should we switch to fully digital or combination digital and printed menu boards
A major advantage of digital over print is you eliminate the cost and
difficulty of printing the content and getting it on the boards. It's much
easier, quicker, more effective and less costly to do it digitally, when all
costs are considered. If you switch to a combination board with both digital and
printed content you have just added another graphics system and not eliminated
the old. You've also added at least one more supplier and the need for another
area of expertise.
Most experts will agree that digital will eventually replace most of the static menu boards. So why delay the process? There's a huge amount of helpful technology that continues to be developed that will only work with digital menu boards. Most people that propose the combination boards think it's easier to make the switch gradually. If we had used that kind of thinking when the automobile replaced the horse and buggy, we'd still have horses hooked to our automobiles.
When we design a digital menu board system, one of the considerations needs to be our customer's plans for the future. We need to consider what works best now and is easy to make the changes or additions they'll need in the future. The combination board does not take this into consideration.
Every combination board I've seen installed or proposed was done by a former static menu board producer or influenced by someone from that industry. I think their desire to hold onto what has kept them in business for decades influences their design. I have to admit I spent many years in that industry but made the switch to digital several years ago because I believed it would be replaced by digital. We still need the actual menu board expertise from that industry