Restaurants have gone through a series of hits over the last couple of years, beginning with the labor shortage, supply chain issues, the Covid-19 pandemic, and now a huge spike in inflation. These uncontrollable operational challenges have boosted the cost of goods and restaurant managers are seeking to strategically combat the increase in expenses.
According to the 2022 State of the Industry Report by the National Restaurant Association, a combination of things has led to a decrease in overall profits compared to the pre-pandemic levels.
- Approximately 90% of restaurants in the United States reported higher food costs in 2019
- 80% of restaurants stated higher labor costs
- 60% of restaurants experienced higher occupancy costs.
In the recent years, digital signage has emerged as a technological tool for restaurants to engage with customers and as a result keep up with the rising prices. LED screens can be combined with free streaming platforms to entertain viewers and strengthen a businesses bottom line in good times and bad.
1. Reduce spending on TV marketing
While it is true that businesses must spend money to make money, there should be a strategic approach to make sure finances are under control. The marketing budget often represents a large amount of the promotional plan for a restaurant. By going digital with marketing, managers have more control over their spending by carefully strategizing content development, messaging and frequency via in-house solutions. In other words, businesses don’t have to rely on external agencies to promote products or attract customers with deals and content. Subscribing to a digital entertainment platform helps keep customers’ eyes fixed on the electronic display, thereby offering businesses a captivated audience to communicate with. The best part about this solution is that restaurants can cut significant costs otherwise spent on cable services, and these amounts can instead be re-invested into the business.
2. Focus on your brand
A digital signage investment is an in-house marketing solution which allows business managers to promote limited-time offers, hiring advertisements, employee announcements, and other information to drive sales. Streaming services are a sure way to distract people from their phones and get them to engage in the environment instead. Maybe their order is taking long to prepare or the outlet is short-staffed, restaurants can drive engagement with a fresh playlist of carefully curated video content on the digital display.
3. Focus on your customers
Include elements such as gamification in your digital signage platform to make the mission of engaging customers a less daunting one. Gaming allows customers to potentially save money via incentives such as discounts and freebies for those who attempt trivia for example, while restaurants also have the opportunity to generate more revenue. In fact, restaurants should keep in mind that instant discounts or rewards will encourage a customer to visit again instead of rewards that they can redeem later. If there’s a chance that a customer can get a free meal at a particular restaurant, the chance of him going back there is highly likely – which means gamification is creating a profitable cycle.
4. Find new revenue streams
To keep clients off their phones and engaged with your brand, make use of indoor digital signage to promote specials and new products. These LED displays can also be used to promote other services or neighboring businesses for a fee. Restaurant managers can capitalize on cross-selling and upselling as a strategy to expand and create more brand awareness and lure more sales. Electronic displays also serve as a customized solution to cater to the unique needs of a brand and positively impact the bottom line.
5. Increased sales and repeat business
For a diner to spend money at a particular restaurant and want to keep going back depends on a range of factors. Digital signage investments contribute towards the probability of this happening. Restaurant operators have an innovative solution to effectively promote their business, influence customers, make spending more efficient and enhance customer experiences.
Technology such as engaging digital signage platforms are becoming the cornerstone of the post-pandemic business model. Not only do restaurant want stop-gap solutions but also some long term, permanent solutions to future-proof their operations against possible adverse events.