Quick serve restaurants (QSRs) are among one of the leading applications recognizing the benefits of installing digital signage displays, ranging from digital menu boards, self-ordering kiosks, or outdoor digital drive-thru displays. Globally, majority of QSRs are beginning the transition for utilizing these display systems, especially in European countries. More recently, McDonald’s completed a large rollout of drive-thru digital signage displays across 10,500 stores within the U.S. to promote better customer experiences through day parting and promotional sales, while also increasing employee productivity and generating additional revenue.
Digital signage among QSRs isn’t a new concept, but with consumer purchasing habits and sales patterns shifting, many fast food restaurants are relying more on digital signage displays to offer solutions to meet these changing expectations. Key trends affecting the QSR industry currently is the shift to self-ordering kiosks to expedite the ordering process, mobile pickup with a designated digital signage display to convey information about order status, and outdoor drive-thru signage.
Substantial advancements to outdoor digital signage displays, especially within the past two years, allows for greater ease of installation and longevity of these displays within the QSR sector. In the past, many of these outdoor drive-thru signage displays needed a special enclosure to offer protection from extreme weather conditions or vandalism, making the installation cost of these displays a significant investment. Currently, many of these challenges have been addressed, with many outdoor signage displays offering IP56 certification, high brightness for greater visibility, an embedded power source, and system-on-chip (SoC) technology, among other features.
IHS Markit believes the entry of leading display manufacturers offering dedicated standalone outdoor signage solutions previously dominated by specialized display brands will drive the cost of this display technology further downward. For example, Samsung has placed a greater emphasis on improvements to their outdoor and window-front signage, as demand for these displays is expanding. QSRs are merely one vertical market utilizing these outdoor signage solutions, with other applications such as retail window storefronts, bus and transit stations, and other public space environments demonstrating a lift in installations.
Based on the latest iteration of our Public Displays Market Tracker, IHS Markit reports a noteworthy lift in high brightness displays over the past several quarters, especially for digital signage displays with 2,000 nits and above in North America and Western Europe. Since a large part of these high brightness display shipments rely heavily on special projects, such as the McDonald’s rollout, larger volatility in shipments each quarter occurs as a result.
In the longer-term forecast, IHS Markit expects demand for global high brightness LCD displays to show steady growth with an average increase of 19.2% YoY from 2021 through 2023. There may be signs of weakening as LED displays will capture share in the outdoor and semi-outdoor signage market, but IHS Markit believes there will still be demand for high brightness LCD displays, especially for 2,000 nits and higher for the next several years.