What future for digital screens in restaurants? | Digital signage strategy

As customers become more familiar with interactive technology, digital screens have a bright future ahead of them. Restaurants, however, will need to adapt to the changing technology landscape, be more open to what consumers want, and learn to stay flexible. Epson America’s Remi Del Mar shared these thoughts in an interview with DST.

Restaurants are increasingly willing to embrace digital technology to improve the customer experience. Photo: iStock

For over a decade, Remi Del Mar has strived to provide customers with the best experiences through digital signage technology.

Del Mar, Senior Product Manager at Epson America, is passionate about pursuing the company’s plan to formulate unique new digital experiences that blend both the physical and digital worlds. Del Mar also specializes in augmented reality and commercial display solutions.

Rémi Del Mar, provided

Epson America, established in 1975 and based in Los Alamitos, California, is a computer and electronics manufacturer, specializing in professional imaging, projectors, printers, robotics technology and more.

Del Mar has seen the influx of digital screens into restaurants in recent years. While the industry held back the purchase of new technology after the COVID-19 recession hit in early 2020, restaurants have rebounded — and ventured into new digital experiences — since the sector began to bounce back in 2021.

With customers becoming more comfortable with interactive technology, Del Mar sees a bright future for digital displays. Restaurants, however, will need to adapt to the changing technology landscape, be more open to what consumers want, and learn to stay flexible. Del Mar shared these thoughts and more in a recent email interview with Digital Signage Today.

Q: Following the effects of COVID-19 closures in 2020, have restaurants spent less money on digital signage?

A: The restaurant industry was among those hit hard during the COVID shutdowns. As restaurant sales declined during the early stages of the pandemic, so did restaurant spending. As things started to reopen, we noticed an increase in demand for projection technology as restaurants began to change their business plans to incorporate more digital and contactless tools and technologies.

Q: Have restaurants, in general, changed their digital signage strategies as they rebound from the pandemic? If so, how?

A:Digital signage was already a pioneer in the restaurant landscape. As consumers increasingly embrace digital in their daily lives, restaurant owners have begun to relocate dining spaces to improve the customer experience. With the need to change business strategy at all times, the pandemic has accelerated the use of digital technology in restaurants.

Fast forward to today. Digital is essential for creating engaging and informative displays without the need for physical touch. Over the past two years, we’ve seen multiple industries, including the restaurant industry, shift their digital signage strategies to prioritize more unique and inspiring customer experiences. As new technologies are adopted, restaurateurs remain highly cost-conscious and seek tools that will not only deliver a positive customer experience, but also promote efficiency and provide longevity as technology – and environments – continue to evolve. .

Q: What do you see as the top trends emerging in digital signage for restaurants?

A: We live in a world surrounded by digital – from the palm of our hand to digital menus to massive projection screens on the side of buildings. Today’s consumers are looking for simple transactions and experiences that deliver instant results and/or action, while delivering memorable moments.

With ever-changing technologies hitting the market all the time, digital signage in restaurants is setting new standards and will continue to move the needle in the industry. With faster, easier and more efficient technology emerging every day, here are some restaurant technology trends that I think will continue to take off from here:

  • Experimental: Restaurants are evolving because they aim to provide unforgettable experiences that people want to talk about. Today, it’s about creating moments that go beyond the traditional dining experience and enhancing a meal beyond the food itself. Whether it’s digitizing an interactive tabletop menu or creating an immersive dining venue, it’s about creating something unique to encourage repeat visits and draw more attention to your location. Breaking away from the traditional dining experience to create a completely new and exciting atmosphere will set restaurants apart in the future.
  • Personalization: With dining room closures, consumers have become reliant on delivery and pickup, often without ever setting foot in a restaurant. As restaurants reopened and customers returned, it was more important than ever to create that emotional connection. Bringing a personal touch to dining experiences can be a powerful tool in encouraging repeat visits. Using technology to adjust menus for different consumers or provide an interactive display while waiting for a table might not seem like a huge difference, but it can make all the difference when it comes to interacting with consumers. and encourage them to come back.
  • Cost effective and adaptable:From touchless technology to easy-to-use software and improved installation, restaurants are looking for the latest in digital signage technology to help generate more traction while focusing on overall cost and the ability to adapt to current and future needs of the restaurant. Today’s projectors offer beautiful, bright, large images combined with content creation tools and flexible installation options designed to grow with businesses. Whether projecting happy hour selections behind the bar, interactive floor cues, or creating a whole new atmosphere with changing content, projection technology provides a convenient and easy-to-use display solution. install that is not bound by a frame and is available at a fraction of the cost price of a massive flat panel.

Q: More and more restaurants are using digital menu boards. Do you think this trend will continue to increase? Why?

A: At a time when efficiency and space optimization are more important than ever, businesses are embracing digital signage technology to deliver relevant, contextual information with the ability to seamlessly adjust content.

Consumer habits are changing and will only continue to do so with technological advances. As interactive technologies continue to emerge and become smarter, more efficient and also more user-friendly, the digitization of menu boards will only grow and expand from here. Consumers are looking for interactive and personal experiences that require little effort on their part and quick results. Digitizing the menu also means more efficiency internally, resulting in lower overhead, less wasted time and more control.

Q: In the next few years, how do you see restaurants using digital signage?

A: Now is the time to bring consumers back. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a massive shift in the way consumers interact with content, leading companies to re-evaluate how they design space to better inform, engage and personalize the customer journey. As digital signage continues to innovate rapidly, the key to thriving as a business owner is adapting to change. With a greater emphasis on eye-catching displays that are both effective and engaging, immersive installations and experiential environments will drive the next frontier of digital signage.

Projection is a powerful digital signage tool that we will continue to see more of in restaurants as owners seek to create unique experiences that merge the digital and physical worlds. Offering flexibility unlike any other display solution, projectors are getting smaller, lighter, brighter and more user-friendly. Allowing business owners to create dynamic displays without interrupting the atmosphere, projectors can transform virtually any surface, shape or material without being bound by a frame. Offering the feeling of magic with illumination in all directions, today’s projectors even come equipped with intuitive software and content creation tools for easier content management.

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