After almost 4 years, the days are numbered before the FDA's nutritional information requirement takes effect for restaurant owners with more than 20 locations and vending machine companies owning more than 20 vending machines.
What does this mean? It means that menu items must also list calorie counts to educate their customers on the food choices they are making.
According to the FDA, Americans are eating and drinking about one-third of their calories away from home. The calorie labeling will be consistent nationwide and will be helpful to consumers, but might pose some issues for owners.
Even though it started in 2014, it's hard to believe that you will actually have to comply by May 7th. Have you planned? Have you prepared? Is your business ready to accommodate these changes?
Or are you drowning in the required changes, wondering how you will keep up with the ever-changing products, marketing strategies, on top of providing your customers with healthy options so the numbers don't scare them away?
You don't have to drown or struggle treading through the new requirements.
Your Life Preserver
Digital signage. Sounds simple enough, but do you really know how it can help?
Coffman Media, a leading digital signage integrator, partners with Signagelive, a cloud-based digital signage software program, to create, publish, and display stunning digital menu boards.
This platform provides you with the ability to edit and update content simply. Product descriptions, titles, pictures, pricing, and now nutritional information can be edited with ease.
You can even copy the menu board but change out the information for different items that are served on different times of the day or different days of the week. If you change up your recipes, the calorie count can be swapped out immediately.
You can utilize video content to enhance or up sell a dish or provide value. Once your customers are noticing calorie counts, their choices may lead them to make healthier ones. Videos of steaming coffees, melting cheese, or fresh sliced veggies can perhaps persuade them one way or the other to the featured items.
According to a new research review, diners choose meals that have between 8 and 12 percent fewer calories when the menus include information about their calorie counts. This information can even be edited, reviewed, and published using a smart phone, tablet, or PC to manually change in real time. This can be especially useful when multiple displays across multiple locations need updating. Changes can be made to one or thousands displays and branding maintained.
Along with this, you can update your inside menu boards as well as your drive thru menu boards. Since 70% percent of fast food sales take place at the drive thru window, it is pertinent that you are keeping up with the new requirements through all aspects.
Finally, the time and money spent on printing promotional static signage every time something changes or for new items, is astronomical. Not to mention the cost of designing new printed materials along with those changes and the charge for shipping and delivering those printed signs to all the locations you need to. Digital menu boards can change all of this.
Who wants to do this every time with the added feature of nutritional information? Money is just going right out the door.
The Big Kicker
One of the best offers that Signagelive's platform has is the ability to communicate with your POS system. When you have invested in a POS system that contains all of your product information, Signagelive has the technical knowhow to connect your data to the software, enabling fully automated digital menu boards.
When you make a change within your POS system, (think pricing, product, images, calories, etc.), it will communicate through Signagelive's API (Application Program Interface) and your menu board will react and show the changes automatically.
Now that is getting the most use out of both worlds and creating less work for yourself in the long run. It also allows you to stay compliant with the new FDA requirements without pain.
Coffman Media has the ability to connect your establishment with a customized solution consisting of the hardware, software, and unmatched service that you need to keep your business moving full steam ahead, even when there are lawful changes that occur.
As this blog goes live today, the Coffman Media team, along with the Signagelive team, is actually in Orlando, Florida at the Marco's Pizza's Annual Convention. They are sharing with Marco's Pizza Franchisees all of the benefits that digital menu boards and the Signagelive platform offer. Benefits such as those mentioned above: keeping up with the nutritional requirements, simplicity of edits and changes, cost efficiency, upselling items, multiple displays across multiple locations and more.
To find out how you can benefit from digital menu boards or digital signage for your vending machines, click the link below for a free consultation.