Every area of your restaurant is a potential opportunity to boost sales and build brand loyalty by engaging your customers' senses with the sights, sounds, and even the scent of your brand.
Take a look at ways you can improve the important spaces of your restaurant in order to engage, entertain, and inform your diners.
First impressions are crucial to creating a positive experience for your customers. Naturally, the front entrance is one of the most important places to set the stage with your diners.
83% of consumers say they like hearing music in businesses. That figure rockets to 91% among those 18-24.
The right music at the point of entry immediately sets the mood for the customer experience and makes a statement about who you are and what your guests should expect. In research studies, consumers say they feel “welcome, relaxed and happy” when music is playing. In contrast, they describe feeling “disappointed, disengaged and unwelcome” when in a silent environment.
And if you tend to have customers lingering outside your doors as they wait to meet their friends, say their goodbyes or wait for a table, consider how an outdoor audio system can make that experience a more enjoyable one. Providing licensed-for-business music outside the entryway (in addition to inside your restaurant) signals to your guests that you’re excited to welcome them, and that you recognize, appreciate and value their presence and their business. The same holds true for considerations around lighting, scent, comfortable outdoor and entryway seating and perhaps even a few complimentary tastes.
Whether fun and friendly, or elegant and dignified, it’s important to establish the right mood and then carry that positive spirit throughout the dining experience.
Customers waiting to be seated are an audience waiting to be entertained and informed. Consider the fact that studies show:
Consumers entertained with digital screens report a decreased perceived wait time of 33%, meaning a 30-minute wait time feels like 20 minutes.
Reduce their perceived wait time while promoting visual content that is both entertaining and relevant. Consider an in-store media provider who offers curated, commercial-free entertainment that can be screen-wrapped with custom content you easily control that promotes daily specials, highlights dessert options, or touts your community involvement.
Or consider digital menu boards or tablets that allow guests to peruse the menu while waiting. Digital menus not only inform guests and make for a faster ordering process once seated, but they allow you to easily change out menu items, pricing, caloric information, differing items by daypart, promotions and specials… all with just a few keystrokes.
The music in your restrooms can be completely different from the rest of the restaurant. It’s often an opportunity to be a bit more playful or to dial the energy up or down. The right choice of music could put a guest in a better mood on the way out than when they came in.
Additionally, on-premise music providers can work with you to weave overhead messaging into your playlists. Use the moment to reinforce the brand experience and have a bit of fun by teaching your guests how to order something from the menu in Italian or Spanish or Mandarin, etc. Suggest a few desserts. Or get creative by asking trivia questions or telling a joke the guest can then share at the table. A “rest” room is meant to be a brief moment to refresh and reset. Don’t hesitate to make it a memorable and creative part of the experience.
Digital Signage in the restroom can also entertain or include event calendars, neighborhood recommendations, an interesting story about the history of your restaurant, featured reviews, sports updates or news.
Lastly, a scent solution can not only mask unwanted odors but can add to a positive experience. A professional scent provider gives you a much wider selection of long-lasting scents and more effective scent distribution methods. Remember that studies show of all the senses, we’re 100x more likely to remember something we smell than what we see, hear, touch or taste.
Mobile pick up areas
From March 2020 to March 2021, carry-out orders increased by 130 percent.
Many restaurants have increased the number of mobile pick up orders. Introducing digital signage at mobile pick up parking spaces can give customers instructions that streamline and simplify the process, advertise sales and specials, or display add-on menu items like desserts.
A similar line of thinking could apply inside as well. If you have a separate pick up counter inside, digital signage could clearly direct customers and drivers to the right place. This alleviates the need for staff to direct the extra foot traffic.
Your experiential media solutions don’t have to be limited to your customers; keeping your staff happy and engaged is also important.
Upbeat music licensed for business can be zoned and curated specifically for back-of-house and can lift – and maintain – the energy and morale of your employees. Happy employees translate to happy guests. Additionally, small digital signage at individual stations within the kitchen can reinforce training or safety measures and can bridge any communication barriers between employees by providing translations for different languages.
Making a strong and meaningful impression with your guests – and your employees – can have a lasting impact on your business. Thinking through all areas of your restaurant and how each of those spaces can enhance the customer experience is simply smart business. Be thoughtful; get creative; and keep your guests coming back for more.