How to Increase Restaurant Revenue With Digital Signage
The restaurant business is highly competitive, and for that reason, it is imperative that restaurants make use of the best strategies for increasing the restaurant’s revenue available. One of the greatest technologies available for increasing restaurant revenue is digital signage, which has taken the restaurant business by storm.
Digital signage is such a potent tool for restaurants because it is highly versatile and can be employed in a variety of ways that increase foot traffic, optimize in-store marketing, improve the customer experience, and ultimately, increase a restaurant’s sales and revenue. Moreover, with such a versatile tool, the opportunities for employing the technology in creative ways that best fit your business are countless.
In this article, we will go over the basics, such as explaining what digital signage is, as well as the software and hardware needed to integrate a digital signage system into your establishment. After this short introduction to digital signage, we will go over some tried and true methods that restaurants can use when employing digital signage to successfully increase revenue.
What is Digital Signage?
Digital signage refers to the use of digital displays, such as televisions, LED walls, billboards, and tablets, paired with digital signage software and hardware, to display digital content.
The types of content that you can display with digital signage are many and varied. They include eye-catching images, social media walls, videos, animations, interactive content, wayfinding displays, apps, calls to action, digital menu boards, digital art, and so much more.
What is Needed for Digital Signage?
The first step for setting up a digital signage system in your restaurant is to get a digital display. One part of digital signage that cannot be ignored is that in addition to the many types of content that can be displayed on digital signs, there are countless types of digital screens that are compatible with digital signage solutions.
From televisions, to smartphones, to kiosks, and even to billboards, the options are endless and allow you to strategically employ digital signage in many different forms around your restaurant to ensure the best success.
In addition to a digital display or multiple digital signs, you will want to get wall mounts for these signs. Mounting your digital display ensures the greatest visibility for your customers so that the information displayed is easily apprehended. Additionally, wall mounts save valuable floor space, and with the exception of digital signage kiosks, look much more professional than digital displays on the floor.
The final piece to the digital signage puzzle is a high-quality digital signage solution. Digital signage solutions are typically divided into cloud-based digital signage solutions and hardware-based digital signage solutions.
With cloud-based digital signage solutions, you will use internet connectivity and an off-base server provided by the digital signage solution company of your choice to manage your content, create content, and ultimately display your content on your screens. While cloud-based digital signage solutions appeal to some, they can be quite expensive since the digital signage solution company will usually require monthly or yearly payments for their services.
The other option is hardware-based digital signage solutions. With these, you will receive a digital signage media player with the software and templates needed for content management, content creation, playlist curation, and content display.
These will typically be a single upfront cost. However, companies like loop offer a free hardware-based digital signage solution that can compete and even exceed the functionality of the best of both cloud-based and hardware-based digital signage solutions.
How to Use Digital Signage to Increase Restaurant Revenue
1. Increase foot traffic with eye-catching displays
How many restaurants do you pass by without even giving them a second look? It would surely be hard to provide an exact number, but most likely the number would be quite large.
One of the hardest parts of running a restaurant, and also one of the most important components to a restaurant’s success, is getting people in the restaurant. With so many restaurants available, it is necessary to make your restaurant stand out from the crowd.
The fact is, people are so used to seeing static signs that it is simply too easy to ignore them, and even when they do take notice of them, they are usually soon forgotten. This is where digital signage can make a huge difference.
Digital signage offers you the functionality to make highly visually pleasing and eye-catching displays. Unlike a static sign with static text and static images, digital signage allows you to display vibrant images, videos, animations and so much more.
You might want to include videos of the food being made or images of the best food that your restaurant has to offer. Or maybe you want to display messages that make reference to the current time of year or even the weather for that day.
The opportunities for catching potential customers’ attention are truly endless, and this will increase the foot traffic coming into your restaurant. Moreover, with such visually pleasing displays, your restaurant will be much harder to forget, so even if people do not immediately come into your restaurant, they will be much more likely to think of your restaurant the next time they are trying to decide where to eat.
2. Digital menu board
One of the best applications of digital signage for a restaurant is installing a digital menu board. There are simply so many benefits of making the switch from paper menus to digital menus or augmenting paper menus with eye-catching digital menu boards.
With digital menu boards, you can present your menu in a much more visible and visually pleasing way. Your menu items can be accompanied by mouth-watering images of your food.
Moreover, unlike paper menus, you can easily change your menu, whether it is a change due to the time of day or a more permanent change. Before digital menu boards, you would have to reprint your menus if you made a menu change but with digital menu boards, you can change your display in a matter of minutes.
