Quick Serve Restaurants (QSRs) have become a place where digital signage is flourishing. What is it about QSRs that make them such a perfect match for digital signage? Burger King has recently garnered some attention for its use of the medium, so let’s take a closer look at what one chain is doing and how that can translate to your clients.

When you walk into a typical fast-food chain, you’ll often see static signage replaced by digital menu screens that may even rotate every 30 seconds or so to show all that is on offer. A crisp, clean menu that can be easily changed is one of the big reasons QSRs are beginning to make such big use of digital signage.

More than a Menu

But for some Burger King franchises, that is just the beginning. At one Burger King location, it used displays in various areas of the restaurant to deliver content such as:

  • Newest products
  • Job offerings
  • Movie trailers and entertainment
  • Loyalty program information
  • Dynamic temperature and weather conditions content

Such a strategy takes full advantage of the attention digital signage can garner. But it does mean creating content that is the right match for the venue. 

What made the display truly effective was that it delivered simple information and used natural techniques to gain audience attention. One simple technique is to leave volume low for content where something like low, interstitial music is all that is called for, and increase volume for things like movie trailers. When words are crucial to convey, closed captioning should always be used.

Digital Signage Right Outside the Box

The drive-thru is another place where digital signage is making a big impact. Research shows that restaurants with a drive-thru lane can expect 70 percent of sales to happen via drive-thru.

According to QSR Magazine, with the addition of drive-thru digital signage, you can expect to boost sales by a further 3 – 8 percent.

But with a very limited window to grab the attention of customers, how multi-functional can the drive-thru lane digital signage be? Consider the following:

  • Presales: With limited time, promoting high-margin items can drive customers to a purchasing decision on items that mean the most revenue.
  • Upsell: Similarly, signage can encourage customers to “supersize” or otherwise add on to their order.
  • To run promotions: Drive-thru digital signage can be used to present eye-catching meal deal promotions.

A man and a woman at a shopping mall looking at a map on an interactive smart kioskMeasuring Digital Signage ROI 

As with any AV project, an understanding of goals and objectives is needed in order to deliver solid ROI. Just throwing up a few displays without forethought will not bring the results clients are demanding.

First, what are the goals? If the singular goal is to sell product, a menu alone may be the best option. The Burger King example is instructive because they were able to see the potential for meeting several goals and objectives through this medium. 

We’ve all passed the invitation on the door of the QSR, printed on an 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper, inviting people to “apply to join a dynamic team” or some similar HR recruitment message. Burger King decided to up the ante and bring recruiting right onto the digital signage, signaling that the team behind the counter was just as important as the customer finding the right flavors to fill a craving. 

Another consideration is the project time-frame. The client will need to have a clear sense of the cost of ownership for digital signage over time. This would include factors like updates, repairs, and training. Compared with the time and energy needed to manage static signage, the ROI can be significant.

Customer feedback is another important measure. You need to know how customers are navigating the QSR experience both before and after installing digital signage. This can help you determine the real impact of the investment and if it is meeting your overall objectives and goals.

Tried and True Lessons for All Digital Signage Clients

The point is, lessons from Burger King and other QSRs use of digital signage can provide some valuable lessons for integrators to use with a wide range of clients.

  • Being useful never goes out of style. Providing information beyond what is for sale drives positive interaction. So content that is not all about sales serves a valuable purpose. 
  • Providing more than one kind of content keeps eyes directed toward the signage, where sales and promotion will be a part of the content mix.
  • Content that grabs attention without being demanding will win the battle for customer’s hearts and minds, and their payment methods will follow.