Digital Signage in the Food Sector is quickly becoming, if not already the norm. With the ability to quickly update products, pricing and information with just a few clicks.
The aim of this post is to provide insight, and spark some interest into how Digital Signage could be used within the Food & Drink Sector. Showcase ways in which we have implemented Digital Signage solutions for some awesome establishments and how you could too. We’ll even provide a free basic Digital Menu Board Layout to get you started.
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DIGITAL MENU BOARDS…
Comes in all shapes and sizes. Commonly, larger displays are used in both landscape and portrait for behind the counter, smaller displays are designed for current offers and impulse buys for placement in front of the till. Interactive solutions are needed to drive higher customer engagement and display larger, specific information such as allergy requirements.
With the internet of things becoming a reality. One thing that makes perfect sense is to be able to update your offers, menu boards and pricing information from anywhere in the world with an internet connection, with a few clicks or even automatically. With increasing numbers of software solutions on the market it can be a hard to find whats suitable. Having worked with many software/hardware solutions, two that we can recommend are ONELAN and embed signage. We hold certified reseller status for both.
Most commonly hung from the celing or wall mounted in sets of 3 or more. Using displays such as the Samsung Smart Signage Platform, there is no need for an additional media player, resulting in a quick and easy install with only power and either ethernet or WiFi connectivity. Not to forget the overall aesthetic advantages.
Less is most certainly more when it comes to digital menu boards. Make each item as legible as possible taking into account the number of items on the board, screen size, font size and viewing distance. Great food photography can transform your signage substantially although can be a costly investment. Stock imagery sites such as the ‘Picture Pantry‘ and ‘Shutterstock‘ can offer high quality images at an affordable price.
Creating the content yourself? Some great content tips can be found here. Speak to us about our content services if you need some professional assistance.
A free Digital Menu Board layout to get you up and running can be found at the bottom of this post.
Updating your digital signage content regularly is key to keeping your audience engaged with your screens. Seasonal change is the perfect excuse to spice up your digital displays, whether it be holidays, national days or even time changes. Stay ‘current’. Leaving content unchanged for long periods only results in your the audience disengaging and as a brand you begin to loose the impact of a very powerful communication tool.
A little change, creativity and care can go a long way in the eyes of the audience.
Content changes do not have to be dramatic and they do not have to be done on the day of an event. Using digital signage software with scheduling functionality means you can pre-schedule certain content to play at relevant times, days or date(s). Below we’ve highlighted just some of the simple changes you can make to keep your content seasonally fresh.
Keep fresh with simple changes, such as:
Holiday greetings – these don’t have to affect the your normal content although content adaption generally seems seamless. Simply schedule the greeting to play every so often.
Seasonal sale offers or promotions are a great way to grab customer attention to seasonal or sale items. There is also a significant halo effect on the family of brands when advertising a product on digital signage. A sales increase of nearly 7x and an overall category increase of 11x that of the featured product has been recorded (Burke, 2009*).
Visual decoration to core design elements of your content can also help keep the signage up-to-date. This, in turn lets your customers and staff know the company is actively developing and delivering relevant content. Change stops content becoming stagnant and therefore draws more attention to the displays as consumers notice the new changes.
Get Creative. Changes don’t have to be huge. Subtle changes to the company logo or footer will not go unnoticed, such as a moustache for movember or a poppy for remembrance day. These small changes can help to show a caring and philanthropic company. Bigger changes such as font styles, colours and background images can create more of an impact when deployed with some careful thought.
Current affairs and events such as halloween, valentine’s, easter, remembrance sunday, world health day etc are some more examples of how to keep your signage fresh.
A four step strategy to keeping Digital Signage content fresh:
Create a schedule outlining the days / events you wish to make content changes for.
Create all necessary content in advance.
Schedule that content on your digital signage software in advance.
Repeat this process.
How do you keep content fresh? Share your tips and tricks by leaving a comment below.
On Tuesday 29th to Wednesday 30th September the Takeaway Innovation Expo comes to London’s ExCeL exhibition centre. The UK’s only exhibition for growing your takeaway or restaurant business that includes over 85 free seminars and 200 exhibiting suppliers.
