Restaurant owners sometimes shy away from digital signage because of the upfront costs, but in the long run, digital displays might prove to be more affordable for most restaurants, particularly because of the value-add they offer to the business. For instance, because digital displays can be remotely controlled, managers can update content at any needed time. With static signage, new menus must be printed, shipped and installed, which adds up quickly — particularly if there are frequent menu changes, as there are in most modern restaurants. And, with new Food and Drug Administration regulations requiring nutritional information displayed next to menu items, having the ability to change and update content quickly is a must.
Traditional vs. Digital
The benefits of using digital signage in any restaurant are numerous. First and foremost, digital signage gives restaurants the opportunity to build a stronger relationship with customers through interactive and engaging imagery. Flashy content has the ability to draw in a customer while waiting in line for an order and it can help restaurants market a new or under-performing product. Digital signage provides the perfect opportunity for a restaurateur to showcase the latest offerings with content that can be changed on the fly. Comparing this to static signage, this level of engagement and flexibility is not offered.
Restaurants that use digital signage can explore a vast realm of creative designs, whereas traditional static signage offers limited options. Mouthwatering images of menu items may entice customers to purchase something new. A digital image of a flickering fireplace on the wall can create a cozy ambiance, encouraging customers to stay longer. Features of digital signage like full-motion video, animation and bright colors decrease perceived wait times, making customers happier and creating the opportunity for direct messaging.
Commercial-grade digital displays offer restaurants the ability to present the truest color and clarity of a brand’s logo. These higher-end displays are calibrated to ensure not only accurate colors, but also that side-by-side displays match precisely. Displays also have the ability to calibrate to custom white points and intensities, and then store all of that information in the “Look Up” tables of the product. This allows companies to get their product colors ‘just right’, and keep consistency to corporate standards. By taking advantage of digital signage, restaurants can create a “wow” factor their customers remember, and better incorporate constant branding and personality into their content.
Things to Consider
Restaurants should first evaluate their needs by considering the environment in which they will deploy digital signage – for example, the ambient lighting of the area in question. Digital displays have the technology to thrive in both controlled and natural lighting by offering different brightness levels across various product lines. High-brightness displays counteract direct sunlight for outdoor menu boards (such as those in a drive-thru) and window applications, ensuring that customers are clearly able to see the content being displayed, even when in direct sunlight. There are also products with acceptable indoor brightness specifications but with lower panel reflectivity so that ceiling lights do not compromise the image being displayed on the screen.
Whether the display will be used to attract foot traffic, market to chosen demographics, boost visibility and brand awareness, or something else, assessing the environment and other key considerations will help a restaurant choose the right type of digital signage display.