- On March 3, 2022
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As tech innovation continues to evolve and new trends emerge, the majority of fast food franchise owners are quickly realizing the advantages of going digital, especially when it comes to menu boards and other digital signage for in-restaurant messaging. Today’s fast moving customers want to make their orders and receive their food in a time-efficient manner. To meet consumer needs, fast-food restaurants, such as McDonalds and fast-casual establishments, such as Panera, are quickly moving away from static menu boards that only provide limited information and require manual updating. Digital signage enables faster ordering processes, short lines, and higher profits for the quick-service restaurant industry. If you want to know exactly how that works, keep reading for the full breakdown on why digital signage is a fast food franchise owner’s best investment.
Why should fast food franchise owners leverage digital signage solutions?
So why are the world’s top quick service restaurants like Burger King, McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A, Dunkin’, KFC, the Taco Bell franchise, and more making the switch to digital signage displays? After years of living in an increasingly digital world, it’s clear to us that traditional signage is not enough anymore. Just like many other areas of the consumer industry, the fast food business has evolved and the standards are higher. While many of the following advantages associated with digital signage are also applicable to small businesses, this blog emphasizes use cases in the fast food industry. Here is why fast food franchise owners should leverage digital signage solutions:
1. Effortless Menu Board Creation
With digital signage for restaurants, you can easily make alterations to menu items and other digital content by accessing your content management system. This is a significant step up in efficiency from traditional signage. You no longer have to pay a designer to update the sign, in addition to paying for printing services. Digital signage makes it easy to manage your food items, prices, and update the menu whenever changes are necessary.
2. The Pandemic Effect
Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, restaurant chains have quickly shifted to self-service to meet the needs of customers. Consumer preferences have shifted away from in-person service, largely due to the convenience and safety offered by contactless or low contact service options during the pandemic. Digital signage makes it possible for your customers to choose their orders and serve themselves quickly. And self-service technology like kiosks improves user-experience and promotes your restaurant as a modernized and accommodating business. This streamlines your service process and also attracts customers who are more comfortable with self-service options.
3. Modernize your fast-food restaurant experience
As a fast food franchise owner, you understand the value of keeping up with the leading trends and technology of our time. So you probably know that the current generation of customers seek out businesses that offer modern service options and implement fresh display and design trends. Digital signage helps you to modernize your fast-food restaurant and enhance your customer’s experience with your brand. Digital displays make it possible to attract and retain this segment of fast-food customers.
How does Digital Signage beat Traditional Signage?
In order to live up to their name, quick service restaurants need all the optimizations and efficiencies they can get. And the bottom line of digital signage is that they surpass traditional signage at every level, especially in the fast food restaurant business. So for fast food franchise owners wondering if digital signage is worth the investment, the answer is yes. Here’s why:
1. Promotes your Business
Digital menu boards allow you to incorporate valuable marketing content along with your menu items. These could be promotions, specials, announcements, or other entertaining pieces of media that enhance customer experience. With digital signage, you have full control of the message you want to communicate to the consumer and at the right time. And unlike traditional signage, the flexibility of digital screens means you can promote dynamic and engaging content that attracts the attention of customers.
2. Increased Accuracy
The implementation of digital signage and self-service options like interactive kiosks tends to increase the order accuracy at fast food restaurants. Kiosks eliminate the human error that is inevitable for even the most diligent cashiers.
In addition, with digital signage you can manage an entire network of menu boards on-the-go. So if any content mistakes ever pop up, you can fix them instantly through an easy to use CMS platform. Digital signage eliminates any wasted expenses on misprints, employee errors.
Whether you’re an experienced fast food franchise owner or an entrepreneur just starting out in the business, you know that up-selling is an important tactic that you need to implement in order to drive sales growth. However, we’ve noticed that customers usually respond better to digital up-selling, as opposed to up-selling from a restaurant employee. Especially when integrated with a point-of-sale (POS) system, digital displays can then show complimentary menu items and give you massive growth in sales. For instance, you can add videos or photos of steaming hot breadsticks, pizzas, or a cold drink. When you add your most-attention-grabbing products to the digital display, you can already expect an up-sell. The more unassuming presentation of these menu items is often more appealing to customers.
4. Fast Ordering
Whether you’re serving up burgers, ice cream, or pizzas, customers expect speed from any QSR. Digital signage offers everything customers need to make the ordering process fast and easy: Ease of navigation, optimal readability, and high brightness screens. As a result, customers arrive at the counter better educated, with fewer questions, and ready to place their order, even the ones who are first time visitors to your restaurant.
5. Brand Consistency
Digital signage makes it easy to maintain the same brand aesthetic and messaging throughout all franchise locations. It also facilitates consistency between your online content and your messaging content inside restaurants. Digital signage CMS also makes it simple and fast to alter your content across all of the display screens if there are any changes in menu items. This allows you to control the narrative and ensure that all customers have the best experience of your franchise brand.
