The benefits of integrating digital signage software for fast casual restaurants in the form of menu boards and promotional signs cover a wide range of scenarios. The unique properties of digital signage allow customers to engage with their favorite restaurants like never before.
Engaging content entices customers
Wendy's pushed a content strategy for its digital signboards inside its restaurants, in an effort to boost the number of customers dining within its franchises. The chain used them to promote limited-time offers, highlight premium menu items and even introduce social media feeds in certain locations, a strategy that increased internal dining by up to 45 percent, Digital Signage Today reported.
"In the end, there is a perception when you are in line, but when there is a queue building up inside, it's a cleaner look, and people like watching those videos and they have a decreased perception of their wait times," said Nick DeCarlo, director of restaurant solutions for the chain, in a panel attended by the source.
A static menu board with a list of items and prices and maybe a couple of promotional images to highlight popular items is a dull way to sell to consumers, especially as fast casual restaurants introduce premium menu items. Fast Casual mentioned that adding just one digital panel to Tim Hortons locations in Canada boosted customers' average checks by 15 percent. The brand's content strategy featured live countdowns and promotions to encourage return visits, the source added.
Menu mastery with minimal management
Outside of appealing visual content, digital signage solutions are an extremely flexible choice for fast casual restaurants. Digital signage software is able to quickly push new menus to individual restaurants on the fly. It's an instant refresh for restaurants that feature separate breakfast and lunch menus to switch over when 10:30 rolls around. It's also possible to do even more complex things with the right digital signage software. For example, QSRweb mentioned that digital signage connected to restaurant systems could automatically take items off the menu when supplies are low. The source also highlighted Colorado-based salad chain MAD Greens using digital signage to conduct A/B testing on menus in different locations.
Healthy substitutes, high-tech solutions
As consumers become more health-conscious, it's important that restaurants adapt to changing habits. Even though the federal mandate in the U.S. for chain restaurants to implement calorie counts on their menus has been pushed back until December 2016, as The Washington Times reported, fast casual restaurants should get ahead of the legal ball. Evidence supports the idea that publishing calorie counts on menu boards has an impact on the items these eateries sell.
A study by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that restaurants that have calorie labeling on their menus generally introduced lower-calorie items than their competitors. Updating digital menus with new information is a cinch compared to physical signs, so restaurants can quickly implement the menu labels, comply with the mandate before the deadline, and encourage their customers to make healthier choices.
Digital signage software is a good choice to help fast casual restaurants move into the 21st century; a highly flexible option that benefits customers as well as managers. It's easy to set up and run, and should make the fast casual experience more appealing to everyone.