Offering end-to-end digital signage solutions Eclipse Digital Media (Stand 130) will be returning this year to showcase solutions to improve and enhance businesses in the food and drink industry. Eclipse Digital will be demonstrating the latest developments in Digital Signage that include:
This digital signage demo area is to showcase Samsung’s increasingly powerful Smart Signage Platform, which is directly integrated, via a System on Chip (SOC), to their D series commercial grade displays. The SSP displays are displaying content that is delivered using cloud based digital signage platform; embedsignage.com. The displays download the content via built in WiFi and store it locally for continued playback, even with network interruptions.
On show at the demo area is a pre-released 10.1″ all in one display, perfect for shelf edge retail signage, a 55″ landscape all in one display and two 32″ all in one displays (one in portrait and one in landscape). All of the Samsung SOC D series screens can have their content changed using the Samsung Android Tablet that is loaded with an interactive touch layout with various industry sector designs. Every piece of content and interaction between the Tablet and displays is done through the feature rich, cloud based digital signage software; embedsignage.com. This video shows a very brief demonstration of the demo suite:
If you would like to a demonstration of how using embedsignage.com and the Samsung SSP SOC D Series displays can deliver a suitable digital signage solution, please contact us. You can also sign up for a free 28 day trial of embedsignage.com and begin to explore how to deliver multi zone digital signage content to a range of devices including Android, iOS, Mac OS, Windows, ONELAN and of course the Samsung SSP SOC D Series displays.
The 13th December is fast approaching and that means the introduction of new EU Regulation changes on communicating food allergen information to consumers on all unpackaged food – is your business ready?
On Tuesday 30th September at 3pm we will be hosting a 20 minute webinar together with the Institute of Hospitality to cover the new law changes, what is expected from your business and how Digital Signage can be used to help your business comply.
What you’ll Learn
The 20 minute webinar will cover:
what is required from all businesses that serve unpackaged food and drink to the public
to understand what digital signage is
how digital signage can be used effectively to comply with the new information requirements
Q&A session at the end
Eclipse Digital Media recently provided a guest article that was featured in the Hospitality Magazine Autumn Edition. The article covered digital signage, menu boards and the food allergy law changes due. Read the article below and be sure to sign up for the webinar being held on Tuesday 30th September to learn more about this topic:
Eclipse Digital Media will be exhibiting at both the Takeaway Innovation Expo (Stand T642) and The Restaurant Show (Stand F109) in September and October respectively. Both exhibitions, being held in London, will provide visitors the opportunity to explore the wealth of solutions available to help improve their food and beverage business and Eclipse Digital will be exhibiting the latest developments in Digital Signage technology and demonstrate how they can be used effectively within the industry.
As Institute of Hospitality Business Partners, Eclipse Digital Media have carried out major market research to understand the core requirements of food and beverage businesses and have put together various solutions to help those businesses improve workflow, increase positive brand perception and raise sales. Visit us at the exhibitions to benefit from:
Eclipse Digital Media had the pleasure of attending ISE 2014 and joined digital signage hardware manufacturers ONELAN on their stand. Eclipse were invited to showcase their latest digital signage content and demonstrate the various ways they can integrate devices to create interactive digital signage solutions.
First up to showcase was a restaurant digital signage concept that integrates:
Android tablet touch order application
Ticket / receipt printer
Front of house, advertising display
Kitchen area, current order display
Back of house marketing / sales statistics
The process for the concept is: User places an order on the tablet, this order prints a receipt / ticket for them. The order is displayed on the kitchen monitor and also automatically updates the back office latest statistics table. The lowest selling item in the sales table automatically triggers an advert front of house to try and up-sell the item. This set up can be completely customised to the customer requirements but as a showcase of integration and interactivity, this piece shows how Eclipse Digital Media can bring together various devices and data to deliver solutions based on customer specific requirements. Take a look at ONELAN’s pre-sales engineer, Łukasz Górasiński, demonstrating this proof of concept on ONELAN’s stand at ISE 2014:
The second piece being showcased on the ONELAN stand was an interactive touch application that changes content on various displays based on IP commands to ONELAN digital signage media players. This solution can be used to create a variety of interactive discover points in many environments including museums, exhibitions and schools.
Digital Signage has thousands of uses and as it penetrates our daily lives, businesses need to embrace the ways in which it can help deliver both business and consumer needs – but what’s the right type of digital signage for you? Well, there are several types of digital signage but there are two core signage types that Eclipse Digital Media offer; These are USB updated, all in one digital signage and fully networked digital signage solutions.
