Your business signage says a great deal about your business. When it comes to your menu boards, it can even define your brand identity.

Finding the right look for your restaurant is part of your branding challenge. So when it comes to menu boards: which is better between digital menu boards and traditional menu boards?

The low down on menu boards

Using menu boards is a great way to capture your customer’s attention. But if your brand uses traditional menus, is it worth making the switch?

Digital boards are sleek and modern, displaying additional content like animations that can enrich the customer experience. Information can be output to any size screen, making it easy to read, and you can update it fast.

Traditional static boards create a specific ambience. They can decorate and inform, are easy to install and are more affordable than digital signage. If your restaurant has a vintage vibe, then digital may not be the right fit.

Digital vs traditional

Digital has been a real game-changer when it comes to customer engagement and brand recognition. When you want to differentiate yourself from the competition, nothing works better than digital menu boards that attract the eye and tie your brand narrative together.

Here’s how digital and traditional menu boards stack up on several key factors:


Digital signage can be more cost-effective than traditional menu boards in several ways. Digitisation means there are no reprint costs when your menu changes. And integration with PoS allows staff to track inventory, helping you to prevent waste. LED technology keeps energy costs low to minimise your environmental impact.

If traditional boards fit the vibe of your restaurant, you’ll benefit from having no operating costs. Once installed, your menus will pretty much last forever.

Customer experience and engagement

For 74% of your customers, an easy to read menu is vital. But big, bright screens and readable texts are only half the story. Digital menu boards can entertain and distract your customers from waiting times, displaying animated GIFs or upselling items on your menu.

Bold digital signage definitely has the edge when it comes to engaging your customers with great visual content. With technology firmly embedded in every aspect of our lives, they deliver on a set of expectations. But a traditional board can still be the right choice for a one-off neighbourhood restaurant.

Ease of use

A digital menu board can be updated in a second and can be managed remotely from a smartphone. What’s more, information on menu items, opening times and more can be kept consistent across several screens.

With new government incentives to include nutritional information on menus on the horizon, digital is agile enough to let you respond to changes quickly. A traditional-style menu will need to be redrafted and reprinted, costing time and money. Both styles can keep information current and compliant, but digital signs win hands down for ease of use.


To compete, you need to innovate. And digital menu boards can help you maximise seasonal specials, promote upselling and widen your profit margins – all of which are great for your RoI.

On the other hand, a traditional board is a low one-off cost and could be just what you need to boost your small business.

What’s best for your business?

If you need restaurant boards for your business, should you go digital or stay traditional? At Treacle Factory, we can help you optimise innovative digital signage and menus or make the most of tried and trusted classic signs. Get in touch today, and the Treacle Factory team will be happy to help.

By |Published On: June 16th, 2021|

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