How the hospitality sector is embracing digital signage to increase sales


Over the past decade or so, digital signage has revolutionized the way the hospitality sector serves its customers. Restaurants, bars, and cafes are using them to make their clients happier, improve efficiency, and make higher profits.

According to Deloitte most restaurants that switch from paper-based menus to digital ones see an uplift in sales of between 3 to 5%. That happens immediately, and sales continue to increase as the restaurant, bar, or café owner learns how to regularly tweak those menus to further boost sales.

Just one example of how digital screens are helping to increase sales within the hospitality sector. Below, we outline more.

Using screens to attract passersby in

People respond very positively to adverts that they see displayed on digital screens. They notice them more than poster-based ads and are also far more likely to recall the offer, making screens a highly effective way to attract the attention of passersby.

Cafes, bars, and restaurants are increasingly using them in their windows and on pavement A-frames to tempt people in. They are tailoring the offers that are displayed to appeal to the interests and demographics of the people who are passing at a particular time of day. For example, offering takeaway breakfast deals early in the morning to appeal to people on their way to work, followed by drink and cake promos for the mid-morning shoppers.

Targeted ads for diners

Once inside, more targeted ads that encourage customers to order something a little extra can be shown. For example, restaurants display offers they have on more expensive wines. This is an effective way to tempt diners to try something a little different instead of always ordering the house white. Cafes and bars also use targeted promotions to encourage customers to buy something extra to enjoy at home.

Interactive touch screens speed up ordering

Making higher profits is not just about selling more items. Making more on the items someone is going to buy anyway is a powerful way to improve your bottom line. The use of digital signage is helping the hospitality industry to do just that.

One example of this is touch-ordering screens, facilitated by interactive touch screen software. Initially, diners were not keen on using them, now, many people prefer to order that way. It speeds up the whole dining process, which means that a restaurant, bar, or café can serve far more people without having to employ more staff members.

Using this ordering method also makes it easy to tempt people to treat themselves to something a little extra. Asking someone if they want to order any extras once they have selected their main meal or showing them a dessert promotion just before they pay, is one example.

The benefits of digital menus

However, touchscreen ordering does not work for every establishment. For them, switching from paper menus to digital ones is the next best thing. Provided the screens can easily be seen from anywhere, diners can be ready to order the moment staff arrive at their table. Promos and offers that are tailored to the dining preferences of people who use the restaurant, bar, or café at particular times of the day can easily be displayed too.

If a meal is not selling well, it is extremely easy for the price to be reduced to ensure that it does not end up in the bin. Digital menus also make it far easier for seasonal dishes to be cooked. These can be added or removed in moments. Having this flexibility offers diners the chance to enjoy a bigger choice of meals at a lower price point.

Improving workflow and driving efficiency

Giving customers the option to order using touch screens means serving staff spend less time with each customer. This reduces the cost of wages, which is a significant overhead for any business owner.

To improve customer experience

Most importantly of all digital screens improve customer experience. The whole ordering and dining process is smoother. The use of screens also greatly improves customers’ perception of how long they have had to wait to be served.

When the promotions offered via the digital screens make them feel that they have dined for less, they feel far happier. Making it far more likely that they will dine or drink there again. For the hospitality industry, repeat custom is a vital component of profitability.

Digital screens are the future

Given that the use of digital menus offers so many ways to make higher profits, it is not surprising to hear that most are planning to switch to them. According to a survey carried out by Square in 2021, 88% of hospitality business owners had already switched to digital menus or were planning to do so.