We get it. Digital signage sounds expensive and a bit scary when you’re running a small business like a café. But guess what? Cafés and digital signs are a better match than bacon and eggs! Big call, right? But we’re serious. Digital signs can increase your foot traffic, boost sales, improve customer experience, and actually save you money. Read on to find out how easy it is to get started creating beautiful, mouthwatering digital signs and why you need them in your café or restaurant.
Why are cafés using digital signage?Cafes and restaurants use digital displays and menus for the same reasons that other businesses do: they bring in more customers, drive up sales volumes and are immensely helpful for brand building compared to traditional means. If you wonder why these amazing results are possible, the answer boils down to general human traits and tendencies.
- The average human attention span is pretty short; around 2.8-8 seconds.
- But at the same time, the human brain is able to identify images they have seen briefly; in as little time as 13 milliseconds.
- People are attracted to visual stimuli because up to 90% of the information transmitted to the human brain is visual.
- Visual displays get 94% more views than text-based information.
We’ve listed the reasons under eight headings
1. Digital ads drive foot traffic to your businessDigital signs grab people’s attention far better than static signs, posters or menu cards. According to surveys, around 80% of customers choose to enter a store after seeing digital displays. Among American consumers, 76% say they enter stores they have never visited simply because of the signage. And more foot traffic inevitably translates to more sales. What cafe or restaurant owner would say no to more walk-ins through the door?
2. They help grow daily salesThe majority of brands (80%) that use digital displays record sales increases, with some recording increases up to one third uptick in volumes. Digital displays also increase repeat buys and the average purchase amounts of customers to a similar extent. Take a moment to reflect. Your increased sales by a third (33%) is due to both repeat purchasing and increases in average purchasing amount. Increase in average purchases may be explained by the fact that digital display promotions increase impulse purchases—especially fun stuff or food and drinks that people enjoy—as opposed to planned purchases. The repeat business may be attributed to the power of digital signage to increase recall. The information you present visually in your digital signs have a recall rate around 65% even after three days. In general the extremely high recall rate attributed to digital signs is almost double the rate of retention of traditional advertising. So all that a business has to do is design and deploy compelling promotions with well designed eye-catching graphics, animation, and video clips on special deals and high margin products.
3. They can help increase your profit marginsPeople cannot resist bargains. And they are more attracted to digital displays. So when cafes and restaurants combine the two in deliciously mouthwatering pictures that bring the food alive, you have a winning formula for your special sales and deals. We all know that deals are not always about giving things at a low price. You can increase the appeal of a product (or food item or drink) by making an offer time limited. Days specials are about high volumes, with the expectation that you can create more of a food item at a lower cost. Either way, its about an uptick in profit margins. And then there are the high margin products—those foods and drinks that most people do not plan to buy on a regular visit to your cafe. Compelling digital promotions of high margin items make people want to flavour them, and bring the barriers down. They’d rationalise it and say “why not try it for once…” and open their purses, spending a lot more than they planned to. Up goes your margins with every such individual decision.
4. They save time and money for your cafe or restaurantYou are running your business because you like good food, and see people enjoying them. And you want to experience that while also earning a profit. On one level, shifting to digital menu boards and displays from traditional paper or plastic displays and menu cards saves money that you spend in getting them printed or made. And if you keep changing your menu items regularly as food connoisseurs love to do, that means additional costs and effort each time you need to change your menus and displays. All that time and money can be saved by going digital. And you become more environment friendly as you are not constantly printing and throwing away things. Designing and deploying digital solutions are affordable because they reduce your monthly running costs once you’ve paid up for the display screens. From then on, you (and your customers) can enjoy the benefits of a digitally connected and trendy ambience because monthly costs on signage become completely insignificant.
5. Give your customers a better experienceThere are a number of ways in which embracing a digital culture can enhance customer experience in your cafe or restaurant. Digital displays can reduce the perceived waiting time. So whether your customers are waiting for a table or waiting for a take away order, they’d be distracted, engaged or entertained in turn by the digital displays and feel less fidgety. At busy times when your servers are worked off their feet, digital displays can help speed up the ordering process too. Digital menus in food venues also make the items on display come alive. Rather than order in ignorance or asking servers what each menu item “comes with” or “looks like”, videos and pictures in all their glory help customers make their choices more quickly and be adventurous. And knowing what a dish looks like raises expectations. If you are doing your job right in the kitchen, this should leave happy and satisfied customers. In turn that means better reviews, goodwill and repeat visits. You can also use digital displays to promote various upcoming special days and crowd pulling events like live music or games nights to attract people who would cherish the experience.
6. Digital displays help brand building by amplifying social reviewsToday, before they eat, people take pictures of their food to share on social media. Get the maximum advantage of this tendency by sharing live feeds of your social media. Encourage customers to engage and share their experience by showing your social accounts and hashtags on your digital displays. This amplifies your brand image significantly, with each new post. And everyone is happy when their posts appear on a digital feed for all to see, as they eat.
7. You have access to data that offers valuable insightsToday, digital signs are not just about designing and displaying messages for promotions or brand building. They help you gather data on what advertisements and promotions were shown at what times so they can be linked to increases or upticks in order numbers or volumes. This helps you make data driven decisions and help you fine tune your promotions, specials and also marketing material design. Such data driven decisions eventually translate to make you more effective in marketing, sales promotions and brand building.
8. They are easy to make and useDesigning and deploying attractive, professional looking digital signs does not really mean you need to spend a lot of time or have to be a design expert. Not at all. Mandoe’s digital sign software is easy to use by regular folks. Thanks to the many professionally designed templates (by industry) that can be easily tailored for your cafe or restaurant you or your staff can make the business look great and deliver effective messages within minutes. Do you need a “Today’s Special” sign? Running a two for one deal on a food item? Offering combos and meals or a happy hour deal that drives up order numbers from bargain hunters and ramp up your sales volumes and margins at the same time? Or perhaps you just want to remove the items not on offer so customers are not disappointed? No problem. There are templates for everything and also millions of stock images you can choose from to get the sign done up and deployed within minutes.
More food venues are adopting digital solutionsWhat we’ve listed are a lot of reasons to justify the investment. For all of these reasons business owners like you are adopting digital display solutions. In fact, 60% of enterprises that do not have digital signs say they are planning to invest in the technology within the next two years. So how about you?
Get a quote or book a free demonstrationDigital display solutions for your business are a lot more affordable than you think. The return on investment is strong, and café owners find it pays for itself with just a few extra orders a week. If you’d like a quote for your café, get in touch with our team today. Why not book a free, no obligation demonstration today if you want to learn more about our offerings.
Written by Paul