Projects: Charlotte Pizza Joint Uses Interactive To Engage Waiting Customers

July 30, 2016 by Dave Haynes


This is an interesting take on using digital signage to deal with lengthy dwell times in a fast casual restaurant setting: an interactive display patrons can monkey with while their custom pizza bakes in the nearby oven.

When Zablong Pizza opened in Charlotte, NC earlier this year, the operators wanted an interactive experience from the time people walked in. So they interact with the crew behind the counter in building their pizzas. Then they can turn around and do different things on a wall-mounted display.

“We wanted people to be able to take selfies together, play games together, engage with the brand together,” says co-founder Steve Young. “We quickly realized we needed a centralized screen where people could do these things. It seemed like a natural way to build a sense of community and keep the interaction alive, and was so closely linked to our concept ­ which is all about being connected to both your food and the community around you.”

The company pulled it together with another Charlotte business, T1V, using its Interactive touchscreen technology.

Says T1V on its company blog:

The Zablong and T1V teams joined forces to develop the interface that Zablong patrons have access to today. Customers can play Zablong­-branded games, design their own Zablong logos (which they can then submit to the Zablong team to publish), and take selfies with their friends while waiting for their pizzas to cook. Through these customer­-generated content outlets, Zablong patrons are able to contribute to what Zablong means to them, thus serving as active participants in the Zablong community.

“Because much of our software is semi-­custom, this means that we’ve developed modules over the years that can be customized and rebranded at rates that new companies like Zablong can affordably include in their restaurant concept,” says Marco Ventura, VP of Sales and Marketing at T1V. “It’s exciting to see a local Charlotte company quickly identify the value in the technology, and to make an investment early on so that as Zablong expands, T1V technology will expand with it ­- it’s very forward­-looking.”

My take: Interesting. Seems cramped where it is, but where else do you put that in a small footprint space? I think a LOT of attention would be needed with the attract messaging and UX to get people using it.

  1. Hao Le says:

    Very interesting! Thanks Dave! I think that it is a perfect place to add an iZoom UX from Content Interface, perhaps starting with a selfie and zoom into thousands of other selfies (Where’s Waldo like game) and/or promo videos (branding). Hao

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