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How Digital Signage Can Help Restaurants to Cut Operational Costs and Improve ROI

Do you own a restaurant and have only recently realized that you are spending way too much money on updating the menu on your advertising boards and printing new menu cards? Maybe it has been quite a few years since you last revised your marketing strategies and have not much thought about menu boards and cards since then. However, now you are struggling to keep up with the rising costs of printing menu cards every time you revise your menu, add a special or reduce an item from the list.

If it sounds like a familiar situation, it is time to turn to technology to streamline processes and reduce costs wherever possible. It is time to make your menu boards digital!

Digital signage: how fast is the trend catching on?

It would be wrong to classify digital signage as just a trend. The speed with which an increasing number of businesses are installing these signs goes a long way to explain how beneficial these are. The truth is that many of the new restaurateurs have taken the digital approach from the very beginning and have benefitted from it. It is, however, the older eateries - the ones that have been around for quite some time and are renowned in their own right but are traditionalists - that are facing the main problem.

Till now, they have relied solely on printed materials for their promotional purposes, and that has served them well. However, now they are having to change their approach to keep up with technological advancements and shifting public preferences. It is noteworthy that the change from print to digital may seem challenging initially, yet it is the way to go if a business wants to survive and succeed as well.

Is digital signage beneficial or is it overhyped?

The use of digital signage for restaurants is a topic of debate in various gourmet forums. It goes without saying that the vote is not unanimous on this matter. Some entrepreneurs refer to the cost savings they have made and claim this to be the direct effect of digital signage. Then there are restaurant owners who are concerned about the costs that this signage would entail. There is no denying that installation of digital signs at restaurants can cost a significant sum. However, a careful study of its benefits would prove that it is a wise investment.

What are the benefits of digital signage for restaurants?

  1. The obvious benefit of digital restaurant signs is heightened menu management flexibility. As said earlier, repeatedly changing menu boards and cards can be a costly affair. Menus can be changed last minute, can be revised from season to season, and chef's special dishes change on a day to day basis. Having digital signage would mean that the menu can be updated whenever required with just a click of the mouse, and the change will reflect on the board instantly. These real-time updates can not only help to save time and money but also enable the restaurant to meet customer expectations.
  2. Digital signage also eases up the selling process. At restaurants, usually, each item is accompanied by a short description of what it contains and how it is prepared. Either a server tells this description or it is printed on the menu card. There is always the chance that a new server forgets or ignores giving that description or that the guest does not like it or understand the printed description. Digital signs can be used to show how the food is being prepared, thereby, increasing its chances of being ordered more frequently.
  3. Today's audience rarely takes a look at flyers or boards that are fixed in and outside restaurants for advertising offers and deals. Digital signs, on the other hand, use bright graphics and videos to grab and hold customer's attention, and thus, the marketing messages get delivered successfully.
  4. Most restaurants nowadays have their own websites. It is no surprise that most restaurants go with WordPress sites since they can be edited easily and in real-time. Given the number of changes eateries need to do on the menu, offers, and deals, this ease of use is highly beneficial. Many restaurants connect their websites with their digital signs to reflect each platform’s content on the other. A restaurant’s social media pages can also be displayed on these signs simultaneously. This way, they can increase visitors to their websites and social handles, and boost the footfall at the eatery.
  5. As per federal law, bigger restaurant chains are required to disclose calorie information about their dishes in written form. Digital signage helps to remain compliant with such regulations. Calorie information can be updated quickly with changes to the menu.

The above points show how digital restaurant signs, especially menu boards, help eateries to cut operational costs, increase return on investment, and improve customer experiences. Besides the obvious business benefits, it is undeniable that digital is greener. By using less paper and paint, you can do your bit for the environment. That is a great reason to get started!

Author bio: Anna Summers is a digital marketer who has worked closely with many noted businesses to strengthen their brand image.  She has also written blogs on the benefits of digital restaurant signs and how they have helped the companies to thrive.