From dine-in to drive-thru, are business owners of food and drink establishments able to measure the ROI of their digital signage? We conducted a survey to better understand how effective digital signage for restaurants, cafés, and bars is and its ability to boost sales and improve the customer experience.
Digital signage for restaurants, cafés, and bars ROI survey demographics
Firstly, we wanted feedback from a range of restaurant industry business owners across the US to ensure results reflected current industry use cases. In total, 100 professionals answered our survey questions and provided insightful data. Geographically, 14% were from the Northeast, 15% from the Midwest, 36% from the South, and 25% from the West.
On the business side, 37% of respondents say they use digital signage for customer-facing content, while 44% say they use digital signage for customer-facing and employee communications. This demonstrates how digital signage can be equally effective for customers and employees in the restaurant, bar, and food services industry.
At the time of our survey, 53% of business owners said they implemented digital signage to display digital menu boards. Similarly, 58% of our sample said they employed digital signage as a sales and marketing tool. With a focus on the consumer, 27% said they adopted digital signage to entertain customers or encourage social sharing (21%). In terms of the internal procedures of their business, 25% of respondents said they acquired digital signage to streamline operations.
81% can measure the ROI of digital signage
Overall, most industry professionals we surveyed said they could determine the business value of their digital signage. In fact, over 80% think digital signage for food & drinks promotions and offers increases sales, upselling and cross-selling. Specifically, 80% of business owners state digital signage has increased the percent of customers who place an order.
Multimedia content drives sales and customer satisfaction
What makes a great drinking or dining experience? According to Lightspeed, a friendly, personalized experience, a memorable atmosphere, and efficient customer service are key. Delivering on these customer touchpoints can drive repeat business and keep brand reputation high.
Speaking of the customer journey, 75% of respondents say digital signage improves their customer experience when screens display engaging content such as news tickers & alerts, YouTube videos, TV shows, etc., while they wait for their food. Likewise, 74% of business owners who took our survey think digital signage reduces perceived wait times for people waiting in line.
In a similar vein, of respondents who repurpose social media content (e.g., social media feed, social media wall) on screens, 75% say they have benefited from increased sales. Additionally, of business owners who use digital signage to personalize screens for events (e.g., show live sports, congratulatory messages for diners celebrating events), 81% believe it has increased sales and improved customer satisfaction.
Digital signage for staff training increases customer orders
Interestingly, we found a strong correlation between digital signage for staff training and profits. 87% of our sample said they strongly agreed (56%) or agreed (31%) that digital signage had increased the percentage of customers who place an order. Specifically, 69% said it had increased sales overall.
Furthermore, 77% of business owners who use digital signage to display public health alerts said they strongly agreed (44%) or agreed (33%) that it increased the number of orders placed.
Tellingly, 67% of those respondents said digital signage had improved their customer experience, while 56% said it made dining more convenient.
82% say displaying practical information leads to increased sales
It’s clear that sharing practical information in an eating or drinking environment impacts sales and customer satisfaction, which can, in turn, keep customers coming back for more. For example, of respondents who display practical information (e.g., opening hours, menu changes) on screens, 77% say it increases sales. Meanwhile, of business owners who use digital signage to display product information (e.g., supplier content, calorie count, roasting practices), 82% say it has increased sales while also improving customer satisfaction (77%).
Digital signage advertising has an impressive impact on sales
Without a doubt, our survey results revealed that marketing content on screens is highly engaging in a drinking or dining context. Specifically, 90% of respondents who use digital signage for personalized engagement (e.g., calls to action, loyalty programs) say their sales have risen. Also, 86% of our sample who display branded ads on screens say they have improved their customer experience. Overall, 84% of business owners think digital signage makes their brand more recognizable to consumers.
Outdoor digital signage generates business
Outdoor dining has been a Covid bright spot and looks like it’s here to stay. At present, 70% of business owners we surveyed use outdoor digital signage and see the benefits. Of those respondents, 81% picked 7 or higher out of 10, when asked to what extent this boosted sales.
Meanwhile, of respondents who use digital signage for drive-thru displays, 65% say their sales have increased, and 75% state their customer satisfaction strengthened. Additionally, of respondents who offer a contactless, virtual customer journey via self-service (e.g., interactive kiosks, contactless ordering), 83% say they have enhanced their customer satisfaction while 74% saw sales increase.
Equally effective, of respondents who use digital signage in street-facing windows to entice passersby, 70% picked 7 or higher out of ten when asked if this had increased foot traffic.
A digital signage investment that pays off
According to our survey, digital signage generates more customer success and higher revenue in restaurants, cafes, and bars. From communicating with customers effectively, improving employee performance, and providing entertainment to creating an omnichannel retail experience, both indoors and outdoors, digital signage offers proven value in more ways than one.