From posting a snapshot of an airplane’s wing cutting through clouds to using location-based services to find popular eateries nearby, the modern travel experience is fueled by digital technology and innovation.
With 35% of consumers citing social media as their main source of travel inspiration, digital media plays a large role in curating travel itineraries and documenting experiences. Videos featuring sharp transitions and carousels of stunning images have become popular ways to document and share travel experiences across platforms for both personal and professional use, drawing attention from potential travelers.
Once at their destination, travelers rely on quick searches and posts to find their next meal or map out a new adventure. With so many different sources claiming their attention, how can the hotel industry engage guests to interact with their offerings once on site?
With digital signage, hotels can create customized menu boards for restaurants and bars that include user-generated visuals, showcasing local specials, seasonal ingredients, and real-time updates to food and beverage offerings. This combination of key information and user-generated content can help attract customers and improve the guest experience at the same time.
Despite the impacts of COVID-19 across the industry, the hotel food and beverage service market experienced growth between 2017 to 2022, which is expected to continue throughout the rest of the decade. As businesses search for trends and growth opportunities within the market, they’re looking for opportunities to captivate customers in new ways while on-site.
Already met with a mountain of online appeals to try new products or visit local businesses during their stays, guests are drawn to visual elements for recommended activities, entertainment, and food and beverage options. With the ability to offer tailored messaging to guests at just the right time, digital signage provides real-time, accurate information about a hotel’s food and beverage offerings, encouraging guests to spend more time and money on the property by visiting these sites. Led by its strong visuals, digital signage also drives revenue for hotel food and beverage services by engaging guests, highlighting specific menu items, and providing helpful information.
When met with a mouthwatering rotation of images displaying the hotel’s daily specials or colorful drinks emphasizing the region’s local flair, guests realize they won’t have to look far to get the full experience out of their stay.
Digital signage visuals are powerful tools for businesses looking to capture their guests’ attention, create brand awareness, synchronize messaging, enhance wayfinding experiences, and influence purchasing decisions.
When in a new location, a guest looking to try the local cuisine may find themselves wondering about certain ingredients or the contents of new dishes. With limited time to engage guests, digital menu boards visually display the bar or restaurant’s featured items. This helps drive decisions and can lead to new culinary experiences for the guest while also encouraging guests to make spontaneous purchases guided by the imagery.
Digital signage achieves this by providing a visually appealing way to showcase menu items, using high-quality graphics and animation to draw attention. In addition, digital signage allows hotels, bars, and restaurants to strategically place enticing images and descriptions of add-ons, upgrades, items priced at a higher margin, or side dishes alongside popular items. This way, hotels and restaurants can prompt guests to make additional purchases, boosting sales.
Inspiring curiosity, strategically placed imagery depicting people enjoying food and beverages across the property encourages guests to picture themselves enjoying the same experiences they might have otherwise overlooked. With nearly 80% of consumers claiming user-generated content impacts their purchasing decisions, hotels and restaurants can easily incorporate user-generated content into customized feeds on their digital signage to show other travelers enjoying food and other experiences across the property. This helps the dining experience come alive, providing more genuine and authentic marketing appeal.
When coupled with wayfinding messaging pointing to a convenient location on site, digital signage capitalizes on the hotel’s amenities by cross-selling and up-selling. With a holistic digital signage strategy, hotels can use wayfinding applications and reader boards to promote food and beverage specials alongside other amenities and services. This will create opportunities to cross-sell and upsell.
Through customization, digital signage provides hotel bars and restaurants with various opportunities to showcase exclusive offers, compelling advertisements, promotions, limited-time offers, and additional product information pertaining to seasonality, time of day, and location-based specials. Digital signage also allows food and beverage outlets to incorporate quick, seamless updates to menu items, descriptions, prices, and pictures from anywhere.
This benefits hotels by creating awareness and enticing guests to spend more time on the property. Major chains can achieve this by providing guests with the amenities and services they may be accustomed to while still enhancing their menu offerings with local cuisine to create a more personalized experience unique to the hotel’s surroundings.
Frequent business travelers often select their hotels based on loyalty points and programs, which usually include major chain hotel properties. With busy schedules, it may be difficult for these guests to indulge in a tour of the area, but seeing captivating visuals advertising the hotel’s menu items focused on local or seasonal items will allow them to explore their surroundings in more convenient ways without missing out on the experiences they’re looking for.
For smaller hotels, using customized menu boards in a similar fashion creates an immersive guest experience and distinguishes the property’s bars and restaurants from the local competition. Digital signage can also display the day’s current and upcoming specials, informing guests of happy hours and unique dining experiences.
Despite a variety of activities and amenities available across the property, hotel food and beverage outlets may experience surges and downtime unique to their specific locations. Weather, holidays, and economic factors also play a larger role in determining hotel reservations. As a result, hotels can use digital signage to provide real-time updates that will help cut costs and enhance profitability.
Integrating user and location-based data further enhances customization, providing hotels with the information needed to determine peak scheduling times and implement dynamic pricing for popular time blocks with guests to ensure maximum profitability.
Limited by an inability to quickly issue updates, traditional, static signage can be costly when printing new menus to reflect seasonality, holidays, or daily specials. Hotels can save time and money with digital menu boards, using simple content management software to easily provide updates anywhere. These changes can also be implemented across a vast network of devices and locations, providing hotels with more touchpoints and opportunities to promote their food and beverage options.
As the hospitality industry continues to grow within the food and beverage market, hotels can provide valuable recommendations to guests and increase revenue through digital signage. From customizable menu boards to dynamic displays, hotels leveraging digital signage will attract attention, influence purchasing decisions, and provide unique, interactive information to help to curate memorable experiences for guests.