Executive Viewpoint: Improving Guest and Employee Experiences with Digital Signage

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Mike Tippets, Vice President of Marketing and Organizational Development, HughesON

Q: In what ways can digital signage help create a more contactless guest experience in restaurants?

A: Restaurants can place digital signage in windows facing parking lots to communicate with customers on contactless ordering/pickup processes, updated operating hours, and display QR codes customers can scan to access to expedite ordering or pickup.

Q: How are today’s digital signage solutions different than those of the past? 

A: Digital signage has evolved from a digital replacement for printed, static signage into a powerful customer-engagement solution. Things like cameras and sensors, Bluetooth beacons and use of backend data create immersive, informative, personalized real-time experiences. For example, signage can utilize onboard temperature sensors to offer specials based on external conditions—think ice cream when it’s hot. Or, a frequent shopper with their Bluetooth on can trigger a screen to display complementary items to their normal shopping list. Integrated analytics can base content on age, gender and mood, and screens are also being used to elevate employee performance or display live social media feeds to create excitement. 

Q: How can a restaurant create and manage content for digital signage?

A: Modern digital signage, like Hughes MediaSignage, uses cloud-based management. This allows users to login from any internet-enabled device and perform updates. The changes are done with drag and drop ease. Integrations with external systems allow for automated changes based on anything from inventory levels to outdoor temperatures. The restaurant operator can spend more time thinking about their business goals and less time performing content management chores. 

Q: What are some ways restaurants can use digital signage for employee engagement?

A: There are many: instructing employees on new cleaning and food safety procedures, introducing menu items, explaining how food is prepared or sourced. It’s a great way to model how to create fabulous customer experiences, respond to special dietary requests or handle irate customers. All of these and much more can be shared to any screen either as a scheduled playback or as a Video-on-Demand playback. The big gain is the consistent message; you get the same training or information update to all employees. 

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