Five Creative Digital Menu Design Tips

A digital menu design displaying a hot dog, glass of beer, and french fries.

When it comes to designing your menu boards, the best place to start is with a solid marketing strategy that is consistent across your entire brand. That will allow you to better coordinate all of the corresponding activities as you’re generating content. Once your strategy is in place, here are five tips to consider as you pull together information for your design process:

1. Use Takeovers to Highlight Special Promotions

When you’re using digital menu signs instead of static boards, a big advantage is the ability to animate your boards and catch your customers’ attention. If you’d like to feature a special promotion or limited-time offer (LTO), consider creating a 10-second full digital takeover where all boards suddenly display content for the specified item.

For customers in line trying to decide what to purchase, a takeover with colorful graphics and even sounds (sizzling, bubbling, or clinking) may be enough to tempt their appetites and encourage them to purchase the highlighted item. When used properly, digital menu boards can positively influence one in five customers (20% or more) to purchase LTO items.

2. Incorporate Rich Media Like Animated GIFS and High-Definition Video

Digital menu boards were built for movement, light, and entertainment. You’d be doing them a disservice if you didn’t include animation to complement their capabilities. At least one board in your restaurant should be dedicated to running bright, high-definition video or high-resolution pictures.

When you use rich media to promote your most profitable menu items, you can capture as much as 10 times more eye contact than with static boards alone. This, in turn, helps boost revenues in your restaurants. How much revenue? Partner with WAND and your ROI is crystal clear: All enterprise-level customers are guaranteed a 3-6% sales increase when they team with WAND designers to create their menu content.

3. Place High-Margin Products on the Right Side of the Menu

Customers don’t read digital menu boards like a book. With a few exceptions, most usually start at the right-hand side of the menu, scan toward the left and down, and then back to the right again to see if they missed anything. This means that it (literally) pays to feature your high-margin products where they will receive the most attention. Other low-margin items, or selections that you know will sell anyway, can be listed in different spots on the board.

4. Utilize Callouts to Promote Product Upselling

Digital menu boards not only showcase the items you prepare in your restaurants, but they also allow you to create a customer experience tailored to the personal tastes of everyone who walks into your stores. For a sandwich item, you may design a callout that is placed next to the product and encourages the purchase of a drink. A pizza restaurant may use callouts featuring additional toppings that can be added for a nominal price. Callouts that are vibrant or even animated can better capture attention and help you increase the average ticket size.

5. Keep Digital Menu Boards Clean and Easy to Read

Everything that you include on your digital menu boards must have a strategic purpose. Boards that are too full, cluttered, or excessively animated are difficult for customers to understand. Instead of listing every item that you offer at your restaurants all at once, consider featuring your more popular items and rotating them with other products every few minutes.

This fosters menu clarity and reduces perceived order wait times by 15% or more, which helps enhance your guest experience. Blank space, when used tactically, can augment the overall performance of your boards. To avoid doing your digital investment a disservice, be sure that your digital menu boards are not exact replicas of your previous static menu content.

Let WAND Help Design Your Digital Menu Boards

WAND is the leading digital menu technology provider for multi-unit restaurant concepts. Backed by years of professional graphic design and animation experience, the WAND menu design experts are skilled at creating award-winning digital content that will give your menu boards the movement and appearance they need to represent your brand and engage your customers.


Partner with WAND for menu design that sells more.

Related Reading

Do More with Digital Displays

Scale your business, grow your brand, and delight more customers with the magic of digital menus and signs.