KFC's foray into fast casual opened its doors in Louisville, Ky., recently, and the pilot location for the new KFC eleven concept has incorporated digital signage into its interior design in interesting ways.
Surprisingly, though, the digital signage at KFC eleven (eleven for Colonel Sanders' original recipe of 11 herbs and spices, of course) doesn't include digital menu boards, with the menu boards instead made up of printed posters not dissimilar from those usually seen at a Qdoba Mexican Grill.
The ways in which digital signage were displayed thoughout the store, though, still offered a good look at how digital signage can increase its engagement with customers and provide a heightened customer experience. But the store also provided a head-scratching example of digital signage that doesn't appear do anything — at all.
But first, the good:
The pilot store has installed a digital signage display that serves as a community bulletin board, also providing news and weather updates. The presentation is good; the content templates are eye-pleasing; and it provides a point of interest for diners.
(Of course, the single display is situated so that it can be clearly seen from only about half the restaurant — and it's directly over the garbage bins and tray return area, which is perhaps not the best connotation, and it's an area many diners won't see until they're leaving.)
The restaurant also used touchsreen technology in its soda dispensers, with a tablet-sized screen used to pick which beverage would be dispensed and to trigger the fountain into action.
And then there's the bad — or at least the head scratching:
This lovely display of frozen drinks is located on a wall right as customers enter the chute to place their food orders. It's a good image, and a terrific location, to tempt diners into an impulse buy of a more expensive speciality drink option.
But it never changed.
The entire time our reporter was in the restaurant, the image on-screen did not change; there was no motion or animation to capture attention, no call to action, just a nice static image. (Note: From photos taken by a reporter for QSRWeb.com on another visit, it appears the screen does show other images, but there's no evidence that image changed, or if it did, how often it did.)
If that's normally the case, that the screen simply shows one static image, it's a bit of a waste of a display — an LCD display has become, in effect, very expensive cardboard.
So we'll offer the restaurant and its integrators the benefit of the doubt and say surely it was just stuck that day. Or that they'll undoubtedly address that in the near future.
All in all, though, the fast casual pilot provided some interesting and well-done potential use-cases for future digital signage deployments in the foodservice space, for both quick-service and fast casual restaurants. The Colonel would surely approve.
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