How to Design Menu Boards for Greater Optimization

Posted Friday, June 09, 2017

KDM PHOTO: drive-thru menu board signage
KDM PHOTO: drive-thru menu board signage

MENU BOARDS are the most important graphic element within a Limited Service Restaurant (LSR) because they are critical to overall sales. LSR’s, which include Quick-Serve Restaurants (QSR) and Fast Casual Dining concepts, use menu boards for these vital roles once a guest has entered the store or the drive-thru:

  • Mainly, they spell out the menu offerings, including the basic ingredients
  • Through menu optimization, they can help drive up the average order size
  • They convey a brand’s desired experience
  • They can add extra advertising for special LTOs (limited time offers) and deals
  • And, as of May 7th, for restaurant chains with 20 or more locations, they contain the FDA mandated calorie count information so consumers can make informed and healthy decisions

Restaurant Brand Marketers and Store Operators should carefully consider every aspect of their menu board design to align with the total brand experience: from the materials used to the fonts and graphics.

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Tags: Fast Casual Dining , KDM POP Print Solutions , Quick Serve Restaurant , Signage & Graphics

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QSR Retail Design Trends Compete with Fast-Casual

Posted Monday, February 01, 2016

Arby's new store design:
Arby's new store design: "deli-inspired deliciousness"

In case you haven’t noticed, several major fast-food restaurant chains have undergone, or are undergoing, fancy transformations in the design of their retail environments- inside and out. McDonald’s, KFC, Wendy’s Arby’s, Chick-fil-A and others, are hardly recognizable these days. And, that’s a good thing.

Cheap, fast-food is no longer the lure that it once was. Today’s consumers not only want healthier, fresher food options, but they want an elevated dining experience - or, at least the impression of one. Fast-food restaurants, technically called Quick-Service Restaurants or QSRs, are meeting these demands to remain competitive with the rapidly growing fast-casual concept (think Chipotle and Panera). QSRs are refreshing, remodeling, or rebuilding their stores to incorporate a more upscale, sleek, modern dining experience that includes comfortable seating, flat-screen TVs and even fireplaces.

Blurred lines between fast-food and fast-casual

According to

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Tags: food service , KDM Retail , Quick Serve Restaurant

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New Trends in Fast Casual Retail Environments

Posted Friday, March 06, 2015

KDM Retail: Flagship store decor and fixtures [photo credit; Tom+Chee]
KDM Retail: Flagship store decor and fixtures [photo credit; Tom+Chee]

Trend insights from KDM Retail Design specialist, Mike Gavigan ~ 

The Limited Service Restaurant (LSR) category, which includes Fast Casual and Quick-Service Restaurants (QSR) made up about $231 billion in 2013. The 2015 projections for this category are only 4.3% nominal sales growth and 2.1% real (inflation adjusted) growth according to a forecast by the National Restaurant Association. As a result of this somewhat flat projection, food service operators will need to steal share from their competitors in order to grow.  In an effort to distinguish themselves, we can expect new menu innovations and renovations in the retail store environments.

A Look at the LSR Category

Fast-casual restaurants continue to gain market share while QSR’s are working hard to upscale their menu offerings and concept positioning in order to keep pace with fast-casual leaders.

Fast Casual Restaurants accounted for 15% percent of sales in the Limited Service category, and according to Technomic

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Tags: KDM Retail , Quick Serve Restaurant , retail design

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Cause Marketing: QSR’s are Leveraging Demand for Social Impact

Posted Friday, February 13, 2015

Some of the nation’s favorite QSR's (quick-serve restaurants) are attracting consumers by getting them involved in their philanthropic campaign efforts. They understand that people have a great desire to support brands that support social causes. According to a 20 year-long study by Cone Communications, today, 91% of U.S. consumers want to see more businesses give back in some way.

“In 1993, when Cone Communications first started tracking U.S. consumers’ attitudes toward businesses’ involvement in social issues, cause marketing was a nascent promotional strategy to gain competitive advantage. Since that first survey, corporate support of issues has exploded. U.S. consumers have steadily and increasingly deemed cause a differentiating factor not only in their purchasing decisions, but in determining which companies deserve their trust and affinity.”

The Cone study further states that [20 years later] “Cause is evolving in new and exciting ways…

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Tags: cause marketing , KDM POP Solutions Group , Quick Serve Restaurant

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Retailers are Cashing in on America’s Love for Coffee

Posted Friday, January 16, 2015

70% of Millennial coffee drinkers prefer sweeter, specialty coffee drinks
70% of Millennial coffee drinkers prefer sweeter, specialty coffee drinks

61% of Americans drink coffee every day. That’s more than soda consumption, at just 41%. It’s no wonder retailers are cashing in on our coffee buzz addiction. Restaurants, hotels, gas stations, convenience and grocery stores have all jumped on the band wagon. Quick-serve restaurants (QSRs) are ramping up their coffee offerings. Retailers are allocating more space to coffee sales and service. Gas stations and convenience stores are upgrading their coffee stations. Upscale coffee chain stores continue to pop up everywhere.

So how do Americans “take” their coffee?

Dark, bold, black, light, spiced, cold pressed, sweet, hot, cold, frozen... there are endless possibilities when it comes to getting your morning fuel. The National Coffee Association published a 2014 National Coffee Drinking Trends study that revealed some insight into who these 61% of Americans are and what they are drinking:

  •  Americans are shifting to gourmet coffee. It is being consumed by 34% on

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Tags: beverage , KDM POP Print Solutions , millennials , Quick Serve Restaurant

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