How Digital Technology is driving the Canadian Chain Foodservice Industry
By: Mary Peterson, Vice President, IT & Enterprise Solutions, Samsung Electronics Canada
Ordering a burger and shake at your local quick service restaurant has come a long way. Digital signage technology has become a key tool in driving sales and boosting customer experiences in the foodservice industry, with screens attracting diners, highlighting promotions and helping inform hunger-charged decisions. Digital displays are not only common at order counters, but throughout the restaurant as well as drive-thru lanes – a critical area for major chains in the industry.
Today, digital signage technology is evolving rapidly alongside an ever-changing foodservice industry. Self-serve ordering, mobile pick-up and home delivery have changed sales patterns, in-store customer counts and the way stores operate. In order to remain relevant, operators must rely on technology like digital and interactive signage – both in front of diners and behind the counter.
Digital displays offer flexibility and create efficiencies
In recent years, operators in the Canadian foodservice industry have adopted digital signage management systems and display technology to communicate menu items, new products and promotions on digital menu boards above and behind the counter. They have also implemented digital displays to pre-sell and promote specials, as well as raise awareness of the company’s community contributions and recruit new full-time and part-time employees.
The most prevalent use of digital signage is the array of menus behind ordering counters. Digital menu boards, such as the Samsung SMART Signage QBR/QMR Series, provide the ability to change menus without having them printed and delivered multiple times every year. Using digital signage technology, changes to menus are scheduled and automated, and can even be tied to restaurant management systems, so that out of stock menu items can automatically disappear from menu screens. As customers now expect to see what they are ordering, with Samsung SMART Signage, operators can rotate lifelike images through ultra high-definition resolution.
Quick service restaurants want to provide their customers a vivid and unique experience through lively, immersive video wall content, while also providing necessary information about their menu offerings and ingredients. With the VMR-U Video Wall Series from Samsung, operators can display dynamic content with visual impact to grab customers’ attention and provide them with key information. This efficient system on chip (SoC) embedded video wall can easily transform screens from displaying standalone content to operating as one cohesive unit, without the need for additional hardware.
Digital signage works in any environment
The recent wave of digital display adoption has involved outdoor drive-thru areas, with daylight-readable screens replacing printed pre-sell and menu posters. With outdoor digital signage, such as the Samsung Outdoor Display OHF Series, changes take a matter of minutes, as messages are fine-tuned and promotions catered to consumers rolling into drive-thru lanes. Outdoor displays from Samsung feature a slim depth (85 mm.) design and the added convenience of an embedded power box. They also boast durability, flexibility and 24/7 performance, even in extreme temperatures.
Moreover, in a study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Samsung, digital signage in drive-thru lanes decreases drive-thru times, reduces food waste due to improved order accuracy, and reduces the labour costs of printing, shipping and putting new posters in place.
Ultimately, between boosted sales and better experiences for customers, outdoor digital menus will gradually be as common in drive-thrus as the menu displays inside quick service restaurants. Operators are no longer talking about trying out digital; they are talking about rollouts. Because of the enhanced, personalized customer experience digital menu boards bring, restaurants are in a position to upgrade their old displays and start reaping significant financial benefits from these new digital displays.
Interactive digital marketing solutions for store fronts work inside and out
Just about any business with a street-level presence has the opportunity to use window marketing to drive sales and boost their communications strategy. Putting a bright digital display in a storefront can be an effective way to market to passersby and drive foot traffic through the front doors. However, using that technology has tended to come with a compromise: screens look great from the outside, but staff and visitors on the inside see the back end of a display or its enclosure.
That is where Samsung’s dual-sided LCD screens are filling a need. The OMN-D Series from Samsung is a dual display with screens on both sides, allowing restaurants to maximize messaging. The window-facing screen features bright visuals and prominent positioning, giving passerby’s motivation to enter the restaurant. Once inside, indoor-facing displays enhance the dining experience with relevant content, such as menus or promotions. This single display reduces equipment and installation costs, increasing operational efficiency, compared to installing two separate displays.
Moreover, when it comes to watching the big game, major restaurant chains in the foodservice industry are continuing to deliver incredible entertainment options. Sports and entertainment-themed restaurants are evolving from using single TVs suspended from ceilings to installing giant video walls that can show the big game — or be segmented to show multiple games at once.
With the Extreme Narrow Bezel Video Wall UHF-E/UMH-E Series from Samsung, diners can enjoy an immersive, near-seamless viewing experience for catching every play in the game. These video walls feature an extreme narrow-bezel (1.7mm.) that produces a near-seamless picture across multiple screens without interruption, generating countless opportunities to captivate customers. Another option are direct-view LED screens that counteract direct sun and glare, making them better suited for locations flooded by natural sunlight.
Display Technology and the Evolution of Dining
As the Canadian foodservice industry continues to undergo dramatic changes, operators are tailoring their technology investments to meet consumers’ heightened demand for a more personalized dining experience. Getting the experience right is critical because consumers have so many options, and because technology presents a key opportunity for restaurant operators to differentiate and compete in the mobile ordering and delivery industry. Indeed, the future of quick service restaurants is rooted in a technology-driven experience reflected in digital displays, both inside and out.
For more information on Samsung Digital Display solutions, visit www.samsung.com/ca/smartsignage.
Source: The Total Economic Impact Of Samsung Outdoor Digital Menu Boards (Forrester Consulting, February 2017)