To be a leader in the foodservice industry, you should have the most up-to-date technologies so you can stay competitive. And this means you can’t ignore the value of digital signage. 

Foodservice operators that develop a digital signage game plan -- and put the necessary investment behind it -- open a big lead over the competition. That’s because these screens help you focus on optimizing the customer experience while reducing your operating headaches. 

As you think about your digital signage strategy, you probably come up with a lot of questions about how to do it and why it matters. Below we cover some of these most frequently asked questions, and provide expert-informed answers to each of them. 

Keep reading to see the questions, or select the one you’re most curious about!

  1. Is digital signage necessary in a world of pre-order?
  2. The cost of digital signage solutions doesn’t seem worth it -- what ROI does it provide?
  3. Will digital signage give me a competitive advantage?
  4. How technical should I be to manage digital signage?
  5. My digital signage doesn’t look like what you see in commercial foodservice. How do I make it better?
  6. I have digital signage and it takes too much time to operate. How do I save myself time and headaches? 
  7. What is the future of the digital menu board?

Is digital signage necessary in a world of pre-order?

It’s no secret that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, online ordering quickly rose in popularity across not just restaurants, but also foodservice organizations and the customers they serve. For example, we found 87% of college students surveyed in June said online ordering for food pickup was very important to them when choosing what and where to eat on campuses.

But the reality is digital signage is still a vital component of your operation. Why? Because with fewer people showing up in-person to buy food, you should have the best strategy in place to capture that attention, communicate effectively, and turn engagement into sales.

The best way to do this is with compelling, dynamic digital screens. These types of displays capture 400% more views than static ones, and they convert better, too -- 80% of brands saw an increase of up to 32% in additional sales thanks to digital signage.

The cost of digital signage solutions doesn’t seem worth it -- what ROI does it provide?

As the stats above revealed, digital screens have a clear impact on increasing sales. Other data shows eight out of ten customers enter a location because digital signage caught their eye, while 20% of customers make an unplanned purchase after seeing a product on a digital screen.

Digital signage is worth the investment in other areas, too. For example, screens can enhance brand awareness by almost 48%, and they can even produce a recall rate among consumers of up to 83%. Screens also make the customer experience better; digital signage can reduce customers’ perceived wait time by up to 35%, while also increasing their retention rate by 30%.

Finally, another way digital signage provides ROI is by reducing your time and money spent manually updating menus across all your customer-facing channels, eliminating waste from paper menus, and keeping your focus on what you do best -- making your customers happy.

Digital Signage ROI

Will digital signage give me a competitive advantage?

Absolutely! Here are just a few reasons why digital signage can give you a significant advantage over your competitors. 

For starters, enhancing your organization’s visual appeal (especially when your competitors aren’t doing the same) can help you sway consumer behavior. Digital signage software can also give you a competitive advantage because the right one creates a cohesive customer experience that’s easier to update than print menus or static signage. 

Ultimately, digital screens help you get your message out across multiple locations, which in turn builds brand recognition and customer loyalty that your competitors may not have.

How technical should I be to manage digital signage?

Depending on your menu program and/or content management system (CMS), you don’t need highly technical skills to create a fantastic digital screen experience for your customers.

A centralized, cloud-based CMS should let you push out tailored content to different screens or locations so you don’t have to deal with the headache of creating custom presentations or static displays for every single screen in your network. 

Plus, available integrations can make your job even easier, so you can focus on your operations instead of the technical stack needs of your signage. For example, you can integrate your menu data with menu planning and ordering systems, and so any time you update your menu, it will sync to all of your connected digital signage. 

Digital Signage Value

My digital signage doesn’t look like what you see in commercial foodservice. How do I make it better?

There are plenty of steps you can take to improve the visual appeal of your digital signage and make it as restaurant-quality as you’d like. And if your follow-up question is “do I need a full-time designer to make this happen?”, the answer quite simply is that no, you don’t!

The right CMS or digital signage solution will provide an easy-to-use tool for you to customize the look and feel of your screens, and should support not just menu integrations and images, but also additional content like ads, special program announcements, weather information, and more. 

If you have a system, or are considering a system, with a layout builder that you feel is too difficult for your team to use, it may be time to look at alternative providers. Maintaining the ability for your team to make layout edits and design improvements is essential to a successful digital signage program for any foodservice operation.

You can also consider the physical placement of your screens. Are they placed in areas customers might expect to see based on their commercial dining visits? If not, carefully relocate these screens for an experience more reminiscent of restaurants to boost your visual appeal.

I have digital signage and it takes too much time to operate. How do I save myself time and headaches?

Running a fantastic digital signage strategy shouldn’t take away hours of your time! If anything, it should be a set-it-and-forget-it process that takes little maintenance on your end.

For example, if you or someone on your operations team currently takes a thumb drive to every individual screen so you can manually update the content, look for a solution that lets you update and sync menu and nutritional data across all your devices instantly with just a few clicks of the mouse. 

You can also depend on these software solutions to provide automations that work for your operation while giving you back some of your valuable time. Some great automations to look for and set up with your provider are processes that handle complex menu cycles and ones that allow for easy dayparting.

Additionally, if you find you’re spending too much time on creating your menu and screen layouts, look for pre-built templates you can implement more quickly. You might have access to such templates -- or even custom designs -- with the right digital signage solution, like we provide many of our Nutrislice Showcase customers.

Digital Signage Example

What is the future of the digital menu board?

The customer experience has changed more in the past 10 years than it has in the previous 100, and even more so in the last year-and-a-half due to COVID-19. As such, foodservice operations that want to be successful should have a clear focus and prioritization of the customer experience, with digital menu boards and signage leading the way.

The future always changes, so foodservice providers will need a flexible digital menu board provider who can help you be adaptable and on top of any situation that comes your way. This is where Nutrislice Showcase comes in -- our digital signage solution was created to maximize your Customer Experience impact while keeping your Operator Experience easy and delightful.

If you’d like to see how Nutrislice’s Showcase solution can help improve your digital signage game plan, let’s talk!