One of the greatest benefits of digital menu boards is that it improves customer experience significantly by reducing real and perceived wait times. The worst part about going to a restaurant is waiting in line. With digital signage, you can reduce the perceived waiting time by providing them with a digital menu board that is entertaining to look at. Time goes by a lot faster when one is entertained.
Moreover, digital menu boards can reduce real wait times in addition to perceived wait times. With a digital menu board clearly displaying your establishment’s offerings, people will be able to make up their minds about what they want to eat and drink much faster. This reduces the amount of time a customer will spend at the cash register.
The result of this is a more efficient and timesaving flow which will reduce the amount of time your customers have to wait in line. An improved customer experience will increase the number of repeat customers to your establishment, and loyal customers are the bedrock of successful restaurants, not in the least because they increase sales and revenue.
3. Digital Signage Kiosks
Digital signage kiosks are interactive digital screens that, when employed in a restaurant setting, can allow customers to order without speaking to someone at the register. With a digital signage kiosk, you can have all of your menu items at your customer’s fingertips, where they can make all of the changes and special requests with ease. Moreover, some digital signage kiosks allow customers to pay at the kiosk right after ordering their food.
In terms of reducing wait times, there is little better than a digital signage kiosk. Most restaurants that implement digital signage kiosks have multiple kiosks so multiple customers can order at the same time.
Not all restaurants will want to employ digital signage kiosks. There are certain restaurants that benefit from the waiter model. However, other businesses, especially those in the fast-food industry, where the service of a waiter is minimal, can make great use of digital signage kiosks.
In these situations, the ease with which customers can order and pay will greatly increase the customer experience. As with digital menu boards, a better customer experience will help foster loyal and repeat customers which means more revenue for your restaurant.
4. Inform customers about events
A digital display is a great way to inform your customers about events that might be taking place at your establishment. Some restaurants have live music, happy hours, poetry slams, wine tastings, and many other types of events. Hosting such events is a great way to increase revenue, as long as people are showing up to the events.
With digital signage, you will be able to promote your events in an eye-catching and visually pleasing manner which will draw many more customers to these events. The more customers at your events, the more money you will make.
5. Provide entertainment
People come to restaurants not only for the food but also for the entertainment. With digital signage, you can display all sorts of entertaining content. Some establishments may specialize in showing sports events or pay-per-view fights. Others might want to go with something less specialized like music videos.
What type of entertainment you provide will depend on the type of establishment you are running. However, one should not underestimate the power of entertaining content on digital screens for drawing more people to your restaurant time and again.
Moreover, good entertainment will increase the dwell time of your customers. Dwell time refers to the amount of time a customer spends at an establishment. The reason that dwell time is important for restaurants is that the more time a customer spends at a restaurant, the more food and beverages that customer will order. Increasing dwell time helps maximize the amount of revenue you gain from each customer.
6. Generate an alternative revenue stream with ads
You might think that the only way for a restaurant to increase revenue is to sell more food and drinks. However, with digital signage, there is another option. You can intersperse ads with your other content in your digital signage playlist and actually make money.
Loop offers a ton of great content for you to show on your restaurant television screens, and unlike cable, you can actually get paid for the advertisements that are shown to your customers while they watch the screens. It's really the best of both worlds: you make more money because you are entertaining your customers and increasing their dwell time, and at the same time, you make money from the ads that they see in your establishment.
When you think of it, when you play a sports match on your restaurant’s television, you are helping the companies that have paid for advertisements. Why not make a little bit of that money for yourself and increase your overall revenue with an alternative revenue stream.
Taking the Path to Increased Restaurant Revenue
Running a restaurant is difficult. Luckily, there are technologies like digital signage that can make your life a lot easier and make you more money. The biggest takeaway from this article should be that there are tons of ways that digital signage can increase the revenue of your restaurant.
You can implement some of the tried and true strategies that we have listed in this article, while also applying your own creativity to how you use digital signage in a way that best fits your business.
You will want to put a lot of thought into getting the right kind of screens for your establishment because digital signage should increase the aesthetic experience of your restaurant, so low-quality screens can undermine this process.
Additionally, you will want to make sure that you go with a trusted digital signage solution like that offered by loop because doing so will help you make the most of this impressive technology.
Whether your primary aim is to increase sales through improving the customer experience or if its increasing overall footraffic, or maybe a combination of many of the benefits we’ve mentioned in this article, digital signage is surely a step in the right direction of increasing your restaurant’s revenue.