Modernizing Your Menu Board: Tips to Upgrade Your Signage

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Your menu board is one of the most important elements when running a restaurant, cafe, or any food service establishment. It’s often the first thing customers see when walking in, so your menu board needs to make a great first impression. An outdated or dull menu board can make your business seem stale, while a modern, eye-catching one can help attract new customers. Here are some tips to help you upgrade your menu board signage.

Evaluate Your Current Menu Board

Before redesigning your menu board, take a careful look at what you currently have.

  • What works well that’s worth keeping?
  • What feels outdated or no longer fits your brand?
  • Does it clearly showcase your offerings?
  • Is it hard to read or cluttered?

Be honest about what improvements would help your menu board better communicate with customers.

Choose a Style

There are a few menu board design styles to consider:

  • Digital Display

Digital menu boards have an ultra-modern, high-tech look. Additionally, they’re easily updatable with software and allow you to showcase photos, videos, and animations. However, the downside is higher upfront costs.

  • Chalkboard

Chalkboard menus have a vintage, rustic appearance and allow you to handwrite selections. However, chalkboards need frequent re-writing as offerings change.

  • Whiteboards

Whiteboard menus provide a clean, modern look and easy changes. But they can come across as low-budget compared to other options.

  • Shadowbox

Shadowbox-style menu boards frame printed pages behind glass. This provides an upscale, sleek look that’s also easy to update.

  • Print Signage

Professionally printed menu boards keep costs low. But options for creativity and interactivity are limited compared to other styles.

Focus on Layout

Your menu layout impacts how easily customers can find what they want. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Firstly, organize menu sections clearly. Group items like starters, sandwiches, entrées, drinks, etc.
  • Additionally, use divider lines, borders, and background color blocks to define sections.
  • List prices next to or below each menu item.
  • Keep descriptions brief but appealing.
  • Avoid cluttering with too many items or wordy descriptions.
  • Allow ample white space between items and sections.
  • Lastly, place hot specials, promotions, and high-profit items in prime spots.

Choose Fonts Wisely

Fonts subtly influence the vibe of your menu board. Consider:

  • Fonts like Arial are clean, modern, and easily readable. And fonts (like Times New Roman) feel more traditional.
  • Use font colors with enough contrast from the background.
  • Varied font sizes help distinguish sections and draw attention.
  • However, keep body text large enough for readability from a short distance.

Use Photos and Graphics

Relevant photos and graphics make your menu board stand out. They also give customers a preview of your food. Options include:

  • Appetizing photos of finished menu items
  • Ingredient or preparation process shots
  • Illustrations or clipart
  • Photos of your establishment
  • Your restaurant logo
  • Icons or graphics to define menu sections

Just take care that photos don’t feel outdated, cluttered, or cheapen your brand image.

Spotlight Specials

Draw customers’ eyes to hot specials, new items, or high-profit menu items by highlighting them on your board. Furthermore, there are ways to make them pop:

  • Firstly, place specials at the top or center of the board.
  • Use a contrasting text box or background color.
  • Increase font size or boldness.
  • Add graphics like stars, boxes, or banners.
  • Change color palette from standard menu text.

Add Interactivity

Some simple interactivity can boost engagement and readability. Options include:

  • Menu cards in clear acrylic holders that can slide in and out.
  • Additionally, a chalkboard where specials can be handwritten daily.
  • Digital display allowing scrolling, zooming, etc.
  • Demo videos of preparation techniques.

Match Your Brand

Your board should align with your overall brand identity. Use color schemes, fonts, wording tone, images, and material finishes that are cohesive with the rest of your space. Otherwise, a disjointed menu board that doesn’t match will undercut your brand.

Upgrading your menu board signage is one of the most impactful updates you can make. Following these tips will ensure your new board attracts customers and reflects your brand’s style. A modern, legible, and eye-catching board conveys quality and helps turn passersby into paying customers.

Testing Menu Board Changes

Once you’ve implemented a new or refreshed menu board, it’s important to test it out and tweak as needed. Don’t assume your changes will automatically work perfectly right away. However, be prepared to make adjustments to optimize your menu board’s performance.


In conclusion, your menu board is a vital part of your customer experience and brand image. An outdated or low-quality menu board can tarnish your reputation and cause you to lose business. So, taking the time to modernize your signage near me pays clear dividends.

However, with a refreshed menu board that engages customers and makes your offerings shine, you’ll be amazed at the difference it can make. 

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