November 21, 2017

Long John Silver's New Digital Menu

LOUISVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Long John Silver’s will install the most technologically-advanced digital drive-thru platforms in the restaurant industry, laying the groundwork for a fully automated drive-thru in the future, the company announced today. Up to 400 Long John Silver’s flagship units will be transformed over the next two years, with the new platform that includes three 55-inch, high-definition video screens, high-definition audio and a computer platform that will dramatically improve the ordering process for Long John Silver’s customers. Long John Silver’s partnered with Allure, a division of Christie Digital Systems USA, for this next step in the legendary brand’s revitalization and transformation program.

“We have made tremendous progress in revitalizing Long John Silver’s,” said James O’Reilly, Chief Executive Officer. “As we transform and update our restaurant base over the next two years, we want to make a bold statement to our drive-thru customers. More than half our sales occur at the drive-thru and we want our customers to enjoy that experience with the best technology available.”

The Allure platform provides digital order confirmation and full-color, high-resolution animation, video and graphics for an engaging and interesting experience for customers. Importantly, the new system allows for quick updates of menus and promotional updates. Promoted specials can be linked to historical sales trends, special events and local weather forecasts.

“Allure’s drive-thru digital signage provides accurate information and engaging food displays while delivering a positive drive-thru experience for Long John Silver’s,” said Craig Chapin, President of Allure. “The data-driven digital signage installed outside the leading seafood restaurant chain is proven to increase ROI, reduce operating costs, and enhance guest experience,” he added.

About Long John Silver’s:

Long John Silver’s is a classic American brand founded in 1969, and stands today as the nation’s largest quick-service seafood chain with nearly 1,000 franchised and company-owned restaurants nationwide. Long John Silver’s is famous for its pure, wild-caught Alaskan whitefish, hand-dipped in its signature batter and lightly cooked to golden perfection. Learn more at or join the conversation via social media on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

About Allure, A Christie Company

Allure visual communication and retail transaction solutions connect businesses, brands and products with their consumers at points of influence and purchase in a variety of environments. Leveraging dynamic digital signage integrations to drive new revenue streams and create differentiated brand experiences, the company’s suite of intelligent solutions integrate advanced analytics, exceptional creative, software, and hardware with business applications to deliver engaging data-driven experiences, activate brands and achieve desired business outcomes. Allure software and services power more than 25,000 networked displays and devices that activate brands, environments and experiences…digitally.


For Long John Silver’s
Hayley Pugel, 859-486-4543
For Allure
Gautam Chandna, 404-528-1909

September 5, 2017

Digital Menu Board

When making the move to digital menu boards, one area that provides companies a challenge is the logistics of setting them up.

First, companies need to communicate the changes throughout the organization to ensure every department, and person, is on the same page as to the intentions of the menu boards. Communication is vital to keeping errors to a minimum while producing targeted, and branded, content for the digital menu boards. Once content is produced, the organization can begin the stages of implementation.

Large organizations should run pilot tests to identify areas of concern during the initial phases of implementation to ensure perfect execution when the digital menu boards are set to go live.

Having a dedicated, and experienced company to walk you through the process is vital to creating a targeted campaign with seamless implementation - BLR Sign Systems can help. Contact BLR today.


August 29, 2017

Taco John’s Reports Sales increase after Menu-board Test

Taco John's has been adding new menu boards in-store and at the drive-thru and testing new designs since January, 2014. They have announced a 12% increase in EZ Combo Meals since converting to digital menu boards. The new menus have two panels and have simplified the ordering process for guests.

“Our guests love the new visuals on our drive-thru and interior menu boards,” Renée Middleton, vice president of marketing, said in the release. “It really simplifies the menu, catches their eye and brings more attention to the Taco John’s EZ Combos.”

Contact Us to find out how we can help you convert your drive-thru menu displays.
August 8, 2017

Weather-Proof Your Outside Digital Menu Displays

The weather can be damaging to outdoor digital menu displays - so why not dress it up?!

Based on your business' location, you can dress up your outdoor digital menu display in a variety of ways. For locations where it gets extremely hot outside, housing the equipment with an air conditioning unit can help regulate the temperature based on the outside temperature. However, in areas where it is only warm - a fan can accommodate your needs.

Some businesses choose to use 'plenum chambers' to ventilate the outdoor digital menu display. A plenum chamber is a type of ventilation system that uses air pressure to forces the air to move out - and then is replaced with fresh air from outside the chamber. These systems allow displays to cool and provide extra protection from water.


May 30, 2017

Michigan grocers add calorie labeling on prepared foods

SpartanNash, the Michigan-based grocer that operates 83 Family Fare stores in five states, decided to add digital menu boards at the deli that specify calorie counts for their prepared foods. While this was supposed to be a provision of the Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010, the FDA has been slow to implement the menu labeling guidelines. SpartanNash decided to take the extra steps to comply and noted: "We want our store guests to make informed, better-for-you decisions when it comes to their meal options and portion sizes, and we believe the steps we have taken equip them to do just that," said Larry Pierce, SpartanNash executive vice president of merchandising and marketing, in a statement.