Below we have outlined the core differences between the USB and Networked digital signage solutions and hope that this provides you with a guide to making the right decision for your business when choosing a digital signage solution.
USB Updated Digital Signage
The digital signage media player is built into the display device and content is updated via a USB stick. Take a look at the video below to see them in action:
Why? Because of the flexibility and scalability of the system. Although some more advanced configuration is required at set up, having the ability to schedule content, create multi zone and multi media layouts and have different content displaying at different signage locations provides businesses with a comprehensive digital signage solution to match their needs and ambitions.
You’ll hear this notation time and time again in the Digital Signage world – content is king!
Having a stable and reliable digital signage system in place provides a you with a solid foundation to deliver your digital signage, however the final piece of the puzzle is one of the most important parts… delivering the right content.
Gone are the days of ‘PowerPoint’ digital signage – it simply doesn’t cut it anymore. As digital signage becomes more prevalent in our day to day lives, users expect to be able to do more with it and viewers expect to be captivated by it. Digital signage platforms such as the ONELAN solution we offer, allows users to deliver multiple media types, in multi-zone layouts including HTML5, CSS3, jQuery, Images, Movies, RSS, Text and Audio. With these tools at your disposal it opens a whole world of creativity and allows you to experiment with new content ideas to see what works with your audience. Below we have outlined a few key areas that we feel contribute to generating exciting and interesting digital signage:
Graphically Layered Digital Signage
You’ve got all the right kit to deliver your engaging digital signage content but all you do is slap a few scrolling text fields on the screen with solid background colours. This is still going to deliver your message, however as with all design, it pays to spend a bit of time graphically designing your layouts. Using professional designers, either in house or from agencies such as ourselves, you can design elements of your digital signage (image / movie format) and layer them to bring your digital signage content to life.
By thinking about what information you want to display on your digital signage layout and sketching some ideas on to a piece of paper before you start, can really help refine your content before you even begin to build it. Once you have a sketched version of your layout, then you can start to think about the best way to graphically bring this to life and begin to layer content at the design stage to maximise the impact.
The CAE digital signage content example to the right, shows how you can bring simple information to life by incorporating different design elements into digital signage. The background is a movie file of clouds moving through the sky, the world clocks and simulator status table is designed in a digital flight board style, image borders are used to enclose the live TV and live traffic map data, a solid blue block to define the RSS feed and transparent backgrounds are used for the text fields so they sit on top of the animated background.
Integrate External Data to your Digital Signage
Being able to use HTML5, CSS3 and jQuery content on ONELAN digital signage means it is possible to use some of the latest web design techniques to display content. ONELAN also offer a software program known as Data Collection Engine (DCE), which allows external sources such as Excel, Outlook Calendars, XML and SQL to automatically send data to the digital signage media players. Using these tools it is possible to take external data sources such as latest sales data or pricing information and convert it into a glossy interactive piece of content for your digital signage.
Below are some examples of how Eclipse Digital Media have used these tools to extract external data through DCE and delivered to digital signage in a dynamic and professional way, using a graphically layered design, HTML5, CSS3 and jQuery:
Scheduled & Location based Digital Signage Content
Delivering your content to the right audience in the right location at the right time… an imperative part of digital signage communications. Scheduling content to appear on certain days and certain times of the day is nothing new but it is an essential part of delivering the right digital signage content. By using functions on your digital signage, you can segment you content and target messages effectively, which can help increase sales in retail environments and provide informative messages to your target audience when it will have maximum impact.
Taking scheduling of content a step further, by having the ability deliver messages per location allows you to segment your digital signage content even further. This can be very useful for digital signage networks where the core content & design remain the same however certain content is only applicable to certain locations. Using something called Player Local Information (PLI) on the ONELAN digital signage media players it is possible to ‘tag’ each media player and then specify content to only play if a relevant tag is recognised.
Going back to HTML and web techniques, it is also possible to deliver digital signage content based on location through things like the weather or indeed the temperature of a location. Below is an example Eclipse Digital Media have specifically developed to use on ONELAN digital signage. It allows users to input the postcode of a location and then set rules to activate different content based on the temperature for that location.
To conclude, we cannot stress enough how important it is to get your content right on your digital signage. Spend extra time on the design elements and think about what you can do to enhance your content to both captivated your audience, while still delivering your key objective.
If you would like any further information about any of the digital signage content design services Eclipse Digital Media offer, please do not hesitate to contact us.