Updated: Jun 16
Restaurant owners are constantly looking for ways to engage their customers. Yet labor costs are a very real problem for the modern restaurant, and the labor shortage has caused concerns as well. While there are many technological solutions that can help restaurants manage these concerns, one that is easily overlooked is the digital sign.
A digital sign is a great tool to engage customers and promote menu items. With the right strategies, you can put this technology to work for you to increase your profitability as you seek to grow an effective and popular restaurant.
5 Interactive Use Cases for Digital Signage in Your Restaurant
Digital signs give your restaurant a great way to interact with your customers, even without having additional employees on hand to answer questions. With the right signage, you can give answers to frequent questions, promote items you wish to upsell, and keep customers aware of daily and weekly specials. Here are five uses for digital signage that simply make sense.
1. Engaging Digital Menu Boards
Digital menu boards provide an engaging screen that showcases menu items, calorie counts, and prices. This type of restaurant digital signage works very well for quick-service restaurants, and it is convenient because you can update changes in real-time. Menu board apps make it simple to update menu items and pricing even if you are not physically at the counter, so customers get accurate information about what is or is not available. In addition, digital menu boards allow you to show beautiful images of your food, which can help increase sales of your most profitable menu choices.
When you have digital menu boards, you can easily switch between breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus. You can even set up the software so it makes this switch automatically at the scheduled time. Whenever a customer walks through the door, they will see on the display the type of food you are serving at that time. Digital menus can also become part of self-ordering kiosks to further streamline your restaurant's operations. With the right software, the kiosk and the overhead display can always match.
Benefits of Digital Menus
Keep customers up-to-date about menu availability and pricing
Eliminate printing costs from printed paper menus
Update menu in real-time when changes occur
2. New Discounts and Deals
If you want to upsell with discounted or deal priced items, digital signage solutions can help. You can have a sign that showcases your current specials, easily changing it from day to day when your specials and deals change. This strategy works both for fast-food restaurant applications as well as sit-down dining options. In the fast-food restaurant setting, large signs that highlight current value baskets and other special offers can draw the right attention.
For dine-in, digital signs can replace the handwritten specials signage that is commonly used. When a customer walks into a dine-in restaurant, they can see the daily specials on the digital signage screen before going to their seat. This ensures you are not relying solely on employee communication to drive sales of your discounts and deals.
Deals and discounts may change regularly, such as during happy hour when drinks are discounted, or they may change weekly or even monthly. Regardless of the schedule, having a digital sign gives you a fast and simple way to update your customers about these changes, so they can order in a way that helps them save money.
Benefits of a Discount Board
Keep customers aware of specials and discounts
Upsell the promos you are currently offering
Easily change the promotions when new menu items are on special
3. Attention-Grabbing Social Media Walls
How can you encourage your diners to post about your restaurant in their social media feeds? There are many strategies you can use, but a social media wall can be part of that strategy. Social media can drive sales for today's restaurants, and a social media wall can help you take advantage of this trend. Daily social media feeds can be displayed on your wall alongside QR codes that diners can use to share their own meal experience. You can run photo competitions or give discounts if customers leave reviews on social media, and use the social media wall to promote these benefits.
Social media walls can also let you showcase reviews from past customers. Add these to the template as the wall scrolls through your social media feeds, weaving the reviews in between food images and social media posts so people see just how happy other customers have been with your food.
Benefits of Social Media Wall
Engage more customers on your social media feeds
Encourage social posting about your restaurant
Drive more traffic to your social media pages
4. Appealing Waiting Room Screens
If your restaurant regularly has a wait, you can use digital restaurant signage to improve the customer experience even in your waiting area. You can create a digital signage playlist that does trivia, fun facts, jokes, and other attention-grabbing tidbits to make the wait less tedious. Statistics show that this type of strategy can reduce perceived wait times by as much as 35%, even if the wait is just as long.
Waiting room screens don't have to be stagnant, either. Many digital signage software options allow for touch-screen applications that give the customer something to do while they wait. Add images of food, videos from the chef, and games to the playlist to keep people entertained while waiting for their seats.
Benefits of a Digital Waiting Room Screen
Make customers more willing to wait to be seated
Improve the customer experience in your restaurant
Decrease perceived wait times for customers
5. New Food Items or Desserts Showcase
When you have a new menu item to display, make sure your customers are aware of it by displaying it on a new food items showcase. Again, digital signage allows you to update this whenever you bring on a new menu item. If you don't have any new menu items, use the board to highlight a featured favorite. Having the digital signage creates upselling opportunities for your staff, and the sign works for you even if the staff forgets to ask for the add-on to the order.
If you aren't planning to change your menu, you can use a digital sign to highlight desserts. A dessert showcase makes it more tempting for customers to add a dessert item to their order. Use tantalizing pictures to ensure they are taking a look and wanting to order dessert.
Benefits of a New Item Board
Add upselling opportunities for your restaurant
Keep customers aware of new menu items when you post them
Use images to make desserts and other upsells seem even more appealing
Best Practices for Digital Signage in Your Restaurant
Having digital signs is the first step to making them an effective marketing tool, but you also need to use them properly. Here are some strategies to try.
1. Find the Best Position and Location for Your Display
The best position and location for your display will depend on your goal. For example, if you are trying to sell items at a quick-service restaurant and your display will be a menu, you may want an over-the-counter display or a kiosk. If you are looking to reduce wait times, then you'll want to set up your display in your waiting area. Grabbing customers' attention with your social media displays may require a sign in the dining area.
The positioning also means considering what eye level is for your customers. Make sure the average customer will be able to see and interact with the display even if someone is standing in front of them. Also, make sure there is not any glare from windows that will prevent them from seeing the sign.
2. Keep Your Digital Signs Updated
One of the best perks of digital signs for restaurants is the fact that you can update them in real-time from an app on a tablet or smartphone. Take full advantage of this feature. If something changes, update the signs as soon as you are aware of the change.
This will do two things for your restaurant. First, it will improve the customer experience by giving them accurate information. Second, it may improve sales because customers will see specials and discounts the moment you create them, and that will make them more inclined to buy those items.
3. Make Your Displays Visually Appealing
Finally, make sure your displays are visually appealing. Many digital signage display programs come with templates you can use, so use these if you don't have an eye for design. Make sure people will be drawn to the sign visually, as the only way the sign will work for your restaurant is if people actually look at and read it.
Remember, the goal of digital signs for your restaurant is to improve sales and customer engagement. Make sure your signs look good and function well to accomplish both of these goals.
Looking for more ideas on designing your restaurant? Check out our list of 12 of the most interesting restaurants in the world.
Optimize Your Restaurant With Digital Screens — INFI Can Help
From kiosks to overhead screens, digital screens will help your restaurant run more effectively and profitably. If you’re looking to jump into using digital signs in your restaurant, the first step is finding the right company to partner with. INFI has high-quality kiosks and menu boards that work well for QSR restaurants, offering comprehensive solutions that will modernize your customer's experience, reduce your labor and printing costs, and help you deliver great food in a timely manner.
Schedule a free demo today of INFI, and see how the right ordering kiosk and menu board system can revolutionize the way you serve your customers.
Want to learn more on self-ordering kiosks and why you should get one? Check out our guide here.
You might also want to check out our guide on how to set up an online ordering system, see if our guide can answer your questions.
Feel free to also check out our guide on POS purchases to learn more about how to set up a Point of Sale system.