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The Quarterly Canadian Restaurant Intelligence Report

How Digital Signage Technology drives the Canadian QSR Industry


The Canadian quick service restaurant (QSR) experience has come a long way from its humble beginnings. Aside from the delicious evolution of food and beverage menus across Canada, the ways in which businesses are communicating their offerings and facilitating their transactions is also developing rapidly. Self-serve ordering, mobile pick-up and home delivery have revolutionized the customer experience, and in turn positively impacted sales, in-store customer counts and operational processes.

Next generation technology has been a major player in these advancements for QSRs, allowing them to be more efficient, straightforward and adaptable. More specifically, digital signage has become a key tool in driving sales and boosting customer experiences in the foodservice industry, from sharing menu information to highlighting promotions to attracting new customers. Digital display technology is no longer strictly found behind the counter – it’s seen throughout the restaurant, in store-front windows and throughout the drive-thru, marking all major decision points for new and returning diners. In order to remain relevant as these changes continue, business owners and decision-makers must rely on both digital and interactive signage – on the front lines and behind the counter. 

Digital displays offer efficient, adaptable communication opportunities 

Over the past few years, operators in the Canadian foodservice industry have adopted digital signage management systems and display technology to communicate menu items, new products and promotions on digital menu boards above and behind the counter. They have also implemented digital displays to pre-sell and promote specials, as well as raise awareness of the company’s community contributions and recruit new full-time and part-time employees. 

The most prominent use of digital signage is the array of menus behind ordering counters. Digital menu boards, such as the Samsung SMART Signage QBR/QMR Series, provide the ability to change menus without having them printed and delivered multiple times every year. Thanks to digital signage technology, changes to menus are scheduled and automated, and can even be tied to restaurant management systems, so that out of stock menu items can disappear from menu screens in real-time. As customers now expect to see what they are ordering, with Samsung SMART Signage, operators can rotate lifelike images through ultra high-definition resolution. 

QSRs want to provide their customers a vivid and unique experience through lively, immersive video wall content, while also providing necessary information about their menu offerings and ingredients. With the VMR-U Video Wall Series from Samsung, operators can display dynamic content with visual impact to grab customers’ attention and provide them with key information. This efficient system on chip (SoC) embedded video wall can easily transform screens from displaying standalone content to operating as one cohesive unit, without the need for additional hardware.

Digital signage works in any conditions

The recent wave of digital display adoption has involved outdoor drive-thru areas, with daylight-readable screens replacing printed pre-sell and menu posters. With outdoor digital signage, such as the Samsung Outdoor Display OHF Series, changes take a matter of minutes, as messages are fine-tuned and promotions catered to consumers rolling into drive-thru lanes. Outdoor displays from Samsung feature a slim depth (85 mm.) design and the added convenience of an embedded power box. They also boast durability, flexibility and 24/7 performance, even in extreme temperatures. 

Moreover, in a study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Samsung, digital signage in drive-thru lanes decreases drive-thru times, reduces food waste due to improved order accuracy, and reduces the labour costs of printing, shipping and putting new posters in place. 

Ultimately, between boosted sales and better experiences for customers, outdoor digital menus will gradually become as common in drive-thrus as the menu displays inside quick service restaurants. Operators are no longer talking about testing the waters with digital technologies; they are talking about comprehensive rollouts. Because of the enhanced, personalized customer experience digital menu boards bring, restaurants are in a position to upgrade their old displays and start reaping significant financial benefits from these new digital displays.

Interactive digital marketing solutions throughout any restaurant space

Just about any business with a street-level presence has the opportunity to use window marketing to drive sales and boost their communications strategy. Putting a bright digital display in a storefront can be an effective way to market to passersby and drive foot traffic through the door. However, using that technology can come with a caveat: screens look great from the outside, but staff and visitors on the inside see the back end of a display or its enclosure. 

That is where the dual-sided LCD screens from Samsung can come in as a solution. The OMN-D Series from Samsung is a dual display with screens on both sides, allowing restaurants to maximize messaging. The window-facing screen features bright visuals and prominent positioning, providing those passing by with further motivation to enter the restaurant. Once inside, indoor-facing displays enhance the dining experience with relevant content, such as menus or promotions. This single display reduces equipment and installation costs, increasing operational efficiency, compared to installing two separate displays.

Moreover, when it comes to watching the big game, major restaurant chains in the foodservice industry are continuing to deliver incredible entertainment options. Sports and entertainment-themed restaurants are evolving from using single TVs suspended from ceilings to installing giant video walls that can show the big game — or be segmented to show multiple games at once.

With the Extreme Narrow Bezel Video Wall UHF-E/UMH-E Series from Samsung, diners can enjoy an immersive, near-seamless viewing experience for catching every play in the game. These video walls feature an extreme narrow-bezel (1.7mm.) that produces a near-seamless picture across multiple screens without interruption, generating countless opportunities to captivate customers. Another option are direct-view LED screens that counteract direct sun and glare, making them better suited for locations flooded by natural sunlight.

Display Technology and the Evolution of Quick Service Dining

As the Canadian foodservice industry continues to undergo significant changes across the board, operators are tailoring their technology investments to meet consumers’ heightened demand for a more personalized, modern dining experience. Hitting the right notes is critical because consumers typically have a magnitude of options to choose from when deciding where to dine; therefore, possessing the right innovative tech solutions present a key opportunity for restaurant operators to differentiate themselves and compete in the world of mobile ordering and enhanced delivery. Aside from the care and consideration put into consumable offering choices and menu development, businesses have the opportunity to leverage digital display to stay ahead of the curve and competitive. 

Indeed, the future of QSR is rooted in a technology-driven experience reflected in digital displays, both inside and out. As the number one worldwide leader in digital signage for the 10th consecutive year (as measured by unit sales), Samsung is committed to transforming digital signage and providing Canadian retailers an innovative display solution as a natural extension of their retail environment.

For more information on Samsung Digital Display solutions, visit


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The Quarterly Canadian Restaurant Intelligence Report