5 Tips for Upgrading Your Outdoor Dining Experience

With restaurants across the nation expanding their outdoor dining areas, restaurant owners are searching for ways to stay competitive by offering a superior dining experience. Here are five ways to upgrade your outdoor dining experience to increase sales and keep customers coming back for more.

Welcome & Entertain Diners with Window Signage

As the “face” of your business, your storefront is the first impression customers have of your restaurant—make it a positive one with some vibrant welcome signage. Studies show that digital signs are viewed 400% more than static signs, especially since the former has the advantage of crisp HD color and dynamic animations. So, what should you put on your digital window displays? Welcome messages, a digital menu, instructions for dining during COVID-19, daily specials, promotions for new and seasonal menu items, and more.

Raydiant’s Experience Platform includes access to a large library of the best apps on the market, including the drag-and-drop design app PosterMyWall. Choose from over 150,000 design templates to create eye-catching digital posters and videos in minutes. Use PosterMyWall to make mouth-wateringly good sizzle reels to stoke diners’ appetites as they wait to order. Remind them of your happy hour nights, takeout and curbside pickup services, food truck schedules, and upcoming virtual events. Customers will love being entertained and will enjoy seeing what you have to offer as they wait in line and sit down to dine. And anytime you want to switch out content, you can update all of your screens (in one or more locations) at the touch of a few buttons with Raydiant’s cloud-based interface.

Bring Your Menus to Life with Digital Menu Boards

Restaurants are increasingly switching to digital menu boards because of public health concerns during the pandemic, but that’s not the only reason—they are seeing the promotional benefits as well. For example, digital menu boards let you add animated images and videos of your food, like a sizzling steak, a steaming bowl of mac and cheese, or a melting ice cream scoop over a piece of warm pie. We eat with our eyes first, so feed your customers’ hunger with these appetizing images first. There’s a reason why there’s currently over 236 million Instagram posts tagged #foodporn—people love to look at photos of delicious food, and it affects their dining decisions.

Bring your digital menu boards to your front windows or entryway to maximize their effect. For instance, if there’s a line, these digital menus will keep it moving since diners can decide what to order as they wait. They also speed up the ordering process, as guests will be ready to order when they reach the front of the line. Plus, digital menu boards have been known to decrease the perceived customers’ wait time by 35%, meaning happier customers and a higher chance or repeat business.

Get the Vibe Going with Some Good Music

Did you know that restaurants with the right background music show an average food order increase of 23% and a 51% increase on drink orders? Music is key for your outdoor dining experience because it creates atmosphere and provides a nice buffer between diners and surrounding conversation. Don’t know what to play, or getting sick of using the same old Pandora playlist? Raydiant’s Soundtrack Your Brand app takes the guesswork out of finding the right music for your brand. Users can create custom playlists based on the type of business, music genre, energy level, or overall mood. These custom soundtracks are automatically generated from a music library of over 50 million songs, and playlists are refreshed weekly so your music will never become repetitive.

Setting and forgetting your music is one perk of the Soundtrack Your Brand app. You can literally schedule your music to start and stop when you want it to, which means you can daypart your music the way you daypart your menus (which is also easy to do with Raydiant). Plus, you don’t have to worry about licensing—all of the music (including top 40 hits) are fully licensed for business use. You can even showcase album art and song titles on your Raydiant screens as the music plays.

Make Diners More Comfortable with Pay-at-Table Technology

A recent study revealed that 77% of customers would rather patronize brick-and-mortars that offer self-service technology than those without. Restaurants that offer pay- and order-at-table technology have a clear advantage, as the decrease in person-to-person contact puts diners at ease during COVID-19. Raydiant’s Kiosk touch screens offer an interactive alternative to face-to-face contact. Diners can browse a digital menu, order their food from their table, and pay their tab—all at their own convenience, and without interacting with a server. The screens can also be used to push promotions like daily specials and seasonal fare.

Kiosk screens are fully customizable in design, so you get to personalize your screens to fit your brand. Change screen and button colors, add your logo, and even use fun animations and overlays. Everything is easy to do too—simply use one of Kiosk’s design templates and easy drag-and-drop tools. And, to reduce the spread of disease, our Kiosk touch screens come with an optional antimicrobial film that reduces the growth of bacteria and the spread of disease.

Keep Customers and Staff Informed with Important Reminders

Post your cleaning and disinfecting schedule right at your front door so outdoor diners are instantly put at ease. With Raydiant screens, you can boost the visibility of important reminders like maintaining social distancing and washing hands regularly. And since digital signs have an 83% recall rate, both your customers and staff will be paying attention. In fact, back-of-house digital signage works great to give busy staff “at-a-glance” reminders for proper food handling protocols, shift schedules, and more. Front-of-house digital signs can include posting instructions for third-party delivery drivers, streamlining and simplifying pickup and delivery so you can focus more on your in-house customers.

More About Raydiant for Restaurants

Raydiant is much more than digital signage—it’s an Experience Platform made to elevate your guest experience, whether they’re dining indoors or out. This advanced platform includes several tools that create a multi-sensory experience for diners: digital menus are easier to read and more attractive, mood-based music keeps the dining vibe on point, and interactive touch screens offer the contactless dining experience they’re after. Want to learn more about what Raydiant can do for your restaurant’s outdoor dining experience?