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The Benefits of Digital Signage for Restaurants

It's no secret to restaurant owners that the service industry is highly competitive. Because of this, it's extremely important for successful businesses to differentiate themselves from the competition and stand out. Of course, serving great food is essential, but so is great marketing and creating the ideal customer experience.

One of the best ways that businesses can achieve these goals is by utilizing digital signage. It's no exaggeration to say that digital signage can revolutionize the way that your restaurant runs and how it presents itself to customers.

In this article, we will go over some of the greatest benefits that restaurants will see when they integrate a digital signage system into their establishment.

What is Digital Signage?

Broadly speaking, digital signage refers to the use of digital screens, in conjunction with digital signage software and hardware, to display a variety of different content.

The amount of different types of content that can be displayed is nothing less than astounding, and this is one of the reasons that digital signage is such a dynamic and powerful tool for businesses.

Some examples of the types of content that can be displayed with digital signage are videos, images, text, animations, social media feeds, interactive apps, wayfinding instructions, digital menu boards, event promotions, employee communications, and much more.

Moreover, there is a lot of flexibility when it comes to choosing what types of screens you want to display your content on. Digital signage can include consumer-grade TVs, commercial-grade screens, interactive screens, tablets, LED walls, and even billboards. What type of screen you decide on will typically depend on the type of content and functionality you are looking for in your digital signage screen.

As should be clear, there is a lot of potential packed into the technology of digital signage. The rest of this article will be all about the benefits that restaurant owners can expect to see when they integrate a digital signage system into their establishments.

The Benefits of Restaurant Digital Signage

1. Gain More Foot Traffic

One of the best things about digital signage is its ability to display eye-catching and visually pleasing content. People are so used to seeing traditional signs that they barely even register as people pass by a business. This is especially the case with restaurants where people want to be wowed by the offerings.

They expect a sign that gives them a clear vision of the delicious meal, great atmosphere, and delectable experience that they will have if they enter your restaurant. Unlike traditional signs, digital signage can make use of various types of media to make their business stand out from the competition.

By using images, text, animations, and videos, businesses can offer up mouth-watering visuals that people walking by will be unable to pass up. You should think about the signs outside your store as the first impression that you are making on potential customers.

Just as first impressions are important in human relationships, ultimately coloring much of the subsequent experience that one person has with another, so too with business. When people get a good first impression of your business, they are far more likely to view the proceeding dining experience in a more positive light.

Imagine the difference between a static picture of a burger on a printed sign versus a high-quality video of a juicy burger, fresh off the oven, making people’s mouths water in anticipation. Another great thing about using digital signage outside of your restaurant is that the signs can be easily changed depending on a number of factors.

You can display different content for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can change the sign depending on the day of the week or depending on the month. You can even change the sign depending on the weather. You can use your digital signs creatively to entice people trying to find shelter from the rain or escape from the boiling heat of summer or the chilling cold of winter.

Digital signage offers business owners previously unheard-of capabilities for curating the image that the business projects to the public. Trust us, once you start using digital signage, you will very likely see a considerable increase in the number of people that frequent your restaurant.

2. Improve the Customer Experience and Generate More Sales with Digital Menu Boards

A great innovation that tons of restaurants are now employing is the digital menu board instead of traditional menu signs and paper menus. Digital menu boards have many advantages over traditional menus. The first is that the menu is easily changeable.

For example, you can easily switch between your breakfast menu, lunch menu, and dinner menu, with no work at all by scheduling your digital signage playlist to change the menu items depending on the time of the day. Related to this is the increased ability to customize your menu at will.

When you add menu items or take some away, you no longer need to print a new menu. You can simply edit your digital menu from your computer in a matter of minutes.

Beyond the ease of changing the menu, there is also the increased effectiveness of digital menu boards. Instead of only displaying text and possibly one or two static pictures (which never look that good), you can employ text, animations, videos, and images to make sure that your menu items look as enticing as possible.

If there is a specific menu item that you are trying specifically hard to sell, there is nothing better than using the functionality of digital signage to display this menu item so that customers simply cannot miss it. Additionally, digital menu boards do a great job of reducing perceived wait time which can greatly improve the customer experience.

Nobody likes waiting in lines, but sometimes lines are simply unavoidable. However, digital menu boards are far more entertaining than traditional menus, so this is where the distinction between real waiting time and perceived waiting time comes in.

