As anyone in the industry knows, the key to succeeding in the highly competitive fast food market is standing out. It’s no longer enough to simply serve delicious meals, you now need to provide a superior customer experience. From the speed of ordering and fulfilment to your store design and staffing, customers now consider every element of your offering.
Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen drive-throughs become a crucial part of this mix. While far from a new concept, customers have developed a renewed appreciation for the convenience of this style of service. And, at the same time, food outlets have increasingly seen the efficiencies a drive-through enables – particularly when well designed.
Acknowledging this, many businesses are turning to digital drive-through menu boards to streamline their service and increase customer satisfaction. And it’s easy to see why, with this technology providing a range of benefits to both the business and its customers. Here we take a closer look at exactly what these are.
Digital menu boards help build your brand
While the primary purpose of menu signage is to promote your offering, it can also help reinforce your brand. Through the use of specific colours, fonts, imagery, and phrasing, menu boards create a clear identity for your business. Digital menu boards take this a step further, supporting more dynamic and engaging content, like animation and video.
This is particularly important for a drive through, as it helps cut through the distractions of the outdoor environment. Digital drive through menu boards are more eye catching, focusing customers’ attention, and increasing the effectiveness of marketing messaging. This can lead to a stronger connection with your customers which, in turn, can help increase return rates.
What’s more, because digital menu boards are brighter than other menu signage options, they can be seen in all conditions. This is a particular challenge for outdoor signage in Australia, where the bright sun can impact visibility. However, digital drive through menu boards cut through this and can be easily read, regardless of the weather.
Going digital allows you to automate menu board updates
To us, the biggest benefit of digital signage is the additional control it gives you over your content. Where traditionally menu signage needs to be changed manually, digital menu boards can be set up to update automatically. The dynamic display can also be designed to analyse data from multiple sources and respond to a range of factors.
This means that digital drive-through menu boards can be programmed to automatically update the displayed menu at set times. For example, if you switch from a breakfast menu to a lunch menu at 11 am, this can be automated. Similarly, if you have limited-time offers, you can schedule these to be advertised at appropriate times.
What’s more, you can integrate your digital menu boards with your customer ordering and stock management systems. This will allow you to automate the removal of out-of-stock items and target promotion of other popular options. You can also automate the tailoring of advertising content based on things like the weather and customer buying trends.
All this ensures your customers have accurate information about what you’re offering. Furthermore, it can help manage customer expectations and reduce the potential for frustration and disappointment related to unfulfilled and incorrect orders.
Digital drive-through menu boards support cross-selling and upselling
In addition to attracting more customers, marketing activities should also be designed to boost how much each customer spends. One of the best measures of your business’s profitability is your average order value. Put simply, the more each customer spends, the more profitable your business.
Digital drive-through menu boards can help with this by showing off your entire mouth-watering range. Their dynamic displays are the perfect ways to sell the sensation of satisfaction and fulfilment your food provides. They can also be used to specifically push your highest-margin items, like drinks and sides.
Unlike traditional menu signage, digital menu boards also allow you to tailor marketing content to individual customers. For example, during the order-taking process, digital displays can confirm the items requested and suggest popular upgrades and additions. They can also recommend appropriate deals, based on what the customer has already ordered.
Digital menu boards help future-proof your operations
Digital drive-through menu board technology is constantly changing and evolving as a customer – and business – expectations continue to grow. Many of the biggest names in the fast food industry understand this and are pushing for further automation and digitisation. As such, upgrading from traditional menu signage to digital menu boards is critical to keep pace with your competitors.
One of the biggest trends in drive-through service is the ongoing move toward online ordering. Many outlets now allow customers to place their order using their own mobile device, and then pick it up from the drive-through. As a result, wait times are reduced, and order preparation is easier to plan and manage.
Number plate recognition technology is also increasingly being built into digital menu boards, to identify returning drive-through customers. This speeds up service, as identified repeat customers can be shown, and select from, their previously ordered items. Marketing content can also be tailored to their known tastes and buying habits, potentially helping boost their order value.
Importantly, most digital drive-through menu board systems can be easily scaled up as the business grows and expands. As content management is centralised, new material can easily be rolled out across the entire digital menu board network. Additionally, local customisations can be scheduled and configured centrally, ensuring the accuracy of information and consistency of the brand.
Want more information?
If you’d like to discuss what digital drive-through menu boards could do for your business, contact Amped Digital. As one of the leading providers of outdoor signage in Australia, we’re experts in designing fit-for-purpose digital menu board systems.