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Dynamic Digital Solution for Ever-Changing Drive-Thru Menu Boards

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Dynamic Digital Solution for Ever-Changing Drive-Thru Menu Boards
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BigFoot Java’s Outdoor Digital Menu Boards elevate both the customer and operational experience across all Pacific Northwest locations.

Overview

BigFoot Java®, a specialty coffee chain in the Pacific Northwest, and EcoDigital Media have been collaborating to achieve a solution for a more immersive drive-thru experience for their customers. EcoDigital Media has led a series of digital menu board installations for the vast majority of existing BigFoot Java locations to achieve this. The process resulted in a plan to implement Peerless-AV® Outdoor Digital Menu Boards (DMBs) for their 24/7, double-sided drive-thrus, equipping them with double LED DMB kiosks for their high-traffic industrial and urban area locations.

EcoDigital Media, the project manager and integrator, and Peerless-AV, the DMB solutions provider, have been incorporating their services and products to deliver a high-quality visual experience for customers visiting any of the BigFoot Java locations. The digitization of the once-static menu boards would provide an innovative, cost-effective solution to draw customers' attention and manage menu information.

BigFoot Java’s recent rebranding included menu content and EcoDigital Media was able to implement the new changes across all properties within the same day to immediately showcase the new branding colors, images, and menu format. BigFoot Java continues its work with EcoDigital Media and Peerless-AV to manufacture and install outdoor DMBs in the drive-thrus at new and existing locations.

The Challenge

Due to the hassle of static menu board updates, BigFoot Java had not updated its drive-thru menu board content for over three years. The previously used static menu boards would take up to 2 months to create new menu panels and after, would have to be sent out to a technician to install them at locations taking more time and labor. This renders them ineffective in keeping up with the changing product market and labor shortages occurring across the nation. The coffee chain began expanding locations across Washington, making it difficult to manually adjust each static menu as frequently as needed.

EcoDigital Media was chosen to curate the digital solution that would scale with the brand and retrofit all menu boards to digital solutions as BigFoot Java wanted to find a trusted integrator local to the Pacific Northwest. They manage the entire project and installation, as well as the actual content management services.

When planning for each installation, EcoDigital Media was required to go through a permitting process in the municipality of every job site. This process was extremely tedious and long based on the size of the county and the requirements. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic also initially caused delays to this process as most offices had limited hours and were short-staffed.

Additionally, there was the unique challenge of adapting the installation plans to each BigFoot Java location. Some locations were very small with tight angles in the drive-thru, leaving limited space to position the new kiosks and digital menus, and to complete installation work. Since each establishment operates 24/7 with double-sided drive-thru functioning, integrators were able to half the traffic on alternating sides of the drive-thru throughout the installation. As to not heavily impact regular business at each location, it was imperative that EcoDigital Media complete the project within one day.

The Solution

EcoDigital Media approached Peerless-AV because of their superior customer service and high-quality product features. The perfect solution for BigFoot Java was Peerless-AV’s Outdoor Digital Menu Boards (KOF555-2) containing two 55" Xtreme™ High Bright Outdoor Displays (XHB554). These products allow for the 24/7 operation, weatherproofing, and integration with BrightSign’s cloud-based CMS to edit content remotely, such as seasonal items, pricing, and available products.

The outdoor DMBs offer all-weather protection and low operation cost, proving to be both durable and cost-effective. The Xtreme™ High Bright Outdoor Displays are IP66-rated with a patented thermal exhaust system ensuring full protection against water, dust, moisture, and insects. Additionally, the optically bonded glass increases contrast and reduces glare, guaranteeing that customers can read the menu even when in direct sunlight.

The High Bright line provides 2500 nits of light output to combat high ambient lighting conditions, while the ambient light sensor automatically adjusts display brightness to optimize power consumption and enhance the viewing experience. These displays make for the perfect solution for climates that experience all four seasons due to their operating range of -31°F to 140°F.

