What do you do when your restaurant menu is too awesome to fit on just one screen? Go multiscreen! Here are some tips on how to create multiscreen digital menu boards.
Here is some software we will be using to manage this process.
- PowerPoint – PowerPoint handles the graphic portion of the multiscreen digital menu boards.
- Dynamic Wall – Manages multiscreen displays
- DataPoint – Connects the PowerPoint menu boards to your menu database
- iPoint – Controls which screen each digital menu is displayed on and manages scheduling
Step 1: Design Your Menu in PowerPoint
We recommend using PowerPoint for digital signage because it is so easy to use that any of your computer-literate staff can update it. Most businesses already have access to PowerPoint or it is available at a low cost. Not a designer? Download one of our free digital PowerPoint templates to start or have one of our professional designers create a custom PowerPoint digital menu template for you. Here are some tips to remember while creating your multiscreen digital menu boards.
- One Presentation Per Screen – instead of creating all the menus in a single PowerPoint presentation, move each of the menu slides to its own presentation. This will let you choose which menu will display on which screen.
- Menu Names – to make it easier to choose the right presentation for each screen, choose names for each presentation file that are easy to remember like coffee.pptx, desserts.pptx and sandwiches.pptx. These are more suggestive of what is on them instead of names like menu1.pptx, menu2.pptx and so on.
- Prepare for Data Connection – If you will be having multiple restaurant locations to update or you want to update the pricing in an excel spreadsheet or database, just put placeholder text and image boxes for menu items, item pictures and prices for now and you can connect them to your data source in the next step.
Step 2: Connect Your Menu To Your Menu Price List Database
To make it easier to update your menu and price list, you can keep all the data like item names, prices and pictures in a simple database or excel spreadsheet and then connect your menu to the data using DataPoint. DataPoint makes it easier to update your menus. If you change a price, picture or description in the spreadsheet or database, your menu board will automatically update. Alternatively, you can skip this step if you have a single location and want to edit the prices and images directly on the presentation.
Step 3: Managing and Showing Your Multiscreen Digital Menu Boards
Once you have your menu designed and connected to data, how do you display your menus on your monitors? There are two options to manage your multiscreen menus. If you have only a single location, you can use Dynamic Wall software If you have multiple locations to manage, we recommend iPoint. iPoint is digital signage player that lets you control which menu shows on which monitor screen. It works over the Internet so you can even control menus in your franchise restaurants coast to coast. You can make a single change in a price in your Excel spreadsheet in your main office and the change will automatically roll out to ALL your locations. You control how often the menus check for changes. iPoint not only lets you show your PowerPoint digital menu boards, it can also show other video or graphic advertising and messages you want to share. So iPoint works with non-PowerPoint media sources as well. iPoint downloads the latest menu version and stores it locally so that If the Internet connection is lost, iPoint will continue to play the last version of the menus. So losing your Internet connection won’t take down your menus.
if I have 5 monitors do i need to run 5 cat 5 cables to each IPoint box?
One option, or if the monitors are nearby then you could choose to use a multi monitor setup with a decent video graphics card.