Digitally Delicious

Retailers adopt digital menu signage, letting them adjust price, menu items and more on the fly.

By  Abbey Lewis, Executive Editor

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“If one of [the displays] goes offline, I get a text,” he says. “And every morning we get a summary of what’s online and what’s not. We had instances where the menu boards or one of the floor displays [weren’t operational]. I’d walk into a store where maybe we lost power and we forgot [to reboot]. It gives me a heads-up so I can call the stores.”

Zaremba, who has the displays in his four locations with his Sandbar Sub Shop and Scooter’s Coffeeshop programs, determined that the $500 cost per display monitor is the same amount he’d previously spent screen-printing the menu boards. His next goal is to get interactive screens and menus at the pumps, so customers can order a sub or a cup of coffee while pumping gas. The item would be ready when they were done outside.

“Over the years, I’ve found that there’s a lot of things that happen out there and we always seem to be on the front edge of what is going on,” Zaremba says, in reference to the digital menu boards in his stores. “This is one of the times where the technology has caught up to what we need. I love them.”

But for all his affection, the boards don’t garner much attention from the customers. And that’s OK.

“We put the first ones in probably eight to 10 months ago. You don’t get a lot of feedback,” he says. “It’s like displaying the American flag. When I have the flags at the locations, no one notices unless they’re tattered. You have the menu boards up, the only time you hear is if they’re off. That’s the kind of interaction you want.”

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