Cable limits in-venue TVs. What’s the alternative?

Sponsored by UPshow.

With the intense competition in today’s restaurant industry, it’s no wonder quick-service brands are looking for every possible advantage, from improved customer service to more appealing menu offerings. One major engagement tool, however, is failing to generate the returns restaurants expect: cable TV.

“As technology advances, TVs are getting bigger, better, and more affordable, meaning more restaurants are putting them in the dining room,” says Ethan Greene, customer success director at UPshow. “A lot of restaurant leaders grew up with cable TV and don’t realize it might actually be hurting their brands.”

For example, cable TV focuses on national programming, rather than local. While Greene says that while ESPN might be largely agreeable programming for many guests, diners in Cincinnati care more about the Bengals than other national teams. Which games are covered is dictated by the network, meaning there is no promise that a venue running cable will be able to serve guests the content they care most about. As a result, stores miss powerful opportunities to build connections and loyalty with the local community.

More importantly, restaurants have no control over which ads are shown on their TVs with cable. The TV in a Wendy’s, for example, might be showing ads for McDonald’s—meaning valuable ad space was used to promote a competitor when it could be used to boost in-store sales.

Due to these concerns, some restaurants are cutting the cord. Instead of cable, they are investing in customizable TV platforms, like UPshow, that gives brands better returns on their investment.

“UPshow is a one-stop shop that allows restaurants to provide an engaging, dynamic experience, social content, full-screen digital signage, and hyper-local, hyper-relevant content that resonates with consumers,” Greene says.

He likens the platform to a Netflix library loaded with content restaurant managers can select via the UPshow desktop program or mobile app. For example, that Cincinnati Wendy’s could select to play social content about the Bengals, while a store in Charlotte could show the Panthers or even a minor league team, like the Stone Crabs, in order to foster community engagement. While customers eyes are on the screen, brands can take the opportunity to promote their own social media and marketing materials, too.

“We can amplify the visibility of a brand and its social media accounts, and you’re guaranteed to reach customers with advertising for new menu items and specials on in-store TVs,” Greene says. “From LTOs to app downloads, restaurants can advertise it all on screen.”

Though some restaurants might be daunted by customizing television programming when managers are already busy, Greene says it takes no time to set up UPshow in a restaurant and very little to manage it. The system operates on plug and play Google Chromebit technology and can be organized and updated via any desktop computer or mobile phone.

“We can also preconfigure the platform ahead of time when a client signs up,” Greene says. “Restaurants have a central dashboard to manage content and a dedicated customer success manager to provide customer support if needed and help them think of ways to use the platform to drive even better ROI.”

With so much flexibility, ease of use, and the ability to control content, customizable TV solutions are positioned to help restaurants increase margins and optimize the diner experience without increasing the workload.

“We are able to drive value from the screens in quick-service restaurants,” Greene says. “Some brands refer to the screens as digital community boards and others think of them as a dynamic engagement platform. Either way, it helps brands to cut the cord, save money on cable, and speak to customers on a higher level.”

Visit the UPshow website to learn more about how customizable TV can help restaurants connect to consumers and drive sales.

By Peggy Carouthers

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