In the world of fast casual restaurant service, two key characteristics set certain organizations apart from the competition: agility and compliance. On one hand, agile restaurants are able to quickly adjust to the demands of their consumers, capitalizing on the ebb and flow of the daily schedule and seasonal trends. On the other hand, compliance with regulatory standards is essential for avoiding fines and remaining reputable in a highly competitive space.
With strong and flexible digital signage systems supporting their menu boards, fast casual restaurants can gain an upper hand in both the areas of agility and compliance. This two-tiered advantage is derived from a number of key features that not all software systems have. Here's a look at some recent stories that highlight the importance of agility and compliance, and some related recommendations on how to leverage empowering signage software.
A salty situation
As global consumers become more health conscious and government initiatives aim to educate the population about nutrition, regulatory groups are cracking down on fast casual restaurants of all types. The hope is to bring more transparency to the nutritional value of the items on the menu, as highlighted in a recent story from The Columbus Dispatch. According to the source, the New York City Board of Health passed a mandate requiring that extra salty items be denoted with a small salt-shaker symbol on the menu.
"This really represents, to me, the next step in allowing usable information for our community to make better health decisions," said board member Dr. Deepthiman Gowda, according to the news provider. "My hope is that this impacts not only consumer practices but also impacts the practices of our restaurants."
"Signage agility is often necessary for compliance."
While placing mini salt shakers next to certain items may not seem like a big demand, restaurants with strong digital signage software systems will be able to make such an adjustment with ease – and on such short notice. This is an example of agility as a requisite for compliance, and it's clear that flexible software will prepare a restaurant for fast, unexpected changes.
The occasional menu update may not be a challenge for a small store dealing with regional regulations such as those in New York, but when federal agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration set new standards of transparency, a much larger and stronger digital signage solution is necessary to make high-level changes across a massive franchise infrastructure. This is what Rich Ventura, VP of business development and sales at NEC, explained in a recent piece for Digital Signage Today.
"Switching to digital technology in restaurants has provided operators with many benefits, especially now with the FDA menu labeling requirements," he told the news source. "Flexibility is one of the major benefits. Not only can the content be managed easily, but digital allows you to include attention-grabbing graphics and content."
With signage software that promotes agility and steady compliance with changing regulations, restaurants should have no problem keeping a happy and healthy following.