Do you have TVs in your bar or restaurant? Great, because you’re a few steps away from unleashing extra revenue as digital signage software turns your screens into customizable ads. You can promote anything you want: from high-margin menu items to upcoming events. Or, resell the advertising space to other businesses. Get ready to change the channel on low sales by tapping into the power of digital signage…
Digital Signage 101: How it Works
The best (and most affordable) digital signage software will work with TVs and screens you already have. Beware of companies that try to sell you their own “special” monitors and screens! Instead, digital signage software from companies like Buzztime and Advisia integrates with most existing TVs.
7 Best Ways to Boost Revenue Through Digital Signage
1) Drive Sales of Menu Items
This is where digital signage really shines. Most restaurants and bars use it to highlight menu items with a high margin. It could be a cocktail, appetizer, entrée…anything! A key benefit of ads on your TVs is that you can sell the item through photos and vivid descriptions. You can truly bring your menu to life on the big screen. What guest can resist a closeup shot of a refreshing margarita on a hot day, or a juicy burger when they walk through the door…
Want proof that this type of marketing works? A Nielson study found that when digital signage is used at the point of sale (so when guests are in your venue), sales of featured items increased by up to 33%.
2) “Flash Sales” on Digital Signage
Websites do it, why can’t your restaurant or bar? Use digital signage to highlight a very limited time offer, like half price wings during happy hour. The on-screen ad would only run from 5pm-7pm. In fact, you could build your happy hour around the “mystery” deal of the day. Customers would have to come in, check out your TVs, and see what deal is on deck.
3) Show Love to Loyal Guests
Make customer-of-the-month programs cool again. Reward your most loyal customers by putting their name – and photo – in lights on your TV screens with digital signage. (Of course, you’ll want to get their permission first.) Here are a few variations:
- Social media star of the week: It’s a foodie’s dream…seeing their food photos from your restaurant featured on TV. Each week, select a customer from Instagram or Facebook, and put their pics on display.
- Photo-of-the-week contest: Invite customers to use a designated hashtag when they post photos of your food or drinks to social media. Each week, randomly select a photo (just search the hashtag). Then, reward the winner with a small gift card and a starring role on your digital signage.
Wondering how loyalty can boost sales? If you can improve guest retention rates by 5%, you could increase your profitability by 25-95%.
4) Reward Your Staff
Don’t forget about cultivating loyalty with your staff. Why not use digital signage to showcase your hardest workers? Create an employee-of-the-month program. You can either decide the winners yourself, let guests nominate staff member, or let employees nominate each other.
Public recognition on your TVs is a powerful reward in itself. But go beyond digital signage and build out your employee rewards program. Add perks like first dibs on picking their schedule, a nice hoodie with your logo, or cold hard cash.
5) Be the Main Event
Make guests in your venue feel like VIPs by promoting upcoming events on your digital signage before announcing them to the public. If you sell tickets, drive sales while guests are with you by giving an advance sale discount. Include language like “limited tickets available…buy now and save!”
Need ideas for restaurant and bar events? Check out this list of 50 events and promotions that can draw a crowd – even on a weeknight.
If you utilize Buzztime digital signage, you’ll also have access to the Buzztime nationwide trivia network. That means your TVs can also tune into real-time trivia competitions 7 days a week, 15 hours a day. Guests play along on handheld tablets. You can even run as many live trivia events as you want: using your own staff, TVs, and those tablets.
6) Drive Email Signups
To encourage guests to sign up for your email list, show a picture of an indulgent dessert or appetizer on your digital signage. Include the message “sign up for our emails now, dessert is on us…right now!” Use email management software to create a welcome email that is triggered immediately upon sign up. This tactic appeals to instant gratification.
7) Resell Ad Space: Add Incremental Revenue
Some bars and restaurants sell ad space on their digital screens to nearby businesses – and even national brands. This offsets the costs for the digital signage software, and adds an additional revenue stream.
Here are a few ideas for reselling your ad space:
- Talk to your distributor: They represent hundreds of brands, many of whom would love to be featured on your TV screens.
- Got local booze on tap? See if the brewery would discount your keg orders if you promote their brewery on TV.
- Look nearby: From car dealerships to jewelry stores, salons to theaters, these businesses would benefit from being seen by your customers.
To resell ads on your TVs, be professional. Come up with a “rate card” that lists ad packages and prices. If you offer free ad design, that’s a big perk.
Also be sure to sell your audience! Use your customer relationship management (CRM) system or POS system to pull data on approximately how many customers you serve – and who they are. This will help potential advertisers decide if digital signage is a good investment for them. (Spoiler alert: it is definitely a good investment.)
And here’s one bonus idea for digital signage…Use it to bring attention to local non-profits. You’re doing a good thing for the community – and your business. An Edelman Good Purpose study revealed that 72% of consumers recommend businesses that support charitable causes.
Ultimately, digital signage can be a low-cost marketing goldmine with a high return on investment. There’s no need to turn your restaurant into Times Square. But changing the TV channel to focus on your own promotions and events will pay off through added revenue. Cheers to your success!
About the Author
Used by over 2,700 bars and restaurants, Buzztime digital signage includes free, professionally designed templates that you can customize in a few clicks with your text and images. Best of all, you can schedule specific ads to run at set dayparts, and days of the week.