Multitudes of new restaurants and cafes add their name each year to Australia’s already highly-competitive food service industry. And while taste or service may be perceived as the ultimate litmus test, customer communication is just as critical to an outlet’s business strategy.
Thankfully, the increasing accessibility of digital signage means that small to medium hospitality businesses now have the option of going dynamic and paper free, like their bigger, franchised counterparts. What was once a tedious, expensive task involving technical installations and content professionals—and therefore completely infeasible for small businesses—has now been simplified to a DIY model anyone can embrace.
So why should a hospitality business bother?
Varying messages by time of day, promotions, weather, and item availability can form a highly targeted communication experience. Digital signage allows ground-level staff to respond to the physical environment and customer trends as observable in real time. Think promoting cocoa when it’s cold and a milkshake when it’s hot—the business gets endless flexibility to make resourceful decisions with a few simple clicks.
Higher sales and impulse purchases
Tuning in to one of the key drivers for the popularity of digital—its ability to dramatically boost sales. Well-placed digital signage can boost sales by up to 31% and is a major contributor in aiding impulse or “unplanned” purchases.
There is little question that screen content is the winner when it comes to grabbing attention, outdoing paper-based signage by miles. In addition to being brighter, sleeker, and so much more modern, a single screen can offer ample mileage by keeping things interesting and showcasing an entire range of offers, not just one.
Better wait experience
While promotional offers and communication may be common reasons, digital signage can be oriented to different uses. Keeping customers engaged while they wait for food, by showing them their position in queue, or interesting trivia facts, can lower their perceived wait time greatly.
This yet again taps into the idea of personalisation. Wait experience can now be tailored to the business rather than doing the old fashioned thing of leaving a forgettable TV channel to play on, with little control over the content and its appropriateness to the environment.
Recurring printing outlays
Paper-based menus and signage, in addition to becoming tattered with repeated use, are also notorious for accumulating printing expenses over time. This formerly necessary evil can now be replaced entirely with digital, with the same screen acting like a blank canvas each time… which brings us to the next point.
Instant updates, easy designing, consistent branding
The full potential of digital’s ability to help create and disseminate content is little known. For one, digital makes it easy to “lock-in” a brand look and feel, and make instant, frequent changes on the same backdrop that may be as easy as typing in a few new words each time.
Rapidly changing promotions, specials and menu items have never been easier to update. In fact, updates can be done at a very ground level, as different times of the day, varying weather and food availability all inform a strategy that can now be communicated instantly.
The idea that an expensive graphic designer is the only route to beautiful content is also no longer true, as digital solutions start to come with built-in content creators. Additionally, external content creators such as Canva or even PowerPoint can be extremely user friendly for graphic novices, with attractive designs templates and intuitive animation.
Compliance with healthcare regulations
Each time healthcare regulations renew standards for disclosure, restaurants must rise to the occasion as calorie counts or allergens must now be listed next to each item. Digital takes away the pressure that comes with any mandated changes to menus in line with the state or federal law, or even popular diet trends that influence purchase decisions.
Digital signage is a cost effective, smart way for food industry entrepreneurs to take the reins of their communication. Driving personalised content autonomously is no longer a dream for small businesses—it’s here.
Five Faces is a full digital solution provider with a unique solution for small to medium businesses, Entertain. Entertain is a plug and play digital player with a one-time cost, enabling businesses to run digital content easily, affordably, and instantly. Visit entertain.fivefaces.com.au to learn more.