Ever wish you could engage students and get them more excited about your meal program? Have you tried to educate your students on where their food comes from but feel like your efforts fell short? Have you struggled to relay a menu change before your students lined up for lunch? If any of these scenarios sound familiar, then digital signage might be the missing link in your school’s meal program.

Digital signage can be extremely effective in school cafeterias to:

  • Display the most current menus
  • Communicate menu changes
  • Promote new foods
  • Educate students
  • Make announcements
  • Highlight events

Using beautiful templates like the ones that Nutrislice clients have access to, your school can implement digital signage to encompass all of these things and more using a rotating presentation that students see while walking the halls, waiting in the cafeteria lines, or sitting in the cafeteria enjoying their food.

We recently talked to one of our own clients to discuss how easy and effective it can be to implement digital signage in schools. Let’s take a look at their experience…

Meet Dallas Independent School District

Dallas Independent School District (DISD) is one of the largest school districts in Texas with 239 schools, 157,000 students, and over 40 million meals served per year. With the help of Nutrislice, they decided to implement digital signage into their meal programs in order to better engage and educate their students.

DISD chose Nutrislice because our platform made it easy for their Nutrition Services team to integrate with their school menus, update the signage for all of their schools from one central location, and make “on the fly” changes to the menus displayed on the screens.

How Digital Signage Is Used at DISD

DISD has over 400 screens across all of their schools. They use different presentations for elementary, middle, and high schools so that they can cater the language, topics, and reading level accordingly.

One of the main reasons that DISD implemented digital signage was to educate students on their innovative farm-to-table concepts and make them aware of the sources of their food. They do this by showcasing different food items and displaying images and information about the farms from which these items are sourced.

DISD also runs a “Harvest of the Month” program, in which they highlight a new fruit or vegetable that a student might not otherwise be familiar with, such as purple cauliflower. They teach students about the lifecycle of that food from seed to vine and try to inspire them to try these healthy new food choices.

Another way that DISD capitalizes on their digital signage program is by advertising new menu items to get the students excited about additions to the menu before they’re served. They find that this “pre-promotion” encourages more students to order and try items they might otherwise never have thought about.

DISD gets presentation ideas from students and staff. Sometimes they want to highlight a cause or an upcoming event, like Jump Rope for Heart, in addition to promoting the school’s meal program. One school even put tips for test taking on their school’s signage. The possibilities are endless so feel free to get creative!

Tips to Implementing a Successful Digital Signage Program

Nutrislice has plenty of templates for clients to choose from, but in addition to these, DISD has had good luck getting content from their vendors. They’ve found that the vendors welcome the opportunity to showcase their foods, so they are willing to put together slides for DISD’s presentations. Consider asking your vendors to contribute or create content for your digital signage.

Another tip we got from DISD was to spread out the screens so that students get to experience it throughout their day – while they’re in the halls, in line, or sitting in the cafeteria. If students can easily see the up-to-date menu, they are less likely to hold up the line trying to decide what to order.

A good digital signage program integrates images of the school’s actual food into the presentations. So, take time to take or get quality images of the food your school serves. Sight is the first sense that is triggered when eating, and great images can encourage students to order certain foods.

Just like DISD does, it’s a good idea to highlight fruits and vegetables to get students excited about eating healthy. As a bonus, parents and teachers will appreciate your efforts to encourage kids to choose "brain foods!"

You might want to consider creating different signage for elementary, middle, and high school because the students’ comprehension levels and interests are so different. Be sure to gear the messaging to grade level, but other than that, you can utilize the same content across your entire school district, which saves a lot of time.

A good rule of thumb is to update your content once a month. The great news is that when you make changes to your Nutrislice menus, your digital signage will update in real time – with no extra work from you or your staff.


Implementing digital signage in your school district can engage and educate your students in so many ways. Nutrislice makes it easy for school nutrition staff to create and upload presentations to many schools at once so you can “set it and forget it” for all of your locations until you’re ready to load fresh content. Take your foodservice program to the next level with interesting and innovative digital signage.