In 2019, restaurant digital signage implementation was growing, but COVID-19 created a slowdown as restaurants took a step back to think through what operations would look like post-pandemic and the role digital signage would play. Now, reimagined restaurant models have kickstarted new growth digital signage and digital signage content management solution sales.
MarketsandMarkets predicts the digital signage market will grow from $16.3 billion in 2021 to $27.8 billion by 2026, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.2 percent during the forecast period for all verticals. Digital signage offers an efficient and effective way to share product information, instructions, opportunities and content that helps engage customers and enhance customer experiences. Restaurants are leveraging digital signage to gain all of those capabilities and deliver their messaging both inside and outside their locations.
In the restaurant
Digital menu boards installed above ordering counters are a natural customer attention-grabber and a great tool for quick service and fast-casual restaurants. The screens can be quickly updated to show specials or quickly make menu changes, keeping customers and staff updated with new and changing information.
However, digital signage also offers benefits to other types of restaurants. Table service restaurants can use digital menu boards to eliminate shared menus or print one-time use menus to remove some touch from the ordering experience. Additionally, digital menu content management software makes it easy to shift from the lunchtime menu to the dinner menu, even during a rush. And for restaurants with multiple locations, operators can change all signs at one time—an efficient, timesaving improvement compared to manual processes.
Also, with dynamic messaging in waiting areas, restaurants can entertain customers and reduce perceived wait times. Digital signage can also enhance a restaurant’s brand image and makes a restaurant more memorable. Additionally, by integrating with social media, restaurants can encourage customers to tweet or post about their visit with a hashtag and then display those messages immediately on digital signage.
As restaurant owners discovered during the pandemic, health information and government recommendations change rapidly; digital signs are useful for restaurants to communicate the latest health guidelines and keep the public informed.
At the drive-thru and curbside ordering
Before the pandemic, menus displayed outside ranged from printed boards that staff had to change manually to digital signs. When in-person dining was shut down due to the spread of COVID-19, restaurant operators had to rethink their digital signage strategy in order to engage customers at the drive-thru and curbside ordering. Digital signage provides a more efficient way to manage these menus and optimize how menus, specials and combos are displayed to help increase revenues.
Advertising and upselling
Furthermore, restaurants can also use digital signage purely for advertising and upselling premium items or add-ons. Digital signage content management solutions allow restaurants to use video, image galleries, animation, and more to promote their menus and their brands. Additionally, digital signage’s flexibility allows a restaurant to test ads—a restaurant isn’t stuck with a printed sign that doesn’t get a good response. Instead, the business has the freedom to change an ad and run those that are popular and engaging with their customers.
What VARs need to know
The digital signage solution you provide to your restaurant customers is key to the value and ROI your clients will see. Solutions should include:
- Content management that’s easy for restaurant staff to use
- The ability to upload photos, images, and videos
- Social media integration
Also, make digital signage content management a part of a total solution that includes screens and hardware that’s aesthetically pleasing while still suited to the environment in which it’s used, indoors or outdoors.
Restaurants focused on success are looking for ways to change and digitalize their processes and need advice on the optimal technology to do it. Providing digital content management solutions will help restaurants easily manage their information, improve brand image and increase customer engagement—seize the opportunity to grow your business and meet this need.