Trying to get customers to try new items at quick-serve restaurants (QSRs) can be a challenge, with commoners either hesitant, not finding the items appealing, or are completely unaware of new menu items. However, McDonald’s has utilised digital signage to push new items on its menus.

The three different types of customers at QSRs can be narrowed down to those who only want the tired and tested items, those who will always try something new, and everyone else who falls in between. It can pose a risk for QSRs to introduce new items, as they can be a huge hit or a massive failure.

Presenting customers with new options can also be problematic in drive-thru QSRs, where often customers already know what they want, and pay no attention to displayed menus. However, McDonald’s are implementing AI to their digital signage to adapt menus in real-time for incoming customers.

One McDonald’s in the US is trialling a simple and effective way to push new items to customers who are either unaware or not interested in new items.

The global QSR branch uses an outdoor digital menu board with two content areas. Most of the board is taken up by the menu, but in the lower-left corner, there is an order confirmation section, displaying the customer’s order, any requested customisations, and the total price.

However, the confirmation section also features a different message before the customer even places an order – ‘If we don’t ask you about our chicken sandwiches, it’s free on your next visit!’

This references McDonald’s new crispy and spicy chicken sandwiches, which is the QSR’s attempt to compete with other US QSR’s, Chic-fil-A and Popeyes, known for their chicken sandwiches.

There is a certain genius to this advertising tactic, as, first of all, the menu board does feature the chicken sandwich prominently, but as mentioned, some customers may not even look at the menu, knowing what they want to order ahead of time, and may only look at the digital signage to view the order confirmation section.

Secondly, the menu board presents an opportunity for free food, which no one is likely to turn down! It will ensure that customers become active listeners, checking that the employees mention the offer or not.

Thirdly, this then acts as a training program for employees, since customers will remind the employee if they do forget to mention it.

The final point is that the menu board presents a clear call to action, either to return to claim their free chicken sandwich or to try it for themselves.

All this is accomplished with a single sentence in the lower left-hand corner of the Digital menu board, proof that digital signage need not be complex or complicated to be effective. It simply needs to attract the attention of the viewer, and present them with a clear call to action.

Do these two things and your signage is far more likely to succeed.

If you’re looking for digital signage companies, get in touch today.