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Customer-Facing Display: Does My Restaurant Need One?

June 13th, 2023

Customer-facing display on a checkout counter in a restaurant. A waitress is holding a tray of food and smiling. CFD. SkyTab

In today's fast-paced world of dining and hospitality, creating a seamless and enjoyable experience for customers is paramount. One way to elevate the efficiency and engagement at your point of sale is by incorporating customer-facing displays. These sleek and intuitive screens not only enhance the checkout process but also offer a range of benefits for both customers and businesses alike.

In this blog post, we will explore the advantages of customer-facing displays and how they can elevate the way you interact with your patrons, making their experience more personalized and efficient.

What is a Customer-Facing Display?

A customer-facing display, guest-facing display, or customer display screen — whatever terminology you prefer — is a component of your point-of-sale system that’s designed to elevate the customer experience.

The customer-facing display (or CFD) is a digital checkout screen that shows patrons itemized details of their transactions. Typically, this includes all items in the order, sales tax, discounts, and the transaction total. The screen may also show payment, gratuity, and loyalty program prompts as well as payment confirmation. Once the payment is complete, it can prompt for receipt delivery options such as email, text, paper receipt, or no receipt at all.

6 Benefits of Using a Customer-Facing Display

Customer-facing displays are everywhere, from coffee shops and cafes to pizzerias and pop-up restaurants. Should your restaurant jump on the bandwagon? Let’s dive into the benefits you can expect to see with a customer-facing display.

1. Build Trust with Transparency

It should go without saying that businesses are more likely to succeed if they are trusted by their customers. The data backs this up, with this report from Edelman showing that 57% of survey respondents are more willing to purchase a new product when they fully trust a brand.

While there are many ways to build trust between your customers and staff, implementing a customer-facing display is one of the easiest and most effective.

With a customer-facing display, customers can easily see the full details of their order without relying on an employee's spoken word. Before any money is exchanged, customers can rest assured that they have final approval on what they’re paying for. All taxes and fees are clearly presented before them, removing any fear of hidden fees.

2. Improve the Customer Experience

Every restaurant strives to deliver the best possible experience to its customers — and that’s because a better customer experience keeps customers coming back. According to Deloitte, 60% of restaurant guests said they’d dine more frequently at establishments that provided a positive customer experience.

That said, improving your restaurant's technology is an effective way to enhance your diners’ overall experience. Once your restaurant implements a customer-facing display screen at checkout, your customers can expect to see some of these significant improvements:

  • Accuracy: Customers can quickly check the accuracy of their order information on the customer-facing display, including any special requests they’ve made. Pricing and any applied discounts will also be presented clearly.

  • Speed: The ordering process can be sped up exponentially by reducing the typical back and forth over pricing and payments. This ensures that checkout lines stay short and customers can finish their orders quickly.

  • Engagement: While wait times can be reduced, they will never be eliminated. A customer-facing display can keep guests engaged once they reach the POS, drawing attention away from the wait.

  • Hygiene: The checkout process can be much cleaner by eliminating the need to pass devices or credit cards back and forth between the customer and staff. This is especially important for many customers in a post-COVID world.

3. Boost Sales and Tips

According to NELP, wait staff and bartenders depend on tips for over half their wages. With that in mind, it’s evident that any tool that can boost tips is beneficial for your restaurant.

A customer-facing display can present customers with various tip options, making it as easy as tapping the screen to add a tip that feels right for them. Typically, these displays split tips into different percentage options, one custom option, and a “no tip” option. You can customize these options and set them as high as you’d like — which could lead to higher tips than you’d typically see without them.

Customer-facing displays make tipping much more manageable than searching for cash or doing the mental math required when filling out a receipt. Not only does this improve the overall customer experience for your guests, but it also makes it easier for restaurants to collect and disseminate tips to staff.

4. Reduce Checkout Errors

Not much can sour the restaurant checkout experience more than order errors. Dealing with the hassle of bringing up an issue post-transaction and potentially setting up a refund for the error can take a toll on time and patience.

However, with a customer-facing display, errors made at checkout can be significantly reduced — before the transaction is finalized.

Rather than waiting until the customer receives their receipt to ensure the order is accurate and correcting issues after the fact, customers can quickly call out any errors they see in real-time before paying. Compared to the several minutes it would take to fix the order and issue a refund, restaurant staff can adjust the items in just a few seconds.

5. Increase Customer Loyalty

Customer loyalty is the bread and butter of any successful restaurant. Not only do new customers cost up to 25 times more to acquire than retaining an existing one, but loyal guests and repeat customers can also become valuable brand advocates.

What’s the easiest way to encourage customer loyalty? It’s in the name: loyalty programs. If your restaurant doesn’t already have a loyalty program, now’s the time to start one. And what better way to introduce a loyalty program than with a customer-facing display system?

Customer-facing displays can be instrumental in building and maintaining a loyalty program for your restaurant. With a display, customers can effortlessly sign up for rewards by entering their email address or phone number — rather than verbally communicating it to staff. It’s easier for returning customers to enter that information too.

Customers can also easily see how many points they’ve earned and any rewards that they’re close to earning. This can be a great upsell opportunity — only 50 more points and you can get a free drink, so you might as well add on a cookie to get there!

By showing all of the necessary loyalty information on a customer-facing display, customers and staff can save time and headaches by helping to answer questions about points and rewards before they’re asked.

And, with the information you’ve collected from that loyalty program, you can continue encouraging customer engagement by marketing to them via text or email, regularly sending out coupons, sale updates, and news about the restaurant.

6. Comply with Local Laws

While customer-facing displays are beneficial, they’re not typically legally required for your business. However, some states in the U.S. require your POS system to include a customer-facing display.

California’s Business and Professions Code requires businesses to conspicuously display prices to customers as they are added to the transaction at checkout.

Arizona’s Administrative Code also requires retailers to “display the price of each item purchased visibly to the public at each check-out location.”

If you’ve decided that the above benefits aren’t enough for your business to consider adding a customer-facing display to your POS hardware suite, then you may want to take the time to check your local laws.

Does My Restaurant Need a Customer-Facing Display?

Ultimately, deciding whether a customer-facing display suits your restaurant is up to you. However, if you ask us, we think that the pros far outweigh the cons — especially if your POS solution offers an affordable customer display screen.

Disclaimer: The following content is provided solely for informational purposes and is not intended to serve as accounting, tax, legal, or other professional advice. You are solely responsible for your own compliance with laws and regulations. You should contact your accountant, attorney, or other relevant advisors for advice specific to your circumstances.