A rising restaurant chain says it's using digital screens to reach a screen generation in a screen world.
Minneapolis-based digital signage provider Wireless Ronin Technologies Inc. recently announced that its digital signage solution has been selected by the fast-growing MOOYAH burgers and fries restaurant chain.
Texas-based MOOYAH was ranked #1 in the FastCasual.com 2009 Top 100 Movers and Shakers list, and the company says that in everything MOOYAH does it’s searching for what it calls the "wow factor" — which helped lead it to make the decision to deploy digital signage in its restaurants.
Digital signage screens also fit the chain's customers and their expectations, says MOOYAH president Alan Hixon.
"For MOOYAH we want to be able to communicate messages with our guests, and I think that the majority of our guests have grown up in a screen world; they're used to it, and I just think it's the direction that the world has gone and continues to go," he said. "So it's just a great opportunity to communicate with our guests in a way they're used to being communicated to."
The digital panels won't be in all stores very soon, Hixon says, but the digital signage solution should be in all of the new stores going forward. There are 18 MOOYAH locations open or scheduled to open by this winter, according to the company's website.
Wireless Ronin says it will provide MOOYAH with hardware, RoninCast software, 24/7/365 support and content development. Wireless Ronin's content engineering team also will work closely with the MOOYAH marketing team to create content that best fits the unique in-store MOOYAH experience and environment, Wirless Ronin says. MOOYAH will manage the network from its corporate headquarters to frequently update the promotional boards with fresh content to feature key messages about MOOYAH and the MOOYAH brand.
Hixon says the Wireless Ronin digital signage "is a pretty cool deal," with a running loop of animated messages with "cool" graphics on a 46-inch flatscreen. And it keeps MOOYAH from having so much signage dangling in the stores and in table tents, he says.
"It was really a great opportunity to take messages that we want to communicate and get them to the guests without having to just continually print signage and do all those kinds of things," he said.
With fewer than 20 locations, MOOYAH for now slides just under the target number in the new federal menu-labeling law that would require it to post nutrition information on its menus — but with a minimum 20 to 25 new restaurants anticipated to open next year, that won't be the case for long.
Still, concerns over the new federal regulations were not at the heart of the move to digital signage, Hixon says.
"It wasn't something that weighed heavily in the decision; there were other motivations that were really driving the decision to try it," he said. "But now that we have it, it would certainly be an opportunity for us to utilize it to fulfill that requirement. … Again it just keeps us from having to constantly reprint things. Your graphic designer puts a slide together, sends it over and you're good to go."
And the initial three-store rollout has been a success so far, Hixon says.
"We’ve really liked the timeliness of it. Anytime we want to communicate something or change something, our graphic designer will just knock something out, and we get it over to them, and usually just within just a matter of hours it's done," he said.
"And when you look at that compared to what it used to be where, okay, now you've got to take it to the printer; the printer's got to produce proofs; you've got to approve those proofs; then they've got to print it; and so you're looking at days. … Just to have that ability to do things so quickly has really been great."