You can call anything “hype”. Conversely, you can attribute value to anything. Yes, anything! The difference is perception, in many cases. Perception can be created, or at the very least, guided. In this case, there really is a lot of value to be found in Restaurant Digital Signage. So much so that there has already been a number of conferences and seminars this year on this very topic. It is impossible to cover all of that information in a blog article. I have also posted some blogs on the topic to date. The promise of digital menu boards is still very real; here are some of the most important tools you need to know about in order to get the most out of yours that we have covered in the past:
- Limited-time offers
- Expanded menus
- Community partnerships
- Rebranding efforts
Your menu boards, combined with inventory information and point-of-sale information, help run short-term specials on items that may be overstocked. You can quietly and easily remove an item you have run out of. You can run fun, interesting video along with live weather feeds. Best of all, you can make all of this happen from home, your office upstairs or the garage out back.
There are, however, a few critical factors that must be taken into consideration in order to reach the maximum benefit from your restaurant digital signage.
- Know your objective
- Dirty Power
- Lock the back door
- Content still rules
Define EXACTLY what you want to accomplish. Exactly! If you deploy without a clear goal in mind, how will you know if or when you accomplish it? Try defining objectives rather than a return on investment. For example, do you want to shorten the perceived wait time for customers and improve the overall impression of the restaurant? Be clear on your objective before you proceed.
Dirty Power doesn’t refer to a power struggle, tapping into the electric line of the store next to yours, or a power line that needs cleaning. It is an expression that in general refers to electricity that varies by more than 10 percent from the usual 120 volts. If your digital menu sign is on the same circuit as some of the kitchen equipment, or if the is a power spike, failure, brownout or surge, it can do serious damage to expensive digital signage equipment. You need a separate circuit as well as heavy-duty surge suppressors.
PCI standards dictate a network used to transmit credit-card information of customers must be separate from a network that provides things like remote access to a digital menu board or Wi-Fi hotspots for a restaurant. Most restaurants tend to only put one network in their building. You have got to make sure that your point-of-sale vendor and your loss-prevention people know who your software provider is and are talking with that provider about PCI compliance. The last thing you want is a data breach in your restaurant.
Finally, how effective your digital signage is will depend mostly on the content you display. The biggest change there is this: Keep It Simple!! Just because it CAN be done doesn’t necessarily mean it SHOULD be.
Your content has to be meaningful and impactful. Digital menu signage is another branding tool, so content should be consistent with other branding efforts. The content must engage the customer; entice him! You want to drive the sale of specials and promotional items while lowering the perceived wait time for your customers.
There are certainly other arguments we could make to show you that restaurant digital signage is certainly NOT just hype. The value continues to grow every day.