Digital signs have become the modern equivalent of menu boards, but these boards have exciting new capabilities. Restaurateurs can use the signs to inform customers about upcoming events, promote specials, display photos and videos, and broadcast custom messages. Connecting digital signs with services like Chromecast, managers can even display messages, photos and social media posts on large digital monitors.
Benefits of Communicating Digitally In-House
Communicating with digital signs opens many creative marketing possibilities that range from targeted advertising to posting information about nutrition, suppliers, customer milestones and staff biographies. Digital menu boards allow managers to customize menus for breakfast, lunch, dinner and special events. Other benefits of digital signs include:
- Giving customers options for ordering from interactive digital menus
- Communicating with customers with videos, music, images, photos, text and slideshows
- Customizing information in special formats
- Managing digital signage for multiple locations remotely or with software from a central location
- Ensuring that each customer is aware of specials, loyalty programs and upcoming events in case busy servers forget to mention these things
- Sharing the restaurant’s updates to social media sites simultaneously with in-house diners
- Featuring sports news with a news app and RSS feed
- Allowing guests to post comments on food and service
Integrating Digital Signs with Instagram, Facebook and Twitter
People carry their smartphones everywhere as communications devices and personal assistants. Let customers tap into social media and digital signage for signature benefits. Restaurant can post their social media home pages on dedicated walls for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
- QR Codes
Posting QR codes on digital signs allows customers to access information, products, coupons and promotional information easily.
- Social Media Sites
Use signs to promote the restaurant’s Facebook page, website or supplier partners.
- Twitter Feeds
Display Twitter posts to encourage customers to share their restaurant experiences.
- Instagram Photos
Customers can view and share Instagram photos of entrées, events and celebrations while they dine.
- Foursquare Integration
Sharing information on Foursquare can attract friends and associates to impromptu meetings and social gatherings.
Use an Internet connection and digital sign to translate menus and announcements for customers.
Customers can read and post reviews on specials, regular menu items, décor and service.
Instead of a dessert cart, try posting Instagram pictures of delicious cakes, pies and pastries that update as each serving is sold. This technique adds immediacy to encourage people to order dessert or reserve their favorites before they get full.
Attracting Mobile Device Users with Digital Sign Technology
Technology innovations in digital signage include displaying menus on dedicated monitors at each table or allowing customers to communicate with other restaurant patrons through their smartphones. These advances help to engage the growing restaurant market for Millennials and urban Baby Boomers who embrace digital communications. The Millennial demographic segment is expected to grow to one-third of all consumers by 2020. Getting connected with online forums is essential for attracting young diners from the ages of 18 to 35.
Chromecast and Stand-alone Devices
Using the inexpensive Chromecast service, restaurants can send digital signage information to monitors throughout the business. Managers can display weather alerts, messages, menus and social media posts on big screens.
Even without digital signage hardware and software, restaurants can use Chromecast to display media that is saved on a computer in the proper format or data from a wireless connection. Digital sign devices include models that can transform any surface into a screen. Restaurants could use this function to create virtual playgrounds for restless children.
Digital signage in the future might include facial-recognition software to display custom messages to each diner simultaneously. Restaurants might even be able to target passersby for targeted advertising messages or to augment reality with 3-D menus.
These innovations and many others aren’t that far away. Savvy restaurateurs can increase profitability, intelligence and social media interaction by getting in on the digital revolution now to build customer loyalty and establish themselves as forward-thinking hospitality entrepreneurs.