Looking for a way to boost profits and customer satisfaction? Digital signage may be the right solution. By some estimates, digital signage has the potential to spark sales increases of about 5 percent, at a relatively modest price of around $1,500 for installations in small-scale restaurant and other foodservice operations. Such technology gives sales and customer satisfaction a boost by:
Attracting the attention of passers-by – The vibrant, flashing graphics and lettering that can be incorporated into digital signage go a long way toward drawing in customers who might not otherwise stop at a particular establishment.
Allowing instantaneous updates of menu boards and other communications vehicles, such as outdoor signage and posters – This saves on printing, design, and shipping costs. The ability to change the content of menus and other “collateral” on the fly also makes it easy to call patrons’ attention to specials; engage in upselling (especially when graphics are incorporated into the presentation); spark sales of slower-selling, but potentially profitable items by adding appealing graphics and/or adjusting prices; and minimize customer disappointment by removing sold-out items from the bill of fare before diners decide to order them.
Affording enhanced control over menus and pricing – Most digital signage systems offer the option of centralized control, ensuring that individual locations charge the correct prices and that all items yield or exceed the desired profits. Digital signage technology can also be programmed to change menus and pricing on a set schedule as well as to reflect different prices and showcase different offers that are tailored to individual markets.
Displaying fine-tuned targeted marketing messages and other information through cost-effective means and in a “buzz-creating” format (video and graphics) that typically captures customers’ attention far more effectively than static signage. This is the case no matter the type of operation. For example, quick-service and casual restaurants – as well as ice cream/yogurt shops, delicatessens, and similar establishments – can leverage digital signage to present menus with colorful images that spur add-on sales and help customers to decide what they might like to order. The technology may also be used to entertain patrons with video clips, which decrease perceived wait times and making the experience more pleasant.
More upscale dining spots might share reviews and information about chefs in discreet areas—e.g., in the corridor near the restrooms or behind the hostess stand. Sports bars can harness digital signage to promote the latest beers on tap and other specials, as well as to keep fans happy by providing the latest scores and game odds. Entertainment venues (e.g., nightclub and jazz clubs) might convey information about upcoming events and featured performers.
Enabling customers to easily obtain other important information about menu items, like calorie counts and nutritional information for individual offerings. In some locations, operators are required to disclose such detail—and doing so through digital signage can be the most effective means of compliance.
Giving patrons more control over the ordering process – Such control is provided when orders are placed via interactive digital signage on kiosks and affixed to tables.
Improving employee performance – During off-hours, digital signage can be pressed into service for training purposes. Enhanced employee performance leads to more satisfied customers.
Once found only in units of the largest restaurant chains, digital signage is now being embraced by foodservice establishments of all types and sizes. Given its reasonable cost and potential to take sales and customer satisfaction to new levels, the technology is well worth deploying.