The Avantages of Digital Signage and Gamification

Bematech Blog - July 4, 2014

digital signageDigital signage is growing in popularity in restaurants.  Instead of boring, one-dimensional menu boards, some quick service restaurants have been displaying their menus on digital signage or digital menu boards for an interesting, eye catching display. These displays can be set to change automatically between menu choices and nutritional information, or ingredients and allergy warnings. The boards can also be changed according to the time of day for breakfast, lunch and dinner, or for special event menus and holidays.

It’s been reported that restaurants that implement digital signage experienced a five percent jump in sales, a number that increased during a promotional period, or when a certain menu item was being showcased.

In addition to enhancing their operations, savvy restaurateurs have been incorporating social media into their digital signage so users get a more interactive experience while they are waiting in line or sitting at a table. Some eateries have been able to integrate their signage with Facebook and Twitter so people can see what’s being said about the restaurant online.  Some social media platforms actually reward the diners for posting digital endorsements online, which can be streamed back into the restaurant.

Digital games keep us entertained

If there’s a line to place orders, diners certainly appreciate the distraction of having something to read. But others have taken their digital signage one step further to “gamification,” which keeps people engaged with the brand and it’s messaging through interactive games, puzzles and other digital tools. Although these tools are designed to entertain the diners, they are also working to increase brand loyalty, generate repeat orders, encourage upselling and overall, boost profits.

Gamification is not necessarily new

One of the earliest and most popular games is McDonald’s Monopoly promotion, which persuaded people to collect all of the game pieces on certain food and drink products and exchange them for prizes.  The game encouraged repeat business and people were eating at McDonalds more than they usually would – all in the quest for elusive game pieces.  The game has evolved since it started in the 80’s, now featuring online components to go with the physical pieces.

Pizza Hut’s new gamification initiative

Pizza Hut is experimenting with a digital signage tabletop that allows diners to create their own digital pizzas, which they can then use to place their order. In order to streamline the process even more, a diner can put his/her smartphone on the table and enter payment information instead of having to wait for the check.

While the customers are waiting for their order, they can play games at their table. Pizza Hut’s new digital signage/gamification initiative is rolling out in selected markets.  The popular pizza chain believes a diner that is engaged and entertained, even while waiting for drinks and food, is a happy diner that will return.

How does it work?

Gamification has three parts that, when implemented properly, can lead to success. This can also extend to loyalty programs. Let’s look at Starbucks’ Gold Card program as an example:

  • Competition: Spread the word about your new game. Encourage people to sign up and promise them rewards. Starbucks’ Gold Card program does a great job of encouraging people to register their cards online by telling them they will earn free drinks and better rewards by using their registered card to make purchases.
  • Progression: Allow your users to see their progress towards the goal. Starbucks has a website where you can create a profile (Allowing the company to collect contact information from you so they can email you about products and promotions) and see how many drinks you’ve purchased and how many more you need to buy to earn your next reward.
  • Rewards and recognition: This is the best part for everyone. Restaurants love to reward good customers and customers love to be rewarded and feel special. Starbucks will give you a free coffee beverage for every 10 you buy, and after you buy 25 in a year, you receive an upgraded gold card with your name on it.