As restaurant operators adapt to changing times, many are turning to digital menu boards as a way to promote their offerings.

Digital signage technology is moving into the restaurant industry at a rapid pace. More companies are looking to this new technology to replace their current menu boards and promotional materials inside and outside of their restaurants

Ready or not, digital menu boards are quickly becoming a major part of the quick-service and fast casual restaurant environments.

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Operators are increasingly realizing how effective digital menu boards can be in lifting their bottom line while increasing their overall market share.

What can be difficult to determine, however, is how long it will take for a restaurant to show a return on investment when deploying these digital systems compared to the traditional menu boards that are currently being used. Restaurants also are analyzing how this investment in technology will aid in meeting the upcoming menu labeling requirements.

Over the years, menu boards in restaurants have assumed many different forms. Some have used chalkboards with daily specials updated in bold swaths of dusty whites, blues and other colors. Others favored plastic letters slid laboriously into place, one after another.

Eventually, what many considered to be state of the art became a backlit panel that allowed for graphics, rotating numbers for prices and conveninent slots where whole items could be swapped out at a time