7 Ways Digital Signage Can Scale Your Restaurant
The restaurant industry was among the hardest-hit sectors in the pandemic, having incurred losses of $240 billion. Thankfully, customers’ demand for eating out has rebounded post-pandemic, especially as prices at grocery stores continue to soar.
If you run a profitable restaurant, you may wish to expand it by expanding the menu, opening new locations, or hiring additional employees. Essentially, a restaurant scales up as other businesses do by cutting costs, attracting more customers, and operating more efficiently. Thankfully, digital signage can help you achieve your growth strategy.
Leveraging Digital Signage to Grow Your Restaurant
Digital signage for restaurants involves using LCD, LED, projection, and other electronic displays to show menus and entertaining content.
The best places to place digital screens in your restaurant for maximum engagement include above the front counter, near the entrance, drive-thru, and dining areas. Here is how to use the displays to scale your restaurant.
1. Lure in Foot Traffic
Attracting more customers is a major priority when scaling your business, as more foot traffic means increasing revenues. In the past, restaurants used banners and sidewalk chalkboard signs to lure passersby into the establishment. Today, competition between diners is stiff, and you need more outstanding signage to expand your customer base.
Outdoor digital signs use enticing images and videos to grab the attention of strolling shoppers and lead them through your door. Most importantly, advertise your daily specials via vibrant graphics to reach new audiences. For example, you can highlight exclusive menu items unavailable at other diners.
You can set up storefront displays showing your brand story, such as your commitment to sustainable dining, locally-sourced ingredients, and healthy eating. In this way, you pique the curiosity of passersby and make them more likely to visit your establishment.
2. Increase Revenue
Digital signage is an effective tool to boost revenue, given that it can create a 31.8% upswing in total sales volumes. The technology increases sales in various ways.
First, a digital menu board displays items in a captivating format, helping customers make quick decisions. The boards also show crucial information like nutritional data, ingredients list, and allergy warnings to help diners make the best choices.
Notably, digital menu boards excel in encouraging extra purchases by showing seasonal items, limited-time offers, new products, or premium drinks. For instance, you can highlight favored food and drink combinations or upgrades for just an extra dollar or two.
Digital menu boards are easy to refresh in seconds, unlike static menus that you must reprint. As such, you quickly run specials and discounts at different times of the day, week, or year. Essentially, digital menu boards give customers more to think about as they get out their credit cards to pay.
Additionally, digital signage offers valuable ad space to boost values. You can sell advertising space to farmers’ markets, nutritional consultants, local retailers, and other businesses. However, don’t overwhelm diners with too many ads, and save more room for entertaining content that enriches their in-dining experience.
3. Cut Costs
The average profit margin for restaurants is 10.6%. When scaling your business, each additional menu item, location, or employee adds revenue but comes with extra costs. Therefore, you must find ways to cut expenses and channel extra funds into your growth strategy.
Fortunately, digital signage saves you money by cutting printing costs for paper menus, flyers, and brochures. If you often change your menu to promote new additions or seasonal items, the printing costs quickly add up and reduce your profits.
With digital signage, you can update menu items in seconds and add brand colors and logos to refresh your image. Moreover, digital screens are a cost-effective way to show a wide variety of content, such as videos, images, RSS feeds, slideshows, menus, ads, and current news.
4. Improve Productivity
A customer-centric focus is the key to attracting and retaining new customers. So, you must hire the right employees and train them to take orders, process payments, and use equipment like food processors, stainless steel ice cream makers, and portion control scales. Trained employees are engaged and help upsell items or give suggestions about wine pairings or specials to patrons.
Digital screens in the employee break room can reinforce training procedures in an engaging way. For instance, a picture-in-picture display of your company’s mission, values, and brand concept strengthens your culture. Also, include how-to guides, checklists, and quick answers to FAQs.
Particularly, front-desk employees need a lot of training because they deal with customers firsthand and represent your brand. So, remind them about cleanliness standards, customer greetings, complaint management, and order-taking guidelines via exciting animations and graphics on bright displays. Finally, digital signage is the ideal platform to educate employees on using various technologies, like the POS system or mobile ordering.
5. Streamline Operations
If you run a deli, fast food restaurant, or any other food service establishment, you likely use a POS system to process transactions and track inventory. But, did you know you can integrate digital signage with your POS system to streamline your operations?
Combining these technologies makes ordering and payment more efficient and increases sales. POS-integrated digital menu boards automatically show items that are running out and slow-moving products without the need for manual updates. For instance, you may have an oversupply of lettuce and need to promote salads to prevent wastage.
Furthermore, your digital signage software can integrate with your ordering process to give backend employees a quick view of orders and waiting time. In this way, cooks and bakers are less stressed and can focus on making excellent products that impress diners.
6. Build Social Proof
If you plan to scale your restaurant, you must build a presence on social media apps and ask for customer reviews on Yelp, TripAdvisor, and other platforms. After all, 45% of diners admit they have a restaurant for the first time due to a social media post. As well, 24% of diners report that online restaurant reviews inform where they eat.
As patrons wait for their orders, engage them with Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and Pinterest feeds on vivid screens. Even better, ask customers to share their experiences under specific hashtags and post them on your screens in real time. This strategy immerses diners into the dining experience and boosts your social media exposure.
Your customers also want to see other people’s reviews as it establishes your brand as authentic and trustworthy. Therefore, run customer reviews from different platforms and encourage diners to leave their own impressions.
7. Gather Analytics
When scaling your restaurant, you must learn your customer better to tailor your products according to their needs. Luckily, digital signage analytics can inform your business decisions while defining the demographics and wants of your diner.
Interactive kiosks are especially great investments because they collect data as a patron engages with the screen. For example, you can track daily and weekly orders, peak business hours, and the best-performing products.
Additionally, you can see the items that diners frequently order together and pair them with attractive prices. Analytics can also highlight products that customers are interested in, such as gluten-free diets, locally-brewed beers, or soup-focused meals.
Scale Up Your Restaurant with Digital Signage!
If you want to scale your restaurant, you must trim expenses, train staff, attract more diners, and streamline operations. Fortunately, digital signage can help you achieve all of this and elevate your social media presence. Ultimately, digital signage will give you a competitive edge in tough economic conditions and deliver an outstanding dining experience.