Other grocery chains are taking notice and are also working on adding the information to their signage

  • Walker-based grocer Meijer will have the nutrition labeling and signage for prepared foods in place at all of its 230 Midwest stores by June, a spokesman told MLive and The Grand Rapids Press.
  • Kroger is also currently working on adding caloric information to product labels to its prepared foods. In the meantime, customers can request nutrition information for food in the deli, soup and salad bar, sushi kiosks, and bakery.

Want to know more about the Family Fare initiatives taken place in conjunction with the FDA rulings? Check out the full article at Michigan grocers add calorie labeling on prepared foods despite FDA rule delay


May 24, 2017

Sneak peek of Bojangles’ new restaurant prototype

The Charlotte-based chicken-and-biscuits chain has revealed a sneak peek into their new restaurant prototype to the Charlotte Business Journal.

The space looks to capture Bojangles’ 40-year heritage, while taking the brand into the future. Bojangles’ worked with brand strategy, retail and guest experience.

Some steps they took into the future included:

  • Accessible Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Charging stations for multiple devices
  • Digital menu boards highlight options such as sweet tea — which pours in a glass as customers peruse the menu.

For more news and pictures of the prototype store, visit the Charlotte Business Journal

May 10, 2017

Coca-Cola And Google Create Personalized In-Store Ads

Originally Written By Daniel Fuller at:

Google and Coca-Cola have created a system that’s able to show shoppers personalized messages on an in-store advertising terminal by scanning key data from their smartphone as they walk nearby. The software runs on Chrome OS, using Chrome Kiosk as a back end. Coca-Cola did not specify exactly how it detects nearby devices or what data is pulled from them, content to say that Google’s Eddystone smart beacon technology is involved. The end result is that a user’s advertising profile for DoubleClick is pulled, and then the profile is matched up with relevant ads for nearby products, or in-store advertising. Since the software can run on any Chrome OS device, it can be run on just about any kiosk design with room to integrate a Chromebook or Chromebit, or an HDMI-enabled display receiving data from a nearby Chromebook that’s hooked up remotely.

The kiosk program can show all sorts of personalized content, which means that it can go well beyond store endcaps. One example that Coca Cola named in their press release is interactive displays at cinemas; customers could see trailers that may appeal to them as they walk nearby. Digital menus at restaurants were also mentioned. Other possible use cases, like ads outside storefronts and music videos at a music store are also possible. Naturally, screens hooked into this application could be placed just about anywhere, including places like bus terminals and arenas where an advertiser could have a captive audience.

Work on the idea began back in 2015, with the first prototype coming out of the factory in the fall of that year. In testing so far, the terminals have been met with stunning success. In a one-month pilot testing run inside 250 Albertson’s stores, the machines managed to make a total return on investment and essentially pay for themselves. This successful pilot, of course, means that they will start making their way out to a wider audience in the near future. Coca-Cola has not announced when the machines will start rolling out or where shoppers can expect to see them. Given the extremely wide swath of potential use cases, it’s safe to say that these could pop up just about anywhere.

April 12, 2017

McDonalds Faces Challenges Head On With Menu Boards

McDonalds has come a long way since their flagship store. The menu has drastically changed and morphed into the set of foods we love today and the design has upgraded from a drive-up to a full blown restaurant. The menu boards have gone from a static sign to traditional print and now to digital menu boards. Many McDonalds are an array of technology when you go into the store now, which often leads you wondering "where do I start?".

Rick Cook, senior manager of U.S. IT restaurant solutions at McDonald's explained that they ran into a few challenges when they switched from traditional print to digital menu boards, while speaking at the Digital Signage Expo.

The goal for switching to a digital menu board was to improve the customer service experience throughout their U.S. locations. This would include deploying 40,000 screens and working with 45 agencies in an effort to localize the design, content and comply with FDA regulations.

The complications didn't end there. After analyzing the implemented digital menu boards, there were 3 key issues that were identified:

  1. Regional owners have difficulty with nationally deployed demos

Traditionally, McDonald's would contact regional managers with information on how to set up a national campaign. The challenge came in with a disconnect in the communications - managers missed the emails or the menu boards did not get changed properly. In an effort to end this challenge, McDonald's utilized the digital boards to push the content to the stores so that regional managers did not have worry about setting the promotion up properly.

  1. Outdated GUIs

After the new digital menus were deployed, thy found that there were issues with the WYSIWYG GUI that complicated the real-time changes that were being implemented. As a result, they realized they should have upgraded the GUI before deploying the digital menu boards.

  1. Communication

Change is scary and for a large organization, getting everybody on board with change can be a challenge. Cook noted that rather than force change, it would be best to 'make sure senior leadership is championing the technology'. And that begins with communication.

The big takeaways for companies looking to upgrade to digital menus: communicate with the organization about the upcoming changes, updated GUI first and determine the best way to control the message moving forward.