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17 Ways restaurants can use outdoor digital signage to bring in more customers

When you have a digital sign outside your business, you can share multiple messages in the same space and draw in more business from the people who pass your doors every day. Gone are the days of sending an employee up a ladder to change one message on a readerboard or replacing vinyl banners.

Being able to switch up your sign and put up hyper-local or timely messages can make a huge difference in how many people you reach. Digital menus may be the go-to restaurant digital signage of the moment, but they only serve customers once they are inside your doors, or already in your drive-through. If you’re looking to bring in new customers and grow your revenue, an outdoor digital sign is the best marketing tool you 

To help get you started thinking of ways that digital signage can increase your revenue, here are some of our favorite ways to use outdoor digital signs to attract and engage customers.

17 Restaurant Digital Signage Ideas

Here are 17 ways you can use outdoor restaurant digital signage to bring in more customers and grow your business:

1. Share promotions and specials

Promotions are one of the best ways restaurants use their outdoor digital signage, and that’s because it works. From “Kids Eat Free on Mondays!” to “Prime rib this weekend only!” you can make sure your community knows about your best offers. You can even schedule morning promotions and evening promotions, so that people see the right message at the right time, making them more likely to act now.


2. Show mouth-watering images of your food

This one feels like a no-brainer, but images make all the difference. When you have a high-resolution digital sign you can share images or even videos of your food and catch the eyes of hungry passers-by. Research shows that humans process visual information 60,000x faster than the written word, so having images is vital to catch people’s attention. We at Cirrus recommend that text is accompanied by an image on a digital sign whenever possible. 

3. Promote weekly events

Events can really draw a crowd – but only if people know it’s happening. If you offer weekly events, a roadside digital sign is a perfect way to make sure people know. Share your Karaoke nights or live entertainment easily. And with the right digital signage software, you can quickly and easily update the information any time you need to.

4. Loyalty program

Want to get more repeat business? A loyalty program is a great way to keep people coming back, and a digital sign is a fantastic way to let people know about it. Advertising your loyalty program on your sign also helps people remember they signed up and can help them to return sooner to earn rewards. 

5. Increase traffic on slow days

It’s common knowledge that Mondays tend to be slow days for restaurants, but with a digital sign, you can target promotions to help pick up business. While it may not turn your slow day into a top earner, the extra revenue makes a difference. Offering a discount on a slow day, or lunch specials can help draw people in on a day they otherwise might not come. Having this message right next to the road when they are hungry can make all the difference. 

Related: Digital sign attracts customers and increases revenue at local McDonald’s

6. Grow your social following

Most of us are sharing business information on Facebook pages, Twitter, or Instagram. A digital sign is an opportunity to help grow that following. Let people know where you are and ask them to follow you to grow your engagement and awareness. This way they can see you on their social feed and on the sign, keeping you top of mind.

7. Thank your loyal customers

It’s important to remind your customers that you value them. A simple thank you goes a long way to building a community around your business. A thank you makes your customers feel included and cared about. Adding this to your rotating messages is a great way to build and keep loyal customers.

8. Let people know you offer online ordering

This suggestion seems a little counterintuitive, but hear us out. While the online ordering customers may not come in to eat right now, they will try your food and may become in-person diners in the future. These people are local to you, and may not know you're an option, or may have forgotten. The last few years have changed dining and some people now prefer to eat at home. Even if these diners never come inside, they may order from your restaurant online and become loyal at-home diners. 

9. Share big events with your community

Sharing big wins or local events can make your business feel like a part of the community and not just a place to eat. If your local high school wins nationals you have the opportunity to celebrate that with your community. While your sign is first and foremost a promotion tool for your restaurant, celebrating with your community makes you a bigger part of it. 

10. Call out holidays and remind about ordering deadlines 

Sending holiday greetings is easy when you have an outdoor digital sign for your restaurant. You can also use this opportunity to remind people to order their holiday pick-up before the date. If you sell pies for Thanksgiving or burgers for the Fourth of July this is a great place to let people know and grow awareness. 

11. Share awards

Did you win an award for your restaurant? Even if it’s just from the local paper? Share it! Let people know you’re an award-winning restaurant and do a little humble bragging. Call out if it was people’s choice, critics' choice, or any other category and let people know how great you are (without saying it yourself).

12. Celebrate anniversaries

Has your restaurant been around for decades? Or are you just hitting your first 5-year mark? Share this on your sign and let people know about the big event! People love a reason to celebrate, and if you’re offering promotions it’s double the reason to drop in.


13. Share your hours

While most people check hours on the internet, a quick call-out on your sign can be a good reminder. This is especially true if you’re open early or late. Let morning commuters know they can pop in for breakfast or night owls know they can come to you at the end of a long day. 

14. Promote gift card sales

If you offer gift cards your digital sign is a great place to let people know! Gift cards are a fantastic way to draw in more foot traffic and getting the word out about them is a sure-fire way to sell more. When paired with holiday gift-giving messages, this is a slam dunk.

15. Share reviews

While we don’t recommend a feed of all your reviews (that's asking for trouble), you can pull the best ones and share them on your sign! We know everyone’s a critic, but we're sure you have some amazing reviews out there. Grab them off Yelp and Google and put them up. Social proof is one of the best ways to get people in the door, diners want to hear that other people like your food. If you have a celebrity review or picture you can share that’s even better! 

16. Let people know you offer special menu options

Do you have gluten-free, vegan, or vegetarian dishes? It’s a great idea to let people know about them on your digital sign. While this may be a small portion of the population, they will be grateful to see you cater to them, and much more likely to tell their friends and come in. 

17. Remind people you cater

While catering may not be the biggest part of your business, it can land you a few big orders that may give you the boost in sales you’re looking for. Make sure people know by sharing it on your digital sign. Local businesses and events are the ones looking for catering, and your sign could be the nudge that gets them to order from you instead of the restaurant down the street. 


Need an outdoor digital sign?

If you’re ready to get a digital sign for your restaurant, we’re here to help. We have helped many restaurants get the digital signage that grows their revenue. From QSR to fine dining, we’re here to help you find the perfect sign for your business. If you’re ready to talk, our signage experts can help make getting a digital sign easy. Reach out today to get started on your digital signage journey.