"We knew Peerless-AV would be the best partner for a long-term scalable solution, including service after sale,” said Kimberly Brecko, CEO of EcoDigital Media. “We worked together during a very challenging supply chain time in history. Our goal was to provide the most reliable outdoor displays to BigFoot Java. We know many of the internal partners at Peerless-AV, developing trust and keeping afoot of logistics, sometimes daily. We created a strong partnership with a great company, and are very pleased with the high-quality displays that are met with very positive feedback by those in the field experiencing them from installation to present."

Prior to starting the project for each site, EcoDigital Media conducted a site visit to ensure that necessary planning was done and the integration would carry out smoothly and efficiently. To adapt the plans to each angle and size of the drive-thru locations, EcoDigital Media built an ongoing relationship with BigFoot Java’s architect to collaborate on adjusting the stature of the underground support to work around any issues while staying in compliance with the municipality.

A week prior to the installation, a vac truck was used to dig a hole for the cement pad that would support the new DMBs behind the existing static menu boards, allowing customers to continue to view all menu information while the teams worked ahead for the installation. Installation teams can never guarantee that issues will not arise, but using this type of equipment helped ensure damage to a hidden pipe or other on-site factors would be avoided as much as possible.

The unique and collaborative installation process continues as each new location will be equipped with DMBs going forward.

The Installation

Each outdoor DMB manufactured by Peerless-AV contains two Xtreme™ High Bright Outdoor Displays, totaling 112 displays to date. Each DMB system weighs 266lbs, measuring 57.17" x 75.67" x 12.70". The Xtreme™ Displays are vertically arranged side-by-side. All of Peerless-AV’s DMBs are designed with an 8'' base plate mounting pattern, with 30° of rotational positioning to adjust to the best viewing angle.

Each installation took one full 8-hour day. With coordination from all teams and components of the integration, the new DMBs were fully ready with content playing the moment they were plugged in, with minimal disruption to drive-thru business during this process.

After the first several locations were complete, the teams were able to reduce work time for future installations by 20%, despite dealing with the ongoing challenges of varying weather conditions, permitting and coordinating timing for all schedules involved.

The installations went very smoothly as each EcoDigital Media installation was clean and efficient, leaving things organized for easy maintenance in the future. With EcoDigital Media being experts in the content management system, BrightSign was brought to the table as the CMS, helping to secure inventory during a challenging time in the world to complete the installations. EcoDigital Media still remains the ongoing content management system operator for BigFoot Java. As BigFoot Java underwent a full menu rebrand recently, EcoDigital Media implemented the new menu with updated branding and menu items including visuals, all made possible with this adaptable content management system.

The Results

BigFoot Java is thrilled with the results of these installations. The new menu boards reduce the cost of printing monthly special static cling and panels while providing an elevated aesthetic value to the drive-thru experience. The team expressed their appreciation for the clean lines and overall look of the product, as it enhances the property. They noted the brightness of displays also helps with lighting and security, while customers are impressed with the menu design and readability.

“The new menu boards have been an integral part of BigFoot Java’s continued success,” said a Barista at BigFoot Java. “They are bright and clear and have increased the number of drivers who visit our location.  The installation team did a great job, and we are pleased to see BigFoot Java’s modernized approach to serving our customers with the latest technology. It makes us excited to come to work every day!”

The results of the dedicated work of EcoDigital Media and Peerless-AV not only create a more pleasurable viewing experience for customers but also bring long-term success to BigFoot Java establishments. Along with their high brightness and powerful visual clarity, the new menu boards are also durable enough to withstand the test of time, paired with the best content management system, Brightsign, it allows us to simplify the menu updating process for BFJ EcoDigital Media seamlessly operates all content management services, ensuring all information is up-to-date and accurate. The new digitization of menu boards across all locations proves to be a more captivating experience for customers while providing a modernized image for the company.

“We are so proud to have been a part of such a successful, long-term project,” said Brian McClimans, VP Sales North America and APAC, at Peerless-AV. “The hard work put in by all team members resulted in dynamic solutions for each of the BigFoot Java locations. The work done for each installation was next-level and will shape the future of drive-thru signage.”

 

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