The Importance of Digital Signage

Digital signage is becoming more and more significant for restaurant operators to display their menu items because they engage the customer in an almost ‘interactive’ experience. The discussion “Going Beyond Digital Menu Boards” recently took place at the Fast Casual Executive Summit by a group of industry panelists who narrowed down four main reasons digital signage goes beyond menu boards: connection, content, cost and design.

Aside from the digital menu boards being a platform to create an integrated experience for the customer, it is also a way to connect across systems. Most digital signage platforms are able to connect to POS systems which gives the capacity to monitor inventory. This way, items that are running low can be automatically pulled from the menu boards which can avoid customer frustration. Most new technology platforms also have the ability to download data to the cloud, which is another opportunity for restaurants to integrate and connect systems.

Customization is also a large advantage of digital signage. Digital menu boards allow operators to produce engaging content to keep customers informed while customizing the information based on needs, context and even location. Operators are able to customize content based on what sells to a particular demographic and are therefore able to rapidly test responses to each customized message. Digital screens are also proving to be more cost effective for operators. Paul Flanigan, executive director of the Digital Screenmedia Association says, “I’m not joking when I say this – if you asked me to, I could go into your restaurant at 8:30 in the morning and I’d have you a network by 5 o’clock that afternoon, and it would probably cost a maximum of 1000 bucks.. I know where you get the software, I know where you can get the templates and I can get it all done quickly. The ability to get speed to market is just getting faster and faster.”

It goes without saying that the design options for digital signage are also countless. There is now a large range of design possibilities for both the on-screen materials and the architecture itself. Overall, digital signage significantly increases the customer’s experience which is at the root of operations. According to Flanigan,“The customer is the most important. The bottom line is, it doesn’t matter how much money you spend and it doesn’t matter where you put anything if that customer is not engaged, it just doesn’t matter.”

To read more about the benefits of incorporating digital signage, click here


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