Digital signage product developer BrightSign announced today that Argo Tea, a Chicago-based chain of specialty tea cafes, has installed 50 BrightSign network-enabled HD1010 digital signage players to meet the restaurant's need to run its menu boards 24/7.

Currently, the solid-state controllers deliver high-definition menu boards at 21 locations. Argo Tea uses the networking capabilities of the BrightSign HD1010 controllers and BrightSign Network Manager to remotely update prices and menu items on the 50 menu boards from its headquarters in Chicago.

"Using BrightSign as our menu board presentation has allowed for more flexibility in flavor changes, pricing updates and layout redesigns," Simon Simonian, Argo Tea's director of IT and one of its founders, said in the announcement. "We've also been able to completely eliminate accessory menu board signage that was previously used to communicate seasonal specials and other limited-time promotions."

Argo Tea's double-board menu displays use two ultra-compact BrightSign HD1010 media players discreetly hidden behind slim 52- and-55-inch monitors for each location — 15 in the Chicago Area, five in New York City and one in St. Louis. The menu board for Argo Tea's Signature drinks features looping high-resolution photos showing the Signature drinks with pricing and the calorie count for small-, medium- and large-sizes. The second menu board is a multizone display featuring Argo Tea's loose leaf tea varietals, coffee beverages and SpecialTea Food selection. Other zones in the display are used to showcase Argo Tea's seasonal specials and products.

With Argo Tea Cafes open an average of 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, reliability was a key requirement when selecting the BrightSign HD1010 digital media controller, the company said.

Argo Tea reports it took less than a month to roll out its pilot location in Chicago. Then, within six months, the BrightSign-based digital menu boards were up and running companywide.

Argo Tea designs, develops and manages the content for all of its locations at its headquarters in Chicago. By using BrightSign Network, a secure Web-based application, Argo can add and manage content for all 50 BrightSign players remotely.

One of the features that simplify this task for Argo is the ability to organize the players into groups. "The BrightSign Network's interface makes it easy to group them by the content," Simonian said. "For example, when different cities have different pricing, it requires certain menu board images to be different, but we can group these updates rather than having to send them one at a time."

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