thing we all know about the restaurant industry is it gets hot and greasy fast. TV screens are made to be viewed from the comfort of our temperature-controlled living rooms and aren’t designed for the heat and grease of a QSR or Fast Casual restaurant. As a result, TV screens aren’t likely to last longer than a couple of years in a restaurant setting. Commercial grade screens, on the other hand, will last 5-7 years and are designed to withstand the conditions of QSR and Fast Casual restaurants.

TV Screen Warranties do Not Cover Commercial Use.

Most TV screen warranties clearly detail that commercial use of the TV screen falls outside of the product’s warranty. Even if this isn’t the case for your TV screen, warranty repair work often requires that the owner bring the screen in for repair service. Imagine having to manage the take-down and transport of your TV screen during an extremely busy day. (We all know that issues only arise on really busy days!) Not only that, but how well will your business operate with only a portion of your menu on display? Most commercial grade screens, in contrast, offer a warranty program to cover repairs and ship and install a replacement or temporary screens when issues arise. For example, WAND’s TechProtect guarantees next business day system repair or replacement, giving customers added peace-of-mind.

TV Screens Have Too Many (Unnecessary) Settings.

Regular TVs have lots of different settings that can be used to control color, brightness, channel labels, inputs, etc. If you’ve ever accidentally stumbled into the settings menu on your TV and somehow turned everything green you know what we’re talking about! A restaurant manager may become extremely confused on how to set or adjust the TV settings properly to display their menu boards. Likewise, an employee may unknowingly change the TV screen settings and not know how to resolve the error. These situations are frustrating and unfortunately, all too common. Commercial screens, however, include a special user interface that allows the operator to set up the screens and ensure they are programmed to accurately display the menus.

Want to learn how WAND can help your restaurant grow? Visit our digital menu boards page, or reach out directly:

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