TVs have slowly been creeping further and further into every restaurant’s atmosphere for years now. It started with a small black and white television in one corner of the bar so guys could watch the game. Now many bars have several HD flatscreens showing multiple games and news channels at once, and even dining areas have started to keep a TV or two positioned in strategic corners so customers can keep up on sports and information.
But as digital media permeates our lives more and more, a new era has dawned in how televisions can be used in the food service industry. Those screens don’t have to be, and shouldn’t be, just used for sports and talking heads anymore. That’s because the technology has advanced to the point where restaurateurs can engage customers in new ways, and because that technology is now widely available, customers themselves welcome and even expect to be engaged with digital media.
Consider some ways to leverage the digital phenomenon in your restaurant:
Advertise yourself and your specials. Well placed digital media in your restaurant can become a great vehicle driving sales. Not only can you promote daily specials and high margin menu items, you can drive brand awareness with digital media campaigns. And because your medium is a flatscreen TV, it’s easy to change specials and rotate brand messaging often at almost no additional expense. That means you can experiment with multiple advertisements and specials until you find the ones that work best. You can also offer many more promotions without having to worry about changing menus, which give you the freedom to find new ways to attract customers.
Become interactive. Because it’s so easy to load new content onto digital media, restaurants have a lot of leeway with trying new items and promotions. However, the only way to find out if these new promotions are working is through customer feedback. Of course, analyzing sales is one way to discover which promotions are working and which ones are not. But digital media can also be a great vehicle for getting customer feedback. Interactive touch screen monitors can collect information from customers quickly and in a way that engages and entertains the customer. Interactive digital media can even collect orders from customers and give them a direct line of communication to management.
Entertain while customers wait. Digital media can also entertain customers while they wait for food or service, and studies have shown that customers who are entertained while they are waiting for service are much more forgiving about their wait times. As we have already discussed, TVs have been used for decades to entertain customers in restaurants and bars. Digital media takes this concept to a new level by allowing you to insert advertisements and branding messages about your specific location into more general entertainment.
This means you can not only advertise but intermingle that advertising with entertainment, which makes your advertising much more effective.
No doubt, investing in a digital media system for your restaurant can mean a hefty up front expense. But if you leverage this technology properly, you can see very real boosts to sales, brand awareness, and customer satisfaction. And boosting those three factors are vital to any business’ success.
Check out Indoor Direct for an example of a company that puts together digital media networks in restaurants.