Get tips and tricks for using restaurant digital signage to engage customers and grow sales.
For restaurant owners, meeting customer expectations day in and day out is challenging. You have to worry about food quality and wait times. And even when you get it all right, customers might still find something to complain about.
One reason it’s such a challenge: Traditional methods of advertising, menu display, and customer engagement are becoming increasingly outdated and inefficient.
The pain points are numerous: High printing costs, inflexible menu changes, lack of customer engagement, and trying to keep up with modern marketing trends. Restaurant digital signage offers a solution.
Digital signage can help restaurant owners be more flexible (e.g. menu changes on the fly), it can help them engage customers with special offers, and it can serve a navigational purpose, helping to reduce wait times for fast-causal restaurants. The good news: Launching a digital signage campaign in your restaurant can be done quickly, cost-effectively, and at scale.
Need some help to get started? Let’s take a look at the benefits of digital signage in restaurants, how you can get started, and cover some different ways you can use digital signs to transform the dining experience in your café, bistro or fast-casual restaurant.
Key Benefits of Digital Signage in Restaurants
Using a digital signage system can help you be more efficient, facilitate faster menu changes, and offer interactive and engaging new ways to connect with customers. Here are some of the different ways you can use digital signs in your restaurant:
1. Change Menus Easily
Traditional menus are static and costly to update. Digital menu boards bring flexibility and savings.
This allows restaurant owners to quickly make changes.
Before, restaurants had to commit to a menu; with digital signage, you can test new menu items without having to constantly change a printed or painted menu board.
- Save Money: No more printing costs or designer fees.
- Flexibility: Swap out menu items at no direct cost.
- Engagement: Keep patrons engaged with visually appealing menus.
2. Shorten Wait Times
The perception of long waits can deter customers. Digital signage enhances the waiting experience, offering restaurant owners a chance to promote new items, daily specials, loyalty programs, or events.
Additionally, for restaurants that need to educate customers on orders, signs can also be used to speed up ordering and checkouts in high-volume restaurants.
- Improve Perception: Digital displays entertain customers, making wait times feel shorter.
- Enhance Experience: A positive experience means repeat customers.
3. Social Media Engagement
Engaging customers in the digital age requires creativity. Digital signage integrates with social media for a unified brand experience. For example, if you connect with a customer on a social media platform, you can use digital signage to expand on your message.
Do you use farm-to-table ingredients? You can promote that on social media, then use signage and digital menus to call attention to your farm-fresh items.
- Engage Customers: Use stunning visuals to capture attention.
- Brand Consistency: Align your in-store and online branding.
- Incentivize Engagement: Offer discounts for social media interaction.
4. Daypart Scheduler
Traditional signs can’t adapt to different meal times. Digital signage offers automated scheduling so that you can instantly switch your menu from breakfast to lunch at a set time every day.
Additionally, you can automate on/off times and schedule smaller customizations (e.g. turn a menu item off for dinner service).
- Automate Displays: Schedule varied content throughout the day.
- Tailor Offerings: Show different menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
5. Timeline Scheduler
Planning promotions is cumbersome with printed materials. Digital signage simplifies long-term scheduling. In fact, with digital signage, you can plan promotes by month, quarterly, or even schedule events years in advance.
Over all, this helps save time, by allowing you to focus on your marketing at non-peak times. You can also automate scheduling, allowing you to invest the time to create it, and then not have to worry about it.
- Plan Ahead: Organize content weeks or even years in advance.
- Reduce Administrative Burden: Put your displays on autopilot.
6. QR Codes
Modern diners seek interactive experiences. QR codes in digital signage provide information at their fingertips. You can use QR codes to build your social media audience, to link to nutritional information, or drive customers to your loyalty program.
QR codes are a simple tool, and they’re extremely popular with younger demographics and Gen Z.
- Interactive Menus: Provide additional information via QR codes.
- Encourage Sharing: Facilitate social media sharing and check-ins.
7. Kitchen Digital Signage for Cooks
Chaos in the kitchen affects service quality. Digital signage streamlines kitchen operations. You can use these signs to help kitchen staff visualizes orders in the window, call attention to 86’ed items, or provide information about specials and orders.
Communication is key in kitchens. Digital signage is extremely effective at helping you do this.
- Efficiency: Keep orders organized and communication clear.
- Reduce Chaos: Digital management means a smoother kitchen operation.
8. Billboard-Style Marketing
Traditional outdoor advertising lacks dynamism. Digital signage attracts passersby with eye-catching displays. You can display a sign in your front window that calls attention to menu items, daily specials, or promotions.
You can also display a rotating window to attract passersby. This eliminates the need for daily chalkboards or updating your nightly menu in the window.
- Attract Passersby: Use street-facing screens to lure potential customers.
- Promote Specials: Advertise popular dishes, drinks, and special offers.
9. Ads from Business Associates
Local collaboration enhances community presence. Digital signage facilitates marketing partnerships.
Diners commonly use paper placemats to sell advertising space. With digital signage, you can do this and make it even more interactive. This is a great tactic for growing a new revenue stream for your business.
- Collaborative Marketing: Partner with local businesses for mutual benefit and update paper placement ads.
- Increase Patronage: Gain more customers through integrated promotion.
10. Display Nutritional Info
Compliance with nutritional regulations is vital. Digital signage makes it visually appealing. Through signage, you can update nutritional menu based on available ingredients, or quickly make changes if menu items are discontinued.
You can also do this in a way that your customers will appreciate and value. This might include ingredient lists (which you can update, if needed) or macronutrient stats, if you cater to a health-conscious demographic.
- Compliance: Meet regulations regarding nutritional information.
- Inform Customers: Help patrons make healthy choices.
Transform Your Restaurant with Digital Signage
The transformation from traditional to digital is not just a shift in technology; it’s a leap towards a more engaging, efficient, and profitable restaurant operation. Digital signage for restaurants is more than a solution to old problems; it’s a gateway to new opportunities.
From enhancing the dining experience to building a robust brand presence, the benefits of digital signage in restaurants are multifaceted and far-reaching. Ultimately, if you’re ready to take the leap, consider these tips:
- Evaluate Your Needs: Consider what digital signage can specifically do for your restaurant.
- Choose the Right Software: Look for solutions like FTx Digital Signage that offer comprehensive tools and 1000s of restaurant-ready templates to work with.
- Stay Current: Keep content fresh and aligned with your brand.
- Engage with Customers: Utilize social media and interactive features to create a memorable dining experience.
Ready to elevate your restaurant to new heights? Contact FTx POS to schedule a demo of our POS and digital signage tools and explore our solutions tailored to your unique needs. Embrace the future of dining and discover the endless possibilities that digital signage offers.