Over the years, the ambience of bars has changed a great deal. Now, it is quite rare to walk into one that is grey, dingy and smells of stale beer. Bar owners are increasingly savvy about creating an appealing ambience and making the whole drinking experience as inviting and pleasant as possible.
They have done this, by making lots of little changes. One of which is tapping into the power of digital media. Sales of digital signs for bars must have exploded over the past few years. They are everywhere. Even quite small bars have them. They are especially popular with microbrewers.
There is a good reason for this – they are an amazingly versatile way for bar-owners to communicate with and connect with their customers. Plus, as you will see, they can also be used to make the process of ordering much easier.
Digital displays as an alternative advertising medium
Naturally, most bar owners use these screens as a way of increasing sales. Mostly by sharing details of their special offers and their loyalty club if they have one. Usually, these adverts are static images. They are effectively posters, in a digital format. When done right they do not detract in any way or spoil the ambience.
Sharing details of their full drinks range
We´ve all gone into a bar, ordered our usual, then noticed something that someone else on our table had ordered and thought “darn, I didn’t know they sold that, I wish I had ordered it.” Unless you can see the drink label, or it is being advertised in some way you just don´t know that the bar sells it. Digital menus have the potential to completely do away with that issue. Savvy bar owners and staff are creating full lists of what they have to offer and displaying them on a large screen behind the bar where everyone can see it. Making it much easier for people to try out new drinks.
Right now, self-service kiosks are taking off in restaurants. Everyone seems to like being able to use a touch screen to immediately order what they want the moment they sit down. There is little doubt that they will also start to be used in busy bars. After all self-service beer walls have done a roaring trade pretty much wherever they have been set up.
Making the bar more interesting
Sitting in a bar waiting for your friends to arrive is a bit boring. There is only so much people watching you can do before the other customers start to think that there is something wrong with you. So, being able to watch a short video that tells you more about how the beer you are drinking is made is a welcome distraction. It is a great marketing tool for the brewer too. Providing them with a chance to share their journey and show that they take beer making seriously.
To help create ambience
Of course, display screens can be used for entertainment as well. Making it possible for people in one half of the bar to watch the football, which a small group in another part watches the darts. The fact that screens have good speakers too means that playing music videos is also a possibility. Some bars show slideshows of photographs or artwork to slightly change the look and feel of their bar, at certain times of the day.
Creating other income streams using digital display screens
In the future, it may be possible for the owners of small establishments to use them to generate a little extra income. Many local businesses already use videos to promote their goods and services. These have the potential to be displayed on screens in local bars. The hosts of local events are also starting to wake up to the fact that there are dozens of screens out there that could be used to bring in the crowds. Agreeing to show these highly localized ads is a service for which bar owners could charge. Something that could be a lifeline for a micropub that is struggling to find traction in a new location.
The future of digital screens in bars and pubs
There is little doubt that the use of digital screens is going to become more widespread, as bar-owners wake up to their potential. Especially micropubs and breweries, which have limited space. The fact that they do not take up much wall space and their versatility, makes them an ideal way to advertise and strengthen their brand. As the screens become more energy-efficient and the software behind digital displays becomes more intuitive and user-friendly, the pace at which bar owners install them is highly likely to accelerate.