Digital signage can improve any space in many ways but one of the areas this technology really excels in is restaurants. Digital menu boards and signs modernize and update restaurant interiors and exteriors. More than that, they also help create efficiencies in the overall operations of any restaurant. There are several reasons you should consider utilizing digital signage to make your restaurant as appealing to customer as the food you offer!
Let’s explore some key reasons digital signs help restaurants and what this can mean for your business.
Quicken the Ordering Process
One of the great things of digital signage is that it can allow customers to order directly from the display list. By adding concise but informative descriptions, even pictures of some items, you help the customer make an informed decision quickly. 74% of interviewed customers said they would prefer an easy-to-understand menu to be displayed at all times.
Along with improving overall speed of service for your customers, it also reduces stress on staff members who may have been trying to do too many jobs at once. Less stress could potentially improve employee retention and reduce costly turnover. That makes restaurant digital signage a potential win-win-win for you, your customers, and your team.
Easily Update Pricing
Digital signage is user-friendly technology, which means that it’s easy to use. And this ease of use allows pricing to be updated within minutes. In situations where your restaurant may have run out of a product or pricing needs to be updated quickly, a digital menu board or sign will allow you to take control of the situation without having to reprint an entire menu.
Eliminate Printing Costs and Coordination
Almost every restaurant faces challenges when it comes to printing paper menu cards, posters, or restaurant cards every time a new item is added. That’s a problem because innovation and offering new products is integral to a restaurant’s success. With digital signage, though, every little (or not little!) menu change can be updated immediately. This provides you with consummate flexibility, while also eliminating costly printing expenses and coordination.
And, as we noted just a moment ago, your team can easily remove any sold-out items, or indicate them as being sold out, on a digital menu board. This helps reduce customer frustration with having to be told that what they hoped to enjoy is no longer available. Further, it can help waitstaff immensely because they won’t need to go back and forth to tables once they learn that any items are out for the rest of the evening.
Conveniently Share Product Offers
Using your digital signage to convey current product offerings will help keep them relevant and informative. By showcasing your current specials, promotions, or happy hour menu, you can inform customers easily of what is currently going on with your restaurant. This helps reduce the number of questions your waitstaff has to answer. Done the right way, it can also increase excitement from customers for your current promotions while they are waiting to place their order.
As a bonus benefit to you, your digital signage makes it easy to indicate when a product offer has expired. Instead of having paper offers out there that might no longer be valid, your digital signs can simply remove the offer once it has run its course. This avoids the situation where a customer expects to take advantage of a promotion that has expired, becomes frustrated or angry, and then rants about your restaurant on social media.
Improve Social Media Interaction With Customers
Speaking of social media, incorporating digital signage in your restaurant allows you to showcase your social media accounts with customers. By creating content that enables them to share experiences with you, you can then turn around and share it on your in-store digital signage. (You might want to check with them to ask if it’s cool that you do that. Most people are happy to share, though!)
This level of interaction and engagement with your establishment is a positive experience and can help your restaurant’s branding. If you need proof, just check out what the major fast-food chains are doing in this area nowadays!
Use Interactive Kiosks to Reduce Stress on Staff
It’s no great secret that faster transactions and processes lead to greater profitability. You can increase efficiency, while that the same time reducing staff stress, when your team can focus on a single job (preparing food items and beverages) instead of having to multitask by also taking orders. And while the benefits for your team and bottom line are nice, don’t look past the fact that interactive kiosks can help customers get their items more quickly. This creates a positive experience, which can lead to invaluable repeat business and word-of-mouth referral!
Show Off Your Products
Humans are highly visual by nature. And what was once an essential sensory function for survival has stayed with us in our modern life. You should keep this in mind when deciding how to showcase your restaurant’s offerings.
Digital signage and menu boards give you an opportunity to entice customers by showing beautiful pictures of your drinks, appetizers, and entrees. While this is something that has been done for seemingly ages in printed menus, your digital technology can allow you to have crystal-clear images and update them with remarkable ease. When you do, you give your customers a preview of what they could enjoy, and this helps them make their selections. Providing examples also takes a lot of guesswork out of what may be coming to their table and gives your waitstaff some valuable time back because the customers won’t need as much time to decide on their orders.
Reduce Perceived Wait Time for Your Customers
We’ve seen ways that digital signage can improve efficiency so that your customers receive their orders quicker than with outdated methods. That’s certainly important, but we don’t want to discount the importance of perceived wait time. A fifteen-minute wait while watching engaging, entertaining content is a different experience than waiting for the exact same amount of time in a boring venue.
For that reason, having a digital presence can make a huge impact for your restaurant. You can have a digital display that offers a wide array of content like sports, current news, or anything else that customers will find interesting. This is becoming increasingly important as our collective attention spans seem to be getting shorter.
Share Time-Sensitive Content at the Right Times
Digital signage allows your restaurant to share anything at any time, down to the second. This means you have total control over what content is shared when, and how often it is viewed by your customers. So, for example, your team can use the accompanying software to share happy hour specials only when your happy hours happen during the week. And that keeps customers from being confused or frustrated by an experience that doesn’t align with their expectations.
Keep Customers Informed About Their Wait Time
Even if we weren’t talking specifically about restaurant digital signage, customer experience is obviously paramount for your business. An important consideration in that is meeting (or exceeding!) their expectations. Wait times can be a source of customer frustration, and even more so when they don’t know what to expect. Of course, it can also be frustrating for your team when they repeatedly are asked questions about how long things are taking.
You can proactively alleviate frustrations for all parties involved by integrating a wait time widget into your digital signage. This is simply one example of the potential integrations we offer to clients to improve and enhance customer experience.
Content Will Easily Stay Relevant
At best, outdated content is a nuisance. More likely, though, it is a problem for you and your staff. A solution that more and more restaurants are starting to utilize is putting content on digital displays, menu boards, and signs.
When you have digital signage in your restaurant, you can change content with the press of a few buttons. The great thing about this is that when you need an update, it can be done in a matter of minutes. This gives you and your team the flexibility to try new things or offer special items, all without worrying about having to reprint materials when innovative offerings run out or don’t perform as well as expected.
Get the Most From Your Restaurant’s Digital Signage
Your restaurant’s digital signage network can add a huge element of modernization to your space. Even better, it gives your staff valuable time back and improves the customer experience. Your team can be more efficient and run faster, while at the same time you give customers great insight into your product offerings.
Freshwater Digital has been deploying digital signage networks in restaurants for over a decade. We use our technical and creative expertise to help clients like Meijer, SpartanNash, and restaurants across the country. If you’d like to check out examples of our work, simply click here.
Ready to Take the Next Step?
If you are interested in deploying a digital signage network in your restaurant and creating the perfect strategy to get the most out of it, feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com. We are ready to create the ideal content to help your staff get valuable time back and make sure your customers have the best possible experience!
Author: Lauren Hoffman
Ads2Grid (2020). 2020 Digital Signage Trends and Statistics. Ads2grid. https://ads2grid.com/2020/09/17/2020-digital-signage-trends-and-statistics/
Elizabeth, R. (2021, Oct. 8). 2020 Digital Signage Trends and Statistics. FastCasual.com. https://www.fastcasual.com/blogs/are-digital-menu-boards-right-for-your-business/