Your menu is usually the first bit of your restaurant or cafe that your customers interact with, whether that’s asking to see a paper menu, or scanning a QR code, or glancing up at your menu boards. Your menu introduces your business to customers and forms their first impression of you, which is why it needs to win their eyes and hearts right off the bat.
And when it comes to winning, dynamic menus have the edge over static every time. With digital menu boards you have the chance to engage and immerse your customers with your offerings in a way that print just doesn’t allow - with graphics, videos, animations, live updates, social media integrations, or QR codes.
The rise of cloud-based digital signage software systems has made the historically difficult & expensive switch to digital menu boards easier & more affordable than ever. It’s official - digital menus aren’t just for your McDonalds’ and Starbucks’ anymore.
All you need is a tool that lets you create, edit, update, and manage your menus and get them up on your TV screens. Enter Fugo.
Our Digital Menu App allows you to build your menu inside our design studio, ensuring it’s screen-ready and easy to publish - no commissioning a graphic designer, no annoying downloading & uploading your menu assets between softwares. No headaches when you need to call your IT or AV integrator to make a change for you.
You can create and launch your menus yourself - all from one tool. Here’s what building your menu in Fugo allows you to do:
Digital Menu App Features
- Design your menu - customize one of our pre-made professionally designed digital menu templates, or build it yourself from scratch in our design studio
- Impress customers with dynamic content - add 4K videos, gifs, animations, graphics, or QR codes to your menu
- Deploy your menu - launch and manage your menus across all your venues remotely
- Update in real time - remove items whenever they sell out or quickly make any needed tweaks
- Automate your day parting - easily schedule your menus to automatically switch for meal times
- Schedule like a pro - schedule special promotions or offers to display, down to the minute
Here’s how to create your digital menu board with Fugo
If you’ve already installed and paired your screen to Fugo, you can skip ahead to section 2: Build your digital menu board
1.Install the Fugo Player app to your screen & connect to Fugo CMS
1.1 In order to display your menus, you’ll need to be running Fugo on your screen(s.) Fugo is supported on most Smart TV and media player platforms - you can find our list of supported platforms and download instructions for each on our hardware page.
1.2 Once you’ve downloaded & launched the Fugo player app on your screen, you will see a PIN on your screen. You’ll use this PIN to pair your screen to Fugo.
Note: if you have more than one screen, you’ll need to download & pair Fugo to each of them individually.
1.4 After successfully logging in, you can click Add Screens on the Welcome page. Alternatively, you can navigate to the Screens page in the top navigation bar and click Create Screen.
1.5 Enter the PIN from the Fugo player window into the space provided.
1.6 To finish the pairing process, give your screen a name and add a location (this will allow you to quickly locate it on the map using our map feature.)
Congratulations, you’ve added your screen! Here, have this cake 🍰 to celebrate!
Now you’re ready to start working on your menu! We’ll cover that in the next section.
2. Build your digital menu board
Note: There are a few different ways you can go about creating your digital menu board in Fugo. You can start from scratch by clicking on Studio in the top navigation bar and using the various elements available in our design studio to build out your menu (that includes shapes, stock photo & video integrations, stickers, frames, your media library, animations and even apps!) But by far the most popular way to work on your menu is by starting with one of our digital menu board templates. They’re pre-built and super easy to customize with your own menu items & assets; so for the purpose of this guide we’ll be starting with a template.
2.1 Start by navigating to Templates in the top nav bar. Then find the Digital Menu Boards category and choose a template you’d like to work with.
2.2 This will open your template onto a new canvas in the Design Studio.
You’ll find the content settings and design elements panel to the left of your canvas. You’ll find several elements you can use in your menu such as your media, stickers, frames, apps, as well as photo and video integrations with Unsplash & Pexels that will allow you to search and insert stock media into your content.
A note about slides & publishing: in the slides panel to the right you’ll see this template has 2 slides. You can duplicate & remove slides, or add new blank slides. As is, both slides will be published to your screen once you add this content to a playlist and both will display in a carousel. If you have more than 1 screen & want to publish only 1 slide per screen, here’s how to do that:
- Remove any slide you don’t want until you are left with the slide you want to edit for screen 1.
- Edit until you are happy with the slide. Click Save & Close in the top right corner, then create & publish a playlist to screen 1 using that content.
- Go back to Templates and click on the template to create a new instance with it. Again, isolate the slide you want to appear on screen 2, edit until you’re happy with the content, then save and publish it to screen 2.
- Repeat for screen 3, 4, and so on.
