McDonalds Faces Challenges Head On With Menu Boards
McDonalds has come a long way since their flagship store. The menu has drastically changed and morphed into the set of foods we love today and the design has upgraded from a drive-up to a full blown restaurant. The menu boards have gone from a static sign to traditional print and now to digital menu boards. Many McDonalds are an array of technology when you go into the store now, which often leads you wondering “where do I start?”.
Rick Cook, senior manager of U.S. IT restaurant solutions at McDonald’s explained that they ran into a few challenges when they switched from traditional print to digital menu boards, while speaking at the Digital Signage Expo.
The goal for switching to a digital menu board was to improve the customer service experience throughout their U.S. locations. This would include deploying 40,000 screens and working with 45 agencies in an effort to localize the design, content and comply with FDA regulations.
The complications didn’t end there. After analyzing the implemented digital menu boards, there were 3 key issues that were identified:
- Regional owners have difficulty with nationally deployed demos
Traditionally, McDonald’s would contact regional managers with information on how to set up a national campaign. The challenge came in with a disconnect in the communications – managers missed the emails or the menu boards did not get changed properly. In an effort to end this challenge, McDonald’s utilized the digital boards to push the content to the stores so that regional managers did not have worry about setting the promotion up properly.
- Outdated GUIs
After the new digital menus were deployed, thy found that there were issues with the WYSIWYG GUI that complicated the real-time changes that were being implemented. As a result, they realized they should have upgraded the GUI before deploying the digital menu boards.
Change is scary and for a large organization, getting everybody on board with change can be a challenge. Cook noted that rather than force change, it would be best to ‘make sure senior leadership is championing the technology’. And that begins with communication.
The big takeaways for companies looking to upgrade to digital menus: communicate with the organization about the upcoming changes, updated GUI first and determine the best way to control the message moving forward.