W hen people enter a quick serve restaurant (QSR), their purpose for visiting is typically clear-cut to the extent that, before they’ve even looked at the menu, they’re already working over the choices in their heads. In other words, they’ve already made the decision to make a purchase. So the real challenge for a QSR, once customers are through the door, is how to maximize each individual sale, and encourage repeat business. One way to grab the attention of customers is to use digital signage – including digital menu boards.

With the deepening connection between the smartphone screen in our hands and the world around us, digital signage presents a convenient and versatile means of creating immediate and lasting impact on customers in the physical environment. Not only does the digital menu board present a smorgasbord of possibilities to satisfy customers hungry for their next meal, touchscreen ordering closely aligns with ordering via an app – something most consumers have become accustomed to.

And pushing customer convenience to the forefront can increase customer satisfaction and boost sales.

Digital menu boards increase sales by 28%

A digital menu board helps to showcase what’s on your menu, and can help you influence customer choices. A recent study by Intel revealed that the average order increased by 20-30% in QSRs with digital menu boards installed. This could be attributed to a number of features associated with digital signage.

Displaying high definition images of your menu items can instantly increase the appeal to hungry customers waiting in line. Take the example of someone who’s just dropped in to buy a coffee. Digital menus can provide a range of enticing coffee options and also promote related products. So the customer arrives seeking a coffee and leaves with a coffee and a donut because of an appetizing image (or highly visible offer). Imagine doing that for every customer – and you can see how sales start to rise.

Digital signs get up to 400% more views

Intel also discovered that customers are more likely to view digital over static signage. So with a captive and hungry audience, QSRs are in a prime position to improve customer  engagement, satisfaction, and loyalty.

Choice can sometimes be overwhelming, so combining high-quality images with easy-to-read menus is a great way to help customers make a decision, whilst at the same time guiding them towards specific menu items. Give customers what they want, but also help them choose items they didn’t know they wanted. Research from Panasonic revealed that for nearly three quarters of QSRs, an easy-to-read menu is a priority.

Animated content gets 5 times more views than static

There’s no denying that digital signs provide the opportunity to create a more sensory product showcase for customers, combining motion and sound with the potential to focus your attention away from your surroundings. Another study by Intel revealed that animated digital content received more views than static posters.

By using digital signage in the waiting line, QSRs have a golden opportunity to deliver the right message at the right time to their customers, who, at the same time, are more likely to pay attention. This additional layer of control over messaging is a key benefit over the static alternative.

Digital signage can decrease perceived wait times

Creating rich media content for customers in the waiting line also helps to distract customers from the physical act of waiting. By providing entertaining videos or other brand-related content through digital signage, QSRs not only have an opportunity to build a stronger brand connection, they can help to diffuse and alleviate the frustration of waiting for ‘hangry’ patrons.

Interestingly, research seen by Digital Signage Today suggests that perceived wait times can be reduced by up to 35% in restaurants where digital signage is installed. The implication? Quick service is not necessarily any quicker for the customer, but that’s how they perceive it.

Keep customers returning

In a competitive market, digital signage in QSRs offers a whole host of opportunities and benefits for keeping customers satisfied and sales increasing.

From keeping customers in the waiting line calm, engaged, and connected with your brand to tempting them with tasty recommendations that will enhance their purchase, digital signage is a powerful marketing tool which helps bridge the gap between digital and physical environments.

Faster and more accurate service, perceived or otherwise, helps to build stronger customer loyalty. Digital signage can also help you nudge customer loyalty further by directing customers to loyalty programs and offers that will encourage them to walk back through the door in the near future.