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Digital Menu Board Character Counts

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There are limitations regarding how long each Menu Category name, as well as how long each Menu Item name can be on your Menu Board. This document is to help you manage these limitations, and also outline the order in which you can expect to see your Menu Items appear on your Digital Menu Board, as per each individual layout.

In the image above, we can see that the word Appetizers has been broken into two lines. This word has 10 letters, which is, unfortunately, one character too long to be used as a name for categories 3, 4, or 5 in Layout 1. It will work with categories 1 and 2, which have a category limit of 11, however (in Layout 1).

Menu Item names also have character limitations. In the above example, the name Alabama-Style Spicy Chicken Wings was abbreviated to Alabama-Style Spicy Chicken. This is because in Layout One, in any of the three Menu Items in Category Five, the first line of the Menu Item name must contain less than 14 characters, and the second must contain less than 12.

This guide will help you avoid these caveats so that your Digital Menu Board will look fantastic.

Chapter 1. Price

This guide presumes that your Menu Item prices are going to contain fewer than 5 characters. 

In other words, this guide presumes that your Menu Items will be priced at 99.99 or less. If you are displaying prices of 100.00 or more, then your menu items may require shorter names in order to fit on the Digital Menu Board in some instances,  or changing the order of your Menu Categories in TouchBistro POS may also be a solution, because the longer the price is, the less space is available for the Menu Item name.

Chapter 2. Two Lines

Each Menu Category name and each Menu Item name can display on two lines when necessary. Where the line break will be depends on which of the five layouts will be displayed. In the tables below, you can get an idea of where the line break will be by taking note of the amount in the First Line rows, in the Maximum Character count column.

For example, in Layout One below, In the Category Five name First Line we have a Maximum Character Count of 9. So a longer name would end up being split into two lines. Which is why we can see the word Appetizers split into two lines in the image at the top of this guide.

If there are too many characters within a field, sometimes an ellipsis (…) may be displayed at the end of the word indicating that there is more text than can be displayed. In this instance, it is recommended that the Category Name or Menu Item name be abbreviated, or otherwise modified. In the above example, the Menu Category name Mouthwatering Masterpieces appears abbreviated with an ellipsis after the letter R in “masterpieces”. In this instance, we’d want to come up with a shorter name for this category, reposition it within the layout, or view it within another layout.

Chapter 3. Character Count Estimations as per Layout

Below,  we can see each layout displayed with numbered Menu Categories and Menu Items for each individual Layout. This will give you an idea of what you can expect to see when you enable Digital Menu Board.

Each layout is followed by a table featuring line-by-line character count estimations. Please bear in mind that these are estimations only, and results may vary, simply because some characters are wider than others. Just remember: Five M’s are much wider than five I’s.

Take a good look at your Digital Menu Board, and if words or letters aren’t displaying properly, or in a way that pleases the eye, you may wish to reduce the number of characters in the Menu Category name, or Menu Item name.

Your own good taste and intuition will serve you well. Just as it does when you’re making decisions about the food you serve your customers.

Section 1. Layout One

Field and corresponding line

Max. Characters

Category 1 Name – First Line 12
Category 1 Name – Second Line 13
Category 1 Menu Item Names – First Line 16
Category 1 Menu Item Names – Second Line 16
Category 2 Name – First Line 30
Category 2 Name – Second Line 29
Category 2 Menu Item Names – First Line 16
Category 2 Menu Item Names – Second Line 16
Categories 3, 4, & 5 Name – First Line 9
Categories 3, 4, & 5 Name – Second  Line 9
Categories 3, 4, & 5 Menu Item Name – First Line 14
Categories 3, 4, & 5 Menu Item Name – Second  Line 12

Section 2. Layout Two

Field and corresponding line

Max. Characters

Category 1 Name – First Line 12
Category 1 Name – Second Line 13
Category 1 Menu Item Names – First Line 16
Category 1 Menu Item Names – Second Line 16
Category 2 Name – First Line 30
Category 2 Name – Second Line 29
Category 2 Menu Item Names – First Line 16
Category 2 Menu Item Names – Second Line 16
Category 3 Name – First Line 30
Category 3 Name – Second  Line 29
Category 3 Menu Item Name – First Line 16
Category 3 Menu Item Name – Second  Line 16

Section 3. Layout Three

Field and corresponding line

Max. Characters

Category 1 Name – First Line 20
Category 1 Name – Second Line 20
Category 1 Menu Item Names – First Line 16
Category 1 Menu Item Names – Second Line 16
Category 2 Name – First Line 11
Category 2 Name – Second Line 0
Category 2 Menu Item Names – First Line 16
Category 2 Menu Item Names – Second Line 16
Category 3 –First Line 20
Category 3 Name – Second  Line 20
Category 3 Menu Item Name – First Line 16
Category 3 Menu Item Name – Second  Line 0

Section 4. Layout Four

Field and corresponding line

Max. Characters

Category 1 Name – First Line 20
Category 1 Name – Second Line 20
Category 1 Menu Item Names – First Line 16
Category 1 Menu Item Names – Second Line 16
Category 2 Name – First Line 20
Category 2 Name – Second Line 20
Category 2 Menu Item Names – First Line 16
Category 2 Menu Item Names – Second Line 16

Section 5. Layout Five

Field and corresponding line

Max. Characters

Category 1 Name – First Line 20
Category 1 Name – Second Line 20
Category 1 Menu Item Names – First Line 16
Category 1 Menu Item Names – Second Line 16

See Also

Setting Up TouchBistro Digital Menu Board
Creating a Curated Menu Specifically for Menu Board
Troubleshooting TouchBistro Digital Menu Board