With new dining categories like fast casual emerging to meet customers' demands for great quality and fast service, many restaurant operators are looking for ways to reduce waiting times, increase average ticket, and encourage customers to return again and again. Digital menu boards, touchscreen ordering kiosks, branded TV networks and other connected devices can help you reach these goals. Here's how it works:
Digital Menu Boards: With digital menu boards, you can change your menu selection, featured items, and even pricing throughout the day to better match what guests are looking for. You can also make quick changes to electronic menus to take advantage of weather conditions (e.g. featuring iced coffee on an unusually warm day) or help promote local or national events (such as congratulating the home team on a win and offering a discount to people who present game tickets). Although flat can replace the entire menu area, some restaurant chains prefer to just swap out one or two panels, using the digital areas to showcase their specials, and leaving the traditional menus to show the full product selection with pricing.
Smartphones and Tablets: Customers can use their handheld devices to view an interactive menu and see videos of featured menu items while waiting in line or after being seated.
Private TV Networks: In an effort to improve the dining experience, even the largest fast food QSRs are remodeling their venues with improved seating, better lighting, and even flat-screen TVs. While providing television displays is arguably a smart idea for getting customers to stay longer, these screens can be taken one step further by turning them into a private TV network. In other words, you can use a digital signage player to take greater control of what patrons see in your dining area, e.g. by placing customized messages next to the live TV feed. These ads reinforce your branding and stimulate sales of additional items like coffee and desserts.
Self-Service Food Ordering Kiosks: With customers becoming quite accustomed to using touchscreen kiosks in airports and other venues, quick service, fast casual and even traditional dining restaurants are experimenting with touchscreen ordering for food and beverages. Customers use these self-service terminals to place their order and pay for it with cash, debit, credit, or gift cards, and then proceed to the pick-up or dining area to receive their food. Since the ordering kiosks consistently present up-sells and cross-sells and let customers visually confirm their order before placing it, both average ticket and order accuracy often increase when the terminals are used. Typically, the interactive kiosks are used to supplement (rather than replace) the counter employees, as some staff members are then re-assigned to help customers learn to use the kiosks. Modified kiosks can also be placed in drive-through lanes, virtually eliminating errors that arise from traditional microphone and speaker systems.
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