How to Choosing the Right Menu Board for Your Restaurant

A lighted menu sign is a must-have item in any quick-service restaurant or cafe. Not only does it help your customers make a selection, it encourages upselling when your entire menu is easily visible and stands out. Choosing the best sign and maintaining it properly are the keys for a successful menu and advertising campaign.

Fixed Menus

The type of sign depends on your product rotation and prices. Restaurants that rarely adjust prices or rotate out offerings can easily use a fixed menu board. Options for fixed menu boards include:

  • Lighted box signs with pre-printed offerings. These are lighted from behind, allowing you to switch out the menu board without changing the sign fixture whenever a change is necessary.
  • Printed boards. These signs require full replacement if there is a change. Since they use exterior lighting, such as track lighting, only the board itself requires replacement.

Easy-Change Options

If your restaurant rotates special offerings or changes the menu often, you need a cost-effective signage option that lends itself well to frequent updates and changes. Your options include:

  • The standard lighted box sign with preprinted inserts. You will need to order new inserts each time there is a change.
  • A standard box sign with removable item or price strips. These allow you to make minor updates without replacing the entire insert. Choose these if you only make minor changes, such as to prices or changing out a daily or monthly special.
  • Digital signs. Digital signs can quickly be updated on site with just a few key strokes. Choose this option if frequent changes or specials are a common practice.
  • Vinyl or cardboard signs with exterior lighting. Similar to box signs but without built in lighting. You will need to replace these as your offerings change.
  • Lighted blackboard signs. These are popular in cafes, bars, and coffee shops. You simply write the menu out with special neon or white erasable markers, so the finished menu board resembles a chalkboard. Once installed, the only cost is replenishing the marker supply.

Sometimes, a combination of menu board types is the best and most cost-effective method. For example, you can combine standard box or board signs with a single digital sign for daily and monthly specials. Or, you can have your main menu printed to resemble a blackboard, and then use a lighted blackboard for the specials. Plan ahead before you order your signage so you won't be stuck with frequent replacements, or an outdated and unattractive menu board. Learn more about your options through resources like Hightech Signs.