Are you still on the fence about whether or not to go digital in your restaurant? Many industry insiders believe digital menu boards will reach critical mass in about three to five years. The trend is being driven by a confluence of factors, including menu labeling legislation from the Affordable Care Act, pricing and promotion management flexibility and decreasing costs for the technology.
Additionally, consumers — particularly younger consumers — expect or prefer dynamic content over static content. They're digital natives and they want animated and vibrant visuals when they're waiting in line for their meals.
According to Panasonic, those preferences are translating to the drive-thru order window, where, again, the cost of a rugged system is starting to come down. In the limited-service industry, about 70 percent of business comes from drive-thru traffic. Operators can take advantage of this customer base by implementing features such as facial recognition cameras, which can change the menu board greeting based on the party. They can also choose which menu item to focus on, depending on time of day.
Digital drive-thru boards also speed up service and improve order accuracy by removing any customer-to-cashier static. In addition to speeding things up, such technology decreases a customer's perceived wait time by up to 40 percent.
And it's not bad for the bottom line, either. According to Lyle Bunn, principal and strategy architect at Bunn Co., 80 percent of adults have seen digital signage in the past month, and 70 percent of them have made an unplanned purchase because of it. Most operators claim they experienced a 3- to 5-percent sales lift after installing digital menu boards.
As the cost continues to come down, the legislation requirements move closer, and the average age of the consuming class continues to get younger, it's only a matter of time until digital signage is a rule rather than an exception. Check out this infographic to see some more of the benefits about digital media.