How to WOW Guests with Innovative Video Experiences

It used to be that adding the latest trend to your menu, changing décor, or adding new technologies to your venue was innovative enough. That’s no longer the case.

Truffles on the menu? It’s been done. A gallery wall of obscure art? Expected. Network TV playing in your location? Predictable.

A study published in 2001 from Emory University discussed the results Dr. Gregory Burns work regarding how the human brain reacts to the expected versus the unexpected. The study found that people’s brains prefer surprises over pleasures that they’re used to.

“This means that the brain finds unexpected pleasures more rewarding than expected ones,” Burns explains, “and it may have little to do with what people say they like.”

So, this begs the question: are you wowing your guests with the unexpected?

What if you could take one of those “predictable” elements and make it unique and cutting edge? Your TVs are a great example of something that's normally expected but can easily be innovated to bring that “wow” factor. 

Today we’ll show you exactly how you can create an innovative video experience on the TVs in your venue. 

The Perfect Setup

Before you can begin to innovate, you should first look at what you’re currently working with. How many TVs are there in your venue? Are they in ideal locations? Are the screens appropriate sizes?

The answers to these questions depend on the type of establishment. A sports bar might want to increase the amount of TVs, while a smaller, local pub may focus on where they’re located.

Once you’ve answered these questions for yourself, however, it’s time to put your TVs to work!

Previously on our blog, we offered 7 crucial tips for using TV screens in bars and restaurants. A big takeaway from that list is the importance of setting up your TVs perfectly before they’re even turned on. 

We found a great resource from Cabaret Design Group which breaks down the preferred height, distance, and ideal angles for viewing. 

Here’s an image from that blog post to help you refresh your memory. 

tv layout

Perfecting the setup is the first critical step to perfecting the video experience for your guests. Without the right angles, no one’s paying attention to the screens. 

Don’t Settle 

Nothing ruins a viewing experience more than screens that have lost their color, sound quality that is poor, or screens that are too small. You wouldn’t settle for a subpar menu, staff, or décor—the same goes for your audio/video set-up. 

The A/V professionals at Harman’s highlight the importance of equipment that’s built to withstand the wear and tear that’s common to the restaurant industry, as opposed to everyday household television equipment.

One main difference they note is that professional equipment has built-in cooling elements, which is important when you’re placing them in hot places like restaurants.

Also, consider the type of speakers you’re using and their placement. All-too-often, people want to put them up and out of the way. According to Harman’s, however, this is normally a bad idea. Most people aren’t trained in the complexities of acoustics and optimal sound setups. So, they suggest hiring a professional to assess and assist in this effort.

As the old saying goes, it's cheaper to do it the right way first than taking the short-cut and paying for it later. 

Ambiance and Lighting 

While TVs and sound systems play a large part in a guests’ audio-visual experience, ambiance—the character and atmosphere of a location—is just as important.

For this section, we'll focus on lighting as it pertains to screens in your venue. 

In their article on the importance of lighting, Toast highlights the significance of choosing the right color pallet in your restaurant that will be gentle on the eyes. While having a venue that is dark and moody might be trendy these choices for surfaces on walls, bars, and tabletops may cause discomfort and even headaches as our eyes move from one surface to another. Choosing décor that’s light-colored will help reflect light and make it more enjoyable for guests. 

It’s also suggested that you watch out for light pollution. Nothing can ruin a viewing experience quite like the glare coming from an unshaded window on a sunny day. Your guests won’t care how much you spent on your A/V and TV set-up if they can’t see it. 

More than Background Music

Background music in the hospitality industry has been expected for years now. To “wow” your guests, create a modernized music experience by combining the sights and sounds of your venue with music videos!

The influence of music videos on pop culture is only getting stronger, and industry moguls understand that we’ve entered a new golden age of music videos. Be a part of it by showcasing the latest, greatest hits at your venue. 

At Control Play, we create music video playlists that cater to your specific guest experience. With volume control for specific zones, remote management from any device, and data-driven playlists to help you determine what videos are best for what dayparts, Control Play is a step above any basic music solution.

infotainment-img-1Click the image above for a FREE guide on infotainment in bars and restaurants!

Stop Wasting Your TVs

You’ve made the decision to revamp the video experience at your restaurant. You’ve analyzed your current TV setup and A/V equipment and are ready to take it to the next level: making your TVs a driving source of revenue. 

With Control Play’s digital signage solution built into your music video system, it’s easy to create ads and promotions that people actually see because their eyes are on the screens. While they’re engaged with a video, or between songs, you can pop in infotainment that promotes menu items, special events, social media pages and more! 

An Infotrends study found that digital signage displays increase the following areas within the restaurant business: brand awareness, visitor traffic, sales volume, and purchase amount. Quite a lot of aspects are enhanced when a modern, digital display is put to good use. 

Control Play’s software provides you with all the tools you need to create digital signage for your venue with our pre-made templates, and the ability to upload your own created signage. You can schedule each for specific days and times, and even blend them seamlessly with music videos—or give a quick call or email to our team and have us do the work for you. 


The hospitality industry is constantly looking for ways to innovate the guest experience. Guests aren’t easily swayed with a menu change or new décor. The key to being innovative is being unpredictable!

While TV’s in a restaurant are expected, providing a viewing experience that puts the guest first, is not. Selecting the right setup, paying attention to ambiance, and modernizing your music and digital signage are effective ways to “wow” your guests—and Control Play can help.

Our core focus is on helping our subscribers WOW their guests with innovative video experiences.

Let us show you how your TV screens can work for you and make you money by scheduling a live demo of our service.

Click the link below and choose a time that works for you:

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Bianca Matos

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