Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Why Digital Menu Boards are Becoming the New Standard for QSRs

We’ve all heard the old adage that “content is king.” And in the digital world, there are very few people who would be likely to disagree. Content is one of the biggest sales drivers around, across many different markets. The other highly influencing factor is user (or customer) experience. So it should be of no surprise that that digital menu boards are experiencing such a surge in popularity in the quick service restaurant industry. They combine two of the most powerful predictors of increased sales -- the potential to create compelling content, while offering a positive, memorable user experience. So, provided that the product being sold is solid, whether it’s a pumpkin latte or the latest super-duper-triple bacon blue cheese burger, it stands to reason that digital menu boards could be a logical next step for increasing revenue in a quick service restaurant environment.

Some of the reasons QSRs have given for implementing digital menu boards include:

  • Ability to quickly update content, which can mean anything from adding specials to changing item pricing
  • Potential to minimize future expenditures on new static, non-digital signage, whenever something changes
  • Option to add additional content relevant to their consumers, from local community events to restaurant happenings
  • Greater opportunities for agile testing in each market, from new items and pricing structures to store promotions
  • Efficiencies created from integrations of digital signage and menu boards with point-of-sale (POS) systems and real-time inventory data, so out-of-stock items can be immediately taken off of the menu, avoiding the potential for customer disappointment and frustration
  • Signage, branding and messaging consistency throughout and between stores, whether there are 1 or 1000, in drive throughs, online, in app or in the physical store line

Visual representation of the menu allows for multiple options in terms of food presentation. Rotating slides, 360º views, and crystal-clear graphics often make items more enticing. It allows allows QSRs to focus on items that are more profitable than others, helping to increase overall margins. Well-organized, attractive, easy-to-read digital menus make for a better customer experience, an easier, clearer ordering process, and a more positive impression of the company overall.

While the decision to implement digital menu boards is not a small investment, careful planning and a complete understanding of your QSR’s objectives will go a long way toward making the investment a smart one. Come back next week when we delve more deeply into this discussion. And if you’ve already decided that digital menu boards are right for your business, simply request a quote online or call (800) 628-3603 today and RedyRef will be there every step of the way to ensure your company’s unique signage needs and goals are met.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Digital Signage and the "Smart Parking" Trend

Many people commute into busy metropolitan areas every day by car. These people know the drill -- they’ve likely been driving to the same parking garage or lot in the same area of the city for a long time. Even if the commute is new at the moment, it will soon be repeated without a second thought, likely even by week’s end. Some people even have their own reserved, prepaid numbered space or at least a pre-contracted guarantee they’ll have a place to park each day.

But it’s another thing entirely to have to deal with parking for those who are visit the city infrequently, or perhaps, have never been to the area at all. There’s the stress of traffic and then the additional stress of making sure a space can be found that’s close enough to where they ultimately need to be -- especially if time is of the essence. Parking garages and lots are often full, and just as frequently, garage layouts labyrinthine in a way that is still fairly inexplicable to most people trying to navigate them. Is the traffic one way? Two way? Does this signage seriously say one must first go up to go down? And traffic...wait. It crosses through the MIDDLE of the garage?? There’s a reason 20% of motor vehicle accidents happen in parking lots and garages, and it stems from a combination of stress, disorientation and distraction.

Enter digital signage. There has been a trend toward smart parking over the last couple of years, especially in large urban areas and in places where parking is a major source of revenue, such as airports, and digital signage is playing a major role as part of larger, more intelligent parking systems. These systems do a number of things, ranging from basic (digitally displaying a real-time count of the number of free parking spots available in the lot or garage) to advanced (personalized welcome messages and directions to open spaces for any individual registered for the program).

Unsurprisingly, Big Data is also playing a part in smart parking systems, especially as it pertains to airport parking or lots connected to mass transit. For instance, analyzing a data set that includes flight or train schedules, total parking capacity and historical information on lot usage might allow management companies to create dynamic pricing based on day of the week and/or time of day, and update information fluidly via digital signage in real time. Other data collected could also help enrich and personalize the end user experience. For instance, some individuals may communicate a preference for parking in a certain lot or even area of a specific lot. Over time, the parking system could “learn” this preference and use digital displays to direct the user toward empty spaces in their preferred area if they were to be available. Smart parking systems can also be integrated with customized apps, allowing users to reserve and pay for parking spots ahead of time, earn loyalty rewards or even monitor their vehicles from afar.

While the decision to implement digital signage as part of a smart parking initiative is not a small investment, careful planning and a thorough grasp of your business’ desired outcomes will go a long way toward helping you to make the right choices to meet those objectives. We invite you to submit a request for proposal online or call (800) 628-3603 today and RedyRef will be there every step of the way to ensure your company’s unique digital signage needs and goals are met.

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Role of Interactive Kiosks in Not-for-Profit Fundraising Environments

Interactive kiosks are finding homes across a range of applications, from retail and food service to office buildings and high-rise apartments. But not-for-profit organizations -- in particular advocacy groups that have been specifically formed to support a particular cause -- are beginning to utilize touchscreen kiosks successfully as well.

One of the most popular uses for interactive kiosks is fundraising. This is logical, given that these organizations often rely on the proceeds of a series of key events over the course of the year in order to ensure they are able to fund their annual operating budget. Fundraising kiosks assist in several ways. One is by offering an opportunity to potentially raise the average donation amount via fixed donation amounts. Instead of giving patrons the option to fill in the donation amount manually, using radio buttons or checkboxes to limit choices to pre-filled donation amounts based on previously-collected data and donation history can help increase the size of individual donations.

Another way to utilize touchscreen kiosks in non-profit event settings is to use them at the event’s check in. While certain events do not lend themselves to this type of use, there are plenty that do. Take a wine tasting fundraiser to benefit a local food pantry, for example. Depending on the size, there could be hundreds -- if not more -- in attendance. Allowing patrons to scan their tickets automatically at a kiosk is likely to be much more convenient and efficient than manning a line with a volunteer, who is juggling questions and tickets and a hand-held scanner, along with impatient event attendees. At the same time, it’s an excellent way to talk directly to patrons by asking them if they wish to donate an additional amount at the time they enter the event.

Touchscreen kiosks are also extremely helpful during the course of fundraising events. Many benefits include silent auctions or other interactive activities. Instead of requiring potential donors to use paper and pencil to bid, instead, many charities are using intelligently placed tablet kiosks to keep events running smoothly, tablets secure and to cut down on the need for individual volunteer assistance. Interactive tablet kiosks can also help attendees to explore the offerings up for bid, as well as find more information about the charity itself, the venue or the event overall.

The use of touchscreen kiosks in not-for-profit environments is growing rapidly, regardless of how it’s implemented. While certainly an investment, it can result in larger donations that enable organizations to more for their communities. Redyref understands what makes interactive kiosks work and our capabilities include not just creating the physical kiosk, but custom software to suit any need as well. We invite you to submit a request for proposal online or call (800) 628-3603 today and we will be there every step of the way to help design, fabricate and install the best possible kiosk solution for your unique needs and goals.