NEC Display Solutions Customer Installation Food & Beverage
Increasing appetites with digital menu boards
In a highly competitive market, KFC relies on new technologies to stay ahead of the competition. Using NEC displays embedded with Raspberry Pi computing, Digital Menu Boards at the fast food chicken outlet react quickly to changing offers to satisfy its customers’ appetites.
The desire for food which is both available quickly and offers variety outside of what is available at home not only boosts sales but also opens up opportunities for competitors. Even established chains like KFC have to come up with something new in order to stay ahead of the market and increase its customer base.
In the ranking of the largest companies in the catering industry, the chicken specialist opened 2018, its jubilee year, with record sales in Germany. During last year, 15 KFC restaurants have opened in Germany alongside several new branches in Austria and an entry programme planned for Switzerland. Fast food is a quickly growing market.
“It´s finger lickin´ good”
KFC changes its menu more than six times a year. In addition, there are special offers and promotions which change daily. Now established for 50 years in Germany, KFC plans to target a younger audience and to focus more specifically on the individual needs of its customers.
Traditionally, product presentation has taken the form of rotating displays or interchangeable posters and menu cards. However, with more than 160 branches in Germany alone, changing posters and menu cards is time-consuming and expensive. Consequently, in order to attract attention to any short-term promotions, there is little room for manoeuvre when it involves changing the menu offers during the course of the day.
KFC therefore decided to integrate digital menu boards in cooperation with the advertising agency, m&r Kreativ. „Unlike the analogue alternative, digital menu boards emphasise KFC‘s modern brand presence,“ Lisa Probst, the Head of IT at m&r Kreativ, says. „They enable a mix of flexible product presentation, infotainment and interaction with customers. KFC can provide its customers with better information and positively influence their purchasing patterns“.
After intensive consultation with marketing specialists, NEC Display Solutions was chosen to supply the technology.
The NEC Solution
“Red and white” info
In cooperation with the system house IT-Haus GmbH, professional large format displays from NEC were installed in the sales area comprising 48” MultiSync® P484 and 40” MultiSync® P404 models, with integrated Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3.
Thanks to an impressive brightness of 700 cd/m² and the screens’ anti-reflective coating, the range of food on offer is superbly presented, readable even in bright ambient conditions. The modern and slim design fits perfectly into the brand’s modern interior design. Brand recognition is also guaranteed as KFC’s iconic CI colours - white on bright red - are accurately reproduced.
High quality components ensure that the displays can be used in continuous operation, a critical factor for fast food outlets. The user-friendly and intelligent management and maintenance function ensures central control of the displays saving the company resources and time.
Thanks to the OMi interface, the source of the screen content is already seamlessly integrated into the display thus simplifying the installation of devices. Reliability is assured since no cabling between the source and the display is required.
„A very special highlight is the innovative Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3. It is extremely robust and can withstand 24/7 usage without any problems“, Probst continued. „The NEC Edition of the module impresses with its additional functionality which is especially designed for usage in digital signage. The menu board content at KFC can be updated accordingly via the network and centrally controlled via a playlist“.
Features include extended memory, a watchdog timer, a real-time clock and video codec support. Thanks to its modular functionality the computing power can be flexibly upgraded according to future needs which is a huge advantage.
Together, NEC Display Solutions, m&r Kreativ and IT-Haus GmbH delivered a full-service solution to the fast food giant. Hardware and logistics, along with the coordination of maintenance such as power supply and networking are comprehensively covered alongside the creation and delivery of content.
Customers are better informed and the entire range of meals can be displayed, adapted and appropriately highlighted in real time. Whilst menus designed to meet hunger pangs are most prominent at midday, popular bucket or animated products will stimulate the appetite of evening visitors. Advertising is targeted and flexibly broadcast as needed - a cooling ice-cream in summer or a hot drink in winter for instance.
„We are more than satisfied with the result. Even at the age of 50, KFC is a young, modern brand and should be perceived as such“ says Dr Thorsk Westphal, Chief Marketing Officer at Yum! Restaurants International, the parent company of KFC. „We now plan to replace all indoor posters gradually with digital options in order to become even more flexible“.
In addition, a refurbishment of outside installations is planned for the future: „In the long term, we are also striving for modernisation in this area and would happily use the same partners again“.