Yum! Brands, Inc. is one of the world’s largest restaurant companies with over 42,500 restaurants in more than 130 countries and territories. The US based owns restaurant brands like KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.
KFC UK and Ireland is switching from printed to digital menu boards solution taking the UK total to over 890 stores to elevate the visibility of the menu options and update content and promotional information in realtime.
The chain operates with 124 different variations of information (currency, brands of coffee, ice cream, soda…). All of them must be easy switched and removed.
MALER Digital Signage leads the KFC network, from the preliminary study (2015) to licencing, operations and managed service (2015 to present). The full network rollout was completed in August 2016.
How can MALER Digital Signage schedule a full marketing window with over 890 stores (8,500 screens) and 124 different groupings, multiple dayparting, independent store opening and closing hours, maintenance, control, material categories, videos, and failover system in only a few hours? We recommended:
- Fujitsu’s TELentice Enterprise allows us to create each store, associate a specific opening/closing hours and daypart configuration. It is also the tool that generates the booking & material registration as well as the distribution server that talks to each one of the stores. It holds and serves all content and scheduling. Configuration is extremely detailed, as it allows us to create a true digital signage corporate network. Booking creation and content registration is a super-fast task that permits several users to manage the server at the same time.
- ‘MALER Store Menu builder’ is the core KFC scheduling planner. It contains each group, each panel contingency, dayparts and planograms. KFC Marketing department, as well as the content planner, can operate the system to assign content requirements to each of the KFC scheduling groups.
The system comes with a set of pre-configured rules that forces the users to use the right terminology, assign the content to the correct players, as well as the pre-approved video formats. Unless all the checks are in place, the system will not allow the scheduling to be parsed to distribution.
Once the planners have completed the scheduling, the builder will generate all the schedule plans, as well as preparing all corresponding files and prepare them for TELentice ingestion, registration, scheduling and distribution. Thus, it will validate and generate.
The chosen hardware by KFC UK and Ireland, has gone through several months of testing and detailed configuration. MALER Digital Signage has tested panels and PCs from every major hardware supplier, analyzed every detail of their configuration to the extreme of requesting several firmware versions and drivers to make the hardware respond to our customer high requirements and working standards.
How does it all come together? The distribution process is fully monitored live through four interfaces:
- The TELentice Enterprise Distribution Server, will let you know which sites have been notified to download new content and schedules. It will also let you ‘redo’ the ones that have failed.
- Distribution Monitor. As each of the stores starts download, each site will report back to a TELentice Distribution Monitor. It will tell us the download process, and how many days of content and schedules it holds for the players under it.
- Regular Player Monitoring. Each process reports back 50 columns of system and DS information to the main TELentice Monitor Server every 60 seconds.
- Remote Web Interface. The remote web interface reads the information from any TELentice Server Monitor and prepares it on a nice and super-fast web interface query.
KFC UK and Ireland chose MALER Digital Signage for its versatility and “one stop solution”. MALER Digital Signage operates every detail of the digital menu board software platform: OS, hardware and software testing, content registration, testing distribution, monitoring and maintenance.
What’s different in the KFC digital menu board project from other digital menu systems? The Digital Menu Board (PC/panel) requirements have expanded from a single menu PC/display to a multi daypart, multi-menu with full contingency hardware and software system that allows more than 890 stores on multiple networks to be fully scheduled and updated in a matter of hours. The system allows availability of up to twenty different menus per day per window to be modified within seconds of receiving the request. In addition, every detail of the digital menu board project is fully monitored every 60 seconds 24/7, from a single content registration, to distribution to full playout.
Furthermore, KFC UKI took advantage of these digital menu screens to launch in 2016 its ‘Meeting on the Box‘ project, developed and managed by MALER Digital Signage. The customer’s network is now adapted to internal communications, to communicate new product launches and other news to restaurant teams.
The integration of this new internal communications tool allows the KFC marketing department (HQ based) to have direct link over every communication to each store, with considerable savings in time, print, infrastructure and money. New products, health rules, appointments and process improvement can be delivered and received in easy way.
The ‘Meeting on the Box’ system is designed to let each store play content (videos) anytime, but the regular procedure is like that: before the everyday opening, each store manager launch the content (generic for all the chain or specific for that particular store) from the cash registers to the digital screens, with the possibility to mute the speakers, pause the video, repeat it, among other functionalities.
When the ‘Meeting on the box’ is finished, the screens are activated again to recover the normal operation of the digital signage screens with customer content.
This is a complex process that started to be developed in 20 KFC stores and has already been implemented in all stores in the QSR chain in the United Kingdom and Ireland. By utilising the displays, KFC is able to ensure that messaging is communicated accurately and consistently across the franchise direct from head office, while minimising misinterpretation.