News Feature | January 26, 2015

McDonald's To Deploy Digital Menu Boards To Over 650 Locations

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer


New systems designed to enhance customer experience and lower business costs

McDonald’s is pulling out the stops to enhance customer experiences and lower their business costs by rolling out new digital menu boards at over 650 locations across the United States.

This summer, a case study demonstrated the benefits of digital signage for McDonald’s UK, and a pilot of digital menu boards there yielded higher traffic and higher tickets for the restaurants. 

According to the case study, the challenge was to improve the customer experience through better customer communication and engagement using digital menu boards.  These new signs were designed to raise the average transaction spend by highlighting specific offers and extending menu choices for consumers.

According to a press release, the McDonald's U.K. digital signage displays increased sales by as much as 11 percent on some items, and helped boost average transaction amounts, according to the case study. The new signage also allows stores to display a full menu range, create central content scheduling and distribution, and enable flexible, targeted promotions.

Now, McDonald’s has signed with AT&T*,  digital signage solution provider STRATACACHE, and digital signage display provider LG Electronics to provide a completely integrated digital menu board solution for McDonald's USA's business, according to a release. The hope is to see similar returns in the US as were seen in the pilot in the UK.

AT&T will be responsible for project management and connectivity for the Digital Menu Boards through an existing relationship whereby AT&T provides WAN, LAN, and Wi-Fi services in over 14,000 McDonald’s U.S. Restaurants.

STRATACACHE's ActiVia for Media 4.0 digital signage software will provide the dynamic merchandising solution for single and multi-panel menu board solutions, which allows restaurants to change menu board items, adjust pricing, daypart menus and promote special and premium items at will. STRATACACHE is also scheduled to provide all system operations, restaurant-specific content scheduling, remote monitoring and management and media players.

And LG will provide the DMB display technology with at least 5 47-inch-class, full-HD LED displays per location.  Since the systems are also Energy Star certified, they support McDonald's commitment to environmental sustainability. 

"Our customers are responding positively to our new menu boards. It is easier to see our great tasting food on a digital display," said Patrick Phalen, McDonald's vice president, U.S. information technology.

Digital menu boards are also become more and more necessary in order to provide required nutritional information resulting from healthcare reform.  The quick service industry was a particular target for the labelling legislation, according to a white paper by Stratachache.