Digital Signage: Cooking up revenue for restaurants

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Many restaurants already connect their digital menu boards, point-of-sale (POS) systems and order confirmation platforms to aggregate data for analysis by managers.

Another digital place-based marketing opportunity has arisen with the increased use of tablet computers. Some restaurants are installing tablets in their dining areas to allow tableside ordering and entertainment. At Toronto Pearson International Airport, 
for example, customers at new bars and restaurants can check their flight status on table-mounted Apple iPads while they dine. This type of scenario opens new avenues for increased connectivity to restaurants’ omni-channel marketing strategies.

Already, digital menu boards, point-of-sale (POS) systems and order confirmation platforms are interconnected at many restaurants to aggregate data, which managers can then analyze before making new business decisions. The possibilities do not end there; some restaurants are using screens to cross-market products and complementing their digital menu boards with special ‘promo boards’ that upsell to customers while they wait in line to place their orders.

Writing a recipe for success
If restaurants are to use all aspects of such omni-channel communications in their marketing plans, they must begin with digital strategies that speak to the needs of their customers. Only then can technology truly connect with the public.

First and foremost, restaurant owners must determine what kinds of digital signage content are suitable for the audience at hand. The marketing approach should be highly targeted and relevant, whetting customers’ appetite for the brand’s products and services, or it will fall short in terms of making an impact and influencing purchasing decisions.

The digital signage network also needs to be scalable, so it can grow to support future marketing opportunities. Analytics should be taken into account, for example, as they are gradually becoming the norm for measuring the effectiveness of place-based media.

At the end of the day, customer satisfaction is imperative to achieving business success, so it is important to address what that means in the current dining landscape. Restaurant owners can then leverage digital place-based marketing as a driving force for increasing their revenue.

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Richard Ventura is vice-president (VP) of business development for NEC Display Solutions, which provides liquid crystal displays (LCDs) for digital signage networks in restaurants and other facilities. For more information, contact him via e-mail at rventura@necdisplay.com.

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