2.3 This slide has 3 instances of the digital menu app (outlined in red.) Select one and click Edit Menu in the left-hand settings panel to start editing the items.
Note: using the settings panel to the left, you can edit the font, color, size, & spacing of your menu items. You can also make the menu instance transparent if you want to overlay it on top of a photo or colored background shape. You can add & remove dotted lines between your items & prices, and add/edit the border around your menu instance. And finally, you can add an animation to your menu instance.
2.4 This will open the menu modal in full screen. From here you can start editing your menu items. When you’re done editing your menu items, click Apply in the bottom right corner to save the changes.
Here are some things you can do with it:
- Add a menu name (think of it like a category name)
- Add & remove dishes
- Edit the dish names
- Add dish numbers (helpful if your menu is organized by numbers or combo numbers)
- Add descriptions of dishes
- Add up to 3 prices per dish (helpful if your dish has different sizing or portion options)
- Add an “Add On” (things like substitutions, extras, or calorie counts)
- Mark an item as Sold Out (which will remove it from the display, but will keep it as an item on your menu. Just toggle it off when it’s back in stock to return it to the display.)
- Add icons to your dishes to indicate dietary compliance, spiciness level, local ingredients, etc…
After entering your items, you have total flexibility to play with the menu design! Here's a quick round-up of the things you can do with the app design:
The menu app instances aren’t the only thing you can edit on the template.
Almost anything that appears in the template can be removed or edited - you have incredible flexibility and control over the content! Want to swap out fonts? Change the texts? Replace the stock images with your own photos of your dishes? Heck, you can change the menu to match the theme of your restaurant - pizza joint, mom & pop diner, hipster coffee cafe, you name it.
Check out some of the ways I've customized this menu:
VIOLA! I’ve now got a slick-looking custom pizza menu!
Now that I’m happy with my menu slide, it’s time to publish it! Click Save & Close in the top right corner. We recommend naming it something relevant to make it easy to find (for example, I’ve named mine “Screen 1 Menu” so I know what to publish, where.) You’ll now find your menu in your studio content on the Studio page.
3. Publish your digital menu board
3.1 Navigate to the Playlist page in the top navigation bar. Or hit the dropdown button next to Create and select Playlist.
3.2 Start by giving your playlist a name. I’ll name mine “Screen 1 Menu.”
3.3 You can add screens, content, or schedule in any order. For the sake of ease, I’ll start with adding a screen. Click Select Screens and choose your screen.
3.4 Now I’ll add my menu. Click Select Content and navigate to the Your Content tab to find your menu. Select your saved menu content and click Add in the bottom right corner.
3.5 If you don’t need to worry about scheduling and just want to get your menu up on screen right away, click Publish in the bottom right hand corner. This will publish your menu to your screen immediately with no end date.
3.6 If you want to get more advanced with your menu schedule, you can! Fugo allows you to get as granular as you want with your scheduling, including:
Playing your menu at certain times of the day (dayparting)
Playing your menu on certain days of the week (weekdays only, weekends only, or a combination of days)
Playing your content for a predetermined set period of time (this makes it easy to run limited time offers or holiday promotions.)
3.7 Once your schedule is set, click Publish in the bottom right corner and your menu will be go live according to your set run times!
Hint: If you ever need to come back and pause or edit your playlist, you’ll find it saved on your Playlists page. Click Pause or select Edit from the dotted menu at the right of the playlist panel.
Hack your digital menu board!
Go above & beyond to make your digital menus more dynamic, attractive & engaging with some of these hacks!
Add a QR code to your menu!
QR codes give your customers the chance to engage with more than just your menu! Use Fugo’s QR code app to:
- Drive downloads of your restaurant’s app
- Get customers following you on social media
- Show customers where to find you on delivery services like Uber Eats & GrubHub
- Encourage your customers to leave a review online or sign up to your loyalty progra
Add the local weather and time to your menu!
Fugo’s got an entire app store that comes with your subscription plan. Two of our most popular are the Weather and World Clock app. Devote a portion of your screen to displaying a widget for the convenience of your customers.
And because it’s so quick & easy to update your menu inside Fugo, you can even update your menu or offerings in real time to reflect the changes outside (London weather, amirite ?!)
It can be hard to find digital menu board software that’ll deliver the exact mix of tools you need to make your menus a reality. It’s something that Fugo aims to fix with its streamlined content creation and management process.
As a cloud-based CMS, Fugo makes it so that you can skip the time-consuming process of downloading your menu designs and struggling as you find a way to get them on screen successfully.