10 Ways to use digital signage in your dining halls
There’s a reason why digital signage is showing up more frequently in restaurants:
- It showcases tasty culinary creations
- It slashes perceived wait time
- It’s entertaining
- It highlights new items, specials, or other information
And while you cater to a much different crowd than the typical restaurant, the digital signage concept presents much more opportunity than enticing appetites for your dining hall.
Here are 10 creative ways to use digital signage in your dining hall that students will appreciate:
Promote your menus
Let students know what you’ll be serving up each week so they’ll have something to look forward to. Just make sure you don’t cram a week’s worth of menus on a single screen at once – too much text can be distracting.
Add pictures of students taken around campus
People will notice their friends’ faces on display at your dining hall, and may find themselves watching your signage simply to see who they know. You can arm a staff member with a camera and have them travel through campus taking pictures of students having fun. Once someone learns they’re “on tv,” they may visit your dining hall simply to see for themselves. But make sure you ask their permission before posting their photo for everyone to see.
Take pictures of your food
Who can resist a slice of mouthwatering cheesecake or hot slice of fresh pizza? Take pictures of the food you’re serving and invite students to come try it for themselves. You can feature items on the all-you-can-eat buffet, or boost ticket prices by showing smaller grab-n-go items. It’s the power of suggestion at its finest, and will get their taste buds talking.
Share your social media posts
Whatever you’re posting on social media, post it on your digital signage, too. This can encourage students to follow your social pages, and also let followers know what posts they may have missed.
Announce campus information
As a primary epicenter of your school, your dining hall sees a large volume of students each day. You can transform your digital signage into an information resource to announce school events, closures, reminders, accomplishments, and other information students care about.
Promote your dining hall programs
Use your digital signage to advertise your programs and services, such as catering availability for clubs and organizations, group reservations, meal plans, and special events.
Ask for feedback
The old paper comment cards and manual surveys are a thing of the past. If you’ve invested in an SMS texting platform for feedback, or simply want to hear what students have to say about your service, you can use digital signage to let them know how to submit their opinions. You could include an email address, number they can text, or who they can speak with if their experience isn’t up to par.
For students eating along, or for those who have some time to kill before their next class, you can provide some digital entertainment that helps put their time to good use. Include some trivia challenges, riddles, puzzles, facts, or other brain-stimulating fun.
Much like the Classifieds section of the student newspaper, you can offer advertising space to student groups, such as new clubs, Rush week, school plays, or other promotional opportunities. You could even open up some ad spaces for local businesses (perhaps as a fundraising opportunity).
Add a Campus Map
For visitors and new students alike, finding their way isn’t always easy. Include a campus map that shows where your dining hall is in relation to other parts of the campus.
Your school’s dining hall is an informal gathering place for friends, a meeting place for clubs, an information hub, and a brief escape for busy students. And the more you can do to enhance your dining hall experience, the fewer seats you might find empty.