How Digital Menu Boards Impact Perceived Consumer Wait Time

Wait a minute!

People hate waiting. This is a statement that seems to be true for everybody, whether it’s waiting at the doctor’s office, waiting for the elevator, or waiting in line at a restaurant. Some may think that time is a constant, that waiting ten minutes is the same regardless of the situation. In reality, waiting is less about the actual time spent waiting and more about the perceived amount of time spent waiting. This is why you often find a full magazine rack or a fish tank in your doctor’s office waiting room. These items are there for a reason, to busy and preoccupy the customers and make their experience more pleasurable and their perceived wait timeless.

When it comes to the restaurant industry, the perception of how long your customers wait to order their food and then wait to get their food can affect their perception of your business, which can affect your bottom line. Over the years there has been a lot of research that has gone into minimizing the customer’s perceived wait time in different industries. One major recommendation is to give the customers an experience in the line using video displays. Digital menu boards provide a great avenue for displaying video and result in a 15+% shorter perceived wait time.

By providing customers the opportunity to review your product offerings while they wait in line, digital menu boards not only give customers something to do while they wait, they also speed up the actual ordering process. Customers who have the ability to view the full menu while waiting in line are more prepared to place their order by the time they reach the front of the line.

You can use digital menu technology to feature promotions, improve product familiarity, and build brand loyalty while customers wait in line, too. Think critically and strategically about your use of colors and video as well, as motion has been proven to capture the consumer’s eye. Digital menu boards can help you meet a variety of business goals, but at a minimum, they help reduce perceived customer wait time and create a more efficient ordering process that leads to increased customer satisfaction and a better overall customer experience.

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