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Data Doesn’t Lie: Why Every Restaurant Should Consider Digital Signage

Irfan Khan of Skykit takes an in-depth look at the data behind the benefits of digital signage in restaurant settings.

CI Staff

Not only that, but 30 percent of customers report that digital signage menus influence which product they purchase.

The ability to include more information has legal advantages as well. Recent laws require restaurants with more than 20 locations to display calorie information next to each item. Many restaurants also choose to list potential allergens such as gluten or nuts, and whether the items are vegan and/or vegetarian friendly.

Traditional menu boards just don’t have room to list all that information at readable size—but a digital menu does.

Another advantage: digital menus are super easy to update.

This allows you to switch seamlessly from a breakfast menu to a lunch menu, remove an item that has sold out for the day, or introduce a new promotion based on events happening in real-time. Rainy summer day? Promote 20 percent off lemonade to bring sunshine back. Promoting a specific item can easily cause a 38 percent uptick in its sales!

Ordering Kiosks
Ordering kiosks often supplement a digital menu, though they can also take the form of a tablet brought to the table itself in a full-service setting. These intuitive touch-screen digital signs allow customers to order, quite possibly, without talking to an employee at all.

And rather than providing a cold and impersonal experience, they actually make the experience even more personalized, while freeing up personnel to focus on hospitality rather than simply taking orders.

Customers are actually seeking out self-service options. In 2010, more than half surveyed said they’d prefer a QSR that offered self-service over one that didn’t.

An ordering kiosk can allow customers to personalize their orders to a high degree. You’ve probably encountered McDonald’s “Chef Crafted Sandwiches” kiosks, currently deployed in 200 stores, which allow customers to choose everything from the protein to the bun to the number and quantity of condiments.

When customers give a highly customized order to a human worker, it’s easy to have miscommunications. People hate when restaurants get their orders wrong, and currently major fast food chains have about a 1-in-10 chance of doing exactly that.

However, receiving orders digitally helps the restaurant get it right. Seventeen percent reported having higher accuracy after installing digital signage.

Digital ordering is great for upselling as well. This works even at high-end, full-service restaurants, where presenting diners with an iPad to order from is a classy alternative to the traditional leather-bound menu. Customers can see tasty-looking images and browse information up-close.

Tablet-based ordering has been reported to provide sales increases of 10 to 15 percent, and increases in tipping by up to 15 percent as well.

At Jack-in-the-Box, the introduction of ordering kiosks has increased the sales and size of combo meals.

Electronic Payment Systems
The last example of digital signage in restaurants we’ll be looking at today is electronic payment technology.

This can take a couple different forms. First are the Apple Pay-type systems. Customers who have enabled Apple Pay or a similar system on their smart phone can pay their bill simply by holding their phone up to the screen. It’s as streamlined a system as you can imagine, and it’s designed to work with digital screens.

Another option: marry it with your digital ordering system. If yourrestaurant uses tablets for ordering, you could employ a product like a Presto tablet or a Square to allow them to pay on the spot. Customers aren’t fond of handing over their credit cards, fearing fraud, so let them handle it themselves!

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Streamlining payment and providing peace of mind: those are the main advantages of using digital signage as part of the way your customers pay.

From bringing customers in to helping them pay at the end of the experience, digital signage can help at every step of the way.

These technologies can both help your bottom line and improve customer experience.

And we’ve got real numbers to back that up.

Does this data reinforce what you knew about digital signage, or is some of it surprising?

Author Irfan Khan is the CEO of Skykit, a cloud-based, enterprise-grade digital signage platform built on Google Chrome. Visit the blog to learn more about digital signage trends.