Computers and artificial intelligence have come along at an exponential rate over the past few decades, from being regarded as oversized adding machines to the point where they have played integral roles in some legitimately creative endeavours.
Digital menu panels designed to capture a patron’s attention are being rolled out by Donut King to all 315 of its franchisee-owned stores in Australia.
The in-store marketing panels feature animated drink and food offers which can be altered by the Donut King franchisee to attract certain patrons at different times of the day. So far, the digital menus have been introduced at 60 outlets.
Marketing and innovations manager at Donut King’s parent company, Retail Food Group (RFG), Sheridan Burke, told CMO Australia the franchisee could offer breakfast menu promotions and then alter the digital menu to a milkshake and donut offer to attract teenagers on the way home from school.
“We all understand the restrictions involved with using print materials for promotion whereas the digital technology helps us customise our messaging down to store level,” she commented. “We have local store marketing activities that our franchisees do now that are dependent on artwork being created, printing and then distribution to store. This [digital] menu will allow us to upload offers for that store if the franchisee requests this.”
Donut King’s digital menu implementation is part of a long-term digital strategy for the 33-year-old brand, as well as for RFG. The brand was re-launched in September 2013 with the intent of making it more relevant to today’s consumer with a `Donut Island’ smartphone app, providing food and drink offers to consumers.
“We’re looking at the entire Donut King digital strategy which includes the loyalty program, website and mobile apps,” commented Burke.
To facilitate the digital transformation and drive its digital marketing agenda, RCG announced plans last May to build an in-house digital team and social media command centre. As well as Donut King, RCG also owns Michel’s Patisserie, Crust, The Coffee Guy, BB’s, Brumby’s Bakery, Pizza Capers and Esquires Coffee.
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The xchangemedia animated panels for digital signage were supplied by Task Retail Technology (TASK). Designed by Donut King’s internal marketing/digital, the rollout is being managed by TASK’s professional services team.
Going forward, all new Donut King stores will only have digital menu panels. However, there will be instances in existing stores where digital menu panels will be used to complement static menus.
“A key objective was how this could benefit our franchisees,” added Burke. “Consultation with experts in the field and working with the right partners on the technology was pivotal to the project.”
Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick