Probably the hottest vertical in the digital signage sector – and for a while now – is digital menu boards. Piles and piles of quick service restaurant operators are cutting over because of operating cost and hassle reductions, and the reliably positive impacts on sales and order sizes.
The software company Stratacache has probably won the most business in the vertical – including an ongoing rollout with McDonald’s – and has some 50,000 units in the field.
Now the Dayton, OH-based company has made the cagey move of opening a “Digital Menu Board Experience Center” at HQ that will show prospects a variety of current and future configurations and options.
Sprawling 8,000 square feet with over 20 different current and future DMB systems, STRATACACHE’s DMB Experience Center is designed to provide a hands-on evaluation, comparison and testing environment of numerous technologies available for quick-service and fast-casual restaurants.
Continuing to build on its significant experience in Digital Menu Boards, STRATACACHE’s new DMB Experience Center provides visitors the opportunity to examine every detail of the DMB evaluation process. Visitors can mock up their exact requirements, test with focus groups and determine what layout looks best within their specific environment while validating the requisite physical and financial models necessary for success.
“We recognize that there are a lot of questions about what DMB solution is right for the customer and that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for a DMB solution,” says CEO Chris Riegel. “Each customer requires a customized solution based on standard and cost effective technology that fits their existing space, consumer needs and budget. The DMB Experience Center offers customers the ability to plan, mockup, test and compare until the ideal solution is achieved—allowing customers to see their desired DMB layout exactly as it would look in their environment.”
The company’s ActiVia for Media digital signage platform supports traditional multi-panel menu boards, specialty/feature product menu boards and outdoor drive-thru boards. With ActiVia, restaurants can easily change menu board items, adjust pricing, day-part menus, automatically integrate caloric and point-of-sale pricing, hyper-localize offers and promote premium items as needed. With over 50,000 ActiVia Digital Menu Boards worldwide and over 1 million STRATACACHE software licenses globally, STRATACACHE has a proven track record for scalability, flexibility and integration to even the most complex operating environments.
For all of the software guys working hard to win 50 license deals, just ruminate for a few seconds on that 1 million number.
It makes a lot of sense to do this sort of thing in a red-hot vertical. You can run demos in a controlled environment without all the cost and hassles of shipping stuff to a prospect’s city and offices. And you can fly those prospects into Dayton instead of getting on planes and eating a lot of time getting to and from wherever. It’s a three-hour demo and meeting where everything is already set up, versus a two-day road trip that poses all kinds of risks of shipping damage, Internet that doesn’t connect and files that looked great on different displays.
I know another company in the sector that also eagerly flies prospects in, as opposed to travelling to meetings.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than 13 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia.