“In a busy setting, do animation and sound in particular distract viewers from absorbing your messages, or do they help to draw attention? How much is too much?”
There is always the risk of “over-stimulation” when using all of the bells and whistles that a digital menu board can offer, which can result in total annoyance and avoidance by customers. Our best practice is to use a limited offering of animated promotions that are profitable and what we want our customers to see first and hopefully purchase. Typically, this means two and no more than four animated promotions on our four-panel system. Regarding audio as part of digital messaging, it definitely falls into the high-risk area of being annoying in a restaurant environment, where the staff needs to hear customers’ orders clearly for accuracy and the staff needs to be able to communicate with each other without needing to shout. With that said, we do not use any audio with our digital menu boards or promotional videos in our restaurants, and I believe this is typical for the QSR industry.