6. Maximize Revenue
The many benefits of digital signage ultimately translate into more revenue for your restaurant business. Faster ordering, increased up-selling, increased accuracy, and much more, means that your restaurant can operate more efficiently than ever, without wasting valuable opportunities to maximize profits. While it’s true that transitioning to digital signage for any restaurant franchise is a significant initial investment, it’s a smart decision that delivers a favorable return on that investment.
Digital Signage Screens Available for Fast Food Franchises
Below are a few of the different types of signage displays that work well in fast food franchises:
1. Digital Menu Board
Digital menu boards are so popular in the fast food industry today because they are one of the most effective ways to modernize your business. And we’re not just talking about updating your messaging to a more practical and high functioning option, it also adds a modern look and feel to the interior of your restaurant. With the prevalence of food delivery apps, fast food franchises have a harder time of getting customers to actually come into the restaurant. A convenient and fun experience with digital menu boards gives them a reason to come in person.
Additionally, research shows that 30 percent of customers normally influence digital menus at fast-food restaurants. Digital signage helps your business to eliminate paper menu cards and adopt more efficient digital displays.
2. Self-service Kiosk
Self-service kiosks are perfect for the fast food business, and are already a common presence in many fast food chains. A self-service kiosk offers automation and efficiency for customers and your business. Customers can easily customize their orders, pay quickly, and get their food in a frictionless fast food experience. Restaurants with kiosks ensure faster orders, shorter lines, and happier customers.
3. In-window displays
Digital in-window displays are great for attracting new or returning customers to your restaurants. Displaying eye-catching visuals of your delicious looking food in your window displays is a surefire way to tempt any passerby who may be in need of breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It’s displays like these that drive impulse buys by drawing in customers who have never tried your food. This can also be a useful way to counteract any lack of visibility if a franchise location is on less than prime real estate. Even if you couldn’t get your first choice of location, engaging signage is an effective way to bring customers in. You can also use internal in-window displays for your in-restaurant customers while they decide what to order.
4. Reader boards
Keyser’s Digital Reader Boards offers the ability for you to enhance your advertising strategies by displaying dynamic and engaging content to customers, visitors and passersby. Reader boards are often displayed in areas of public transportation like the subway, along roadways, and major thoroughfares. The flexible digital reader board signs let you communicate your message with whatever content fits your branding needs.
The Transition to Digital Signage
Fast food franchise owners interested in implementing digital signage into your business probably have a lot of questions about how it works and what the process of switching to digital looks like. The first thing you should know is, as long as you work with a professional digital signage company, you won’t be going through this process alone. There are a number of odds and ends that need to be managed when it comes to transitioning to new tech, so having experienced professionals is a must do. Below a list of services a typical digital signage company should offer along with digital signage display. As an example, we’re including what Keyser offers with any client:
- Installation – Keyser’s team can handle the logistics, scheduling and on-site project management for your installation project so you don’t have to. Keyser has experience installing signage boards at a small scale level as well as national deployments.
- Permit Acquisition – Keyser’s internal team can handle all of the permit procurement needs required for your project. With experience of obtaining building, electrical, and sign permits in hundreds of municipalities nationwide, you can be rest assured that you will have a streamlined permit acquisition process that can work through any obstacle.
- Design – Keyser’s internal digital signage design team can help identify the best layout and structure for your digital signage and advertising efforts. Keyser’s design and engineering team specializes in custom signage layouts to give each individual brand its necessary identity.
- Maintenance – Whether it is Keyser’s product or not, we offer product maintenance anytime. Whatever the issue, we know that getting it resolved and keeping your digital displays fully functioning is essential to your flow of business.
- Content Management System (CMS) – A CMS is the platform where you can control all of your digital display content in one central location. It will show photos, videos, RSS feeds, websites, and social media along with when to show them on display.
The Transition Process: A Real-world Example
A notable example of a major fast food franchise that went through the process of transitioning to digital signage with our guidance was McDonald’s. In 2018 Keyser installed more than 5,500 McDonald’s drive thru menu boards. The nationwide installation project took nearly two years of Keyser managing and coordinating schedules, applying for permits, and more.
Since McDonald’s transitioned to digital outdoor menu boards, the historic franchise has been a leader in adopting new technology for fast food restaurants. While the transition process may have been a major endeavor for the restaurant chain to take on, they were not alone in the project. Clearly, McDonald’s saw the value that updating their fast food experience would bring to the business and since then, other fast food franchises have followed suit.
Take the Next Step
Are you one of many fast food franchise owners thinking about upgrading to digital signage for your fast food franchise business? Contact Keyser today to start the conversation.