As soon as the topic of this guide was introduced to me, I got excited. Very excited. I am a person who loves to eat, and, let me tell you, I have thoroughly enjoyed the research that writing this guide has involved.
Food is, as we will discuss later, beautiful. There is an entire industry of “food stylists” whose sole job is to make things look amazing on a plate, for the purpose of being photographed.
And if those plates look great on the printed page, just think how amazing they can look in high definition.
The gustatory appeal is only one aspect of restaurant digital signage, though. Perhaps more importantly, there is the level of efficiency that a smart digital signage installation can bring to a foodservice operation.
Gone are the days of paper menu boards that need to be changed out at precise intervals, in-store marketing banners and placards that get grimy and coated with ketchup, outdated prices on the lunch special menu. Digital screens can take the place of all of those paper-based forms of communication, making things better for both restaurant and customer.
And then there is that wonderful added benefit that retail enjoys from digital signage — “wait warping,” or the fact that people who are waiting to be served will perceive their wait time as less of a burden if they have something interesting to look at.
There are hurdles to be jumped. The economics of digital signage is sometimes tricky when dealing with franchise arrangements, and the introduction of high-def screens suddenly places the onus on the marketing department to have its act, 100-percent together when it comes to media assets. And don’t discount the fact that restaurants can be untidy places; cooking oil is murder on delicate electronic components, and plans need to be made on the front end to make sure those beautiful, new screens stay clean and operable.
But as with so many other things in life, the benefits outweigh the challenges, even when those challenges seem significant. Or perhaps it is the other way around – perhaps the benefits are so great precisely because such great hurdles are being jumped.
I’d like to thank ADFLOW Networks, whose kind sponsorship of this guide enables us to provide it to you at no cost.
James Bickers, editor
Digital Signage Today