Real waiting time is the actual amount of time that has passed while the customer is waiting. Perceived waiting time is how much time it feels like has passed. When people are entertained, time tends to pass more quickly, so with digital menu boards, the perceived waiting time also seems to diminish.

This is a great way to improve customer experience, and even if they do not realize what is happening themselves, they will be sure to note an increase in satisfaction at your restaurant.

Finally, there is the aesthetic aspect of digital menu boards. Digital menu boards simply look more modern, and they give your restaurant the aura of progress and what is cutting edge. By installing digital menu boards, you revolutionize the aesthetic of your restaurant, surpassing your competitors through a more aesthetically pleasing environment.

3. Create Opportunities for Customer Engagement with Social Media

Customer engagement is an important part of fostering loyalty among customers, and one of the best ways to get customers engaged with your business is through social media. In this digital age, it is essential that businesses have a web presence that not only includes a website but also includes social media accounts.

With digital signage, you can bridge the physical store with your social media presence and get customers engaged with your restaurant. There are a number of options for how you can go about integrating social media into your physical store, and none of these options are mutually exclusive.

One example of effective digital signage is to use your digital signs to display real-time social media feeds of posts that customers have made about your establishment. Often, when people go to a restaurant they like, they will post the food and tag the restaurant.

By showing these posts on your digital screens, customers in your store will be more likely to take their own pictures and share them on their social media accounts. In this way, you let your customers do the important job of spreading brand awareness.

Another important option is to use your digital signage to show your business's social media feeds. Many people who come to a restaurant will not know that that restaurant is on social media. By displaying your feed, you will make people aware of your accounts.

But simply making people aware of your accounts is not enough. You have to show that you are posting good content on your accounts, like coupon codes or polls asking what type of food customers want to see in the restaurant.

When people in your store see that you are showing good content on your social media feeds, you will start to see your followers going up, and when customers follow you on social media, this opens up new pathways for marketing and customer engagement.

Thus, the physical store experience and the online presence reinforce each other, ultimately resulting in greater brand awareness, increased customer engagement more loyal customers, and more sales.

4. Spread Awareness of Events

Many restaurants have realized that hosting events on their premises can translate into great benefits for the business. For some businesses, this might include live music, trivia nights, or stand-up comedy shows.

While other types of events could involve tastings of new wine selections or new menu items. Events are a great way to draw more customers to your store, as well as to foster customer engagement and customer loyalty. When a customer goes to a good event at your restaurant, it is much more likely that they will return to your restaurant in the future.

Of course, you could advertise your events with traditional signs and posters. However, it can probably be assumed that if you are hosting events, you actually want customers to take note of the events and attend them. For achieving these goals, traditional signs are simply not up for the task. There will be so many customers that come to your restaurant and do not even take notice of the event flyers posted around the restaurant.

However, with digital signage, you can make sure that your customers will not miss your event promotions. For many reasons already discussed in this article, such as the eye-catching and visually pleasing qualities of digital signage, customers will most certainly take note of the events promoted on digital signage.

Moreover, digital signage allows you the functionality to make your events look far more appealing to people. With videos, HD images, and animations, your events will look way more fun, and far more people will attend them.

5. Entertain Customers While They Wait and While They Eat

Many customers come to restaurants to be entertained. Certainly, much of the entertainment comes from the people they are eating with, but often what is being shown on the screens in the restaurant also provides much of the entertainment.

Maybe you are showing sports, or maybe you are showing music videos. The type of entertainment content that you show on your screens will largely depend upon the type of atmosphere you are trying to create in your establishment. By keeping your customers entertained, their wait times will feel less painful and their meals will often feel more enjoyable.

6. Generate an Alternative Source of Revenue

As we have discussed above, digital signage can help generate increased revenue for your business in a variety of ways, but one way that we have not discussed can be considered an alternative source of revenue. This alternative source of revenue is advertisements.

Many companies will pay good money to use the space on your digital screens to display their advertisements to customers. This can be a significant source of revenue for your restaurant. Of course, it can sometimes take lots of time and resources to find advertisers.

That's where the loop comes in. With loop you not only get access to high-quality digital signage functionality, but you also get pre-downloaded advertisements that you can get for when you display them in your restaurant. The craziest thing is that the loop is absolutely free!

Optimizing the Restaurant Space

As we have discussed, there is a range of benefits that come when restaurants integrate digital signage systems into their establishments. From better marketing to alternative sources of revenue, you can be sure that both your bottom line and your customers will benefit.