Television is a distraction—and that’s a good thing for restaurant operators.
In an interconnected culture, technology is a must-have. Television is an impactful, highly visual piece of technology that keeps customers entertained and informed during restaurant visits.
Beyond simply enhancing the atmosphere, nearly half of operators believe that TV entertainment can entice longer visits and spur bigger spends, according to a survey conducted by Technomic in partnership with DIRECTV. Increasing check averages through longer visits is also a key motivator for operators to provide TVs, and this can be leveraged as a way to get a return on their investment in media/entertainment services.
For restaurant operators looking to revamp their brand identity, TVs can help modernize and enhance atmosphere, creating the experiential factor that sets brands apart.
With all this in mind, the question then becomes: How can operators take advantage of TVs to create a unique, entertaining customer experience and see long-time rewards?
Operators shouldn’t be wary of thinking outside the box on programming. While sports and news are the primary customer expectation, programming variety helps operators delight and entertain a broader, more diverse audience.
It’s crucial for operators to be flexible if they want to effectively tailor programming to a specific audience. Game and talk shows make long wait times seem short. News shows keep customers informed about local and world events, as well as traffic reports. Weather channels provide weather alerts. Sports shows help draw in big crowds for long periods of time. Kids’ programs keep children’s attention so they don’t distract parents and other customers.
As for of what type of programming customers are interested in watching, according to Technomic’s survey, 56% of consumers would watch sports at a quick-service restaurant, followed by 53% who would watch news. Forty-two percent would watch weather, and 32% would watch movies or music/concerts. TV shows are appealing to 30% of consumers, special events appeal to 26% and 19% are interested in kids’ shows.
If restaurants are still using table tents to announce specials, they’re leaving money on the table. In addition to not being cost effective if specials change on a regular basis, they clutter tables and can lead to administrative hassles when it comes to approving advertisements.
A TV, on the other hand, is a cost-effective, powerful and profit-generating in-house marketing tool for driving suggestive selling and announcing new menu items, daily specials and drink specials, which can lead to impulse buying and increased customer purchases.
Back-of-house TV installation perks
TVs also play an important part in employee satisfaction and retention, which can have a direct impact on customer experience and perception. Some customers like to see the same servers when they visit their favorite restaurant—there’s a sense of connection and community. These attributes can lead to repeat visit and increased revenue.
As the labor pool tightens, consider the ways that back-of-house televisions can strengthen employee satisfaction, reduce turnover and highlight your restaurant as an appealing place to work.
Technomic’s survey shows that employee satisfaction is the key driver for restaurants installing back-of-house TVs. Restaurant operators recognize that TVs could function as an employee perk, with 31% saying TVs improve employee satisfaction. Twenty-one percent say TVs keep employees up-to-date on current events, and 18% say TVs improve the ability to recruit employees. Sixteen percent say TVs help reduce employee turnover, and 14% say TVs give employees something to do on break.
For operators, installing TVs is a win-win. Increased customer and staff satisfaction and increased purchases mean television entertainment is a no-brainer in quick-service restaurants.
This post is sponsored by DIRECTV for BUSINESS