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Case Study: Smoothie King

Quick-service restaurants across the country are dedicated to providing valuable, timely, and cost-effective food delivery options for their customers, and Smoothie King is no different. But this QSR chain also prioritizes offering health-centric and tailored smoothie options for their clientele, offerings that change based on the time of year, promotions from corporate headquarters, and the latest healthy trends.

Local owner-operators of Smoothie King franchises have historically relied on using printed menus in lightbox displays — both inside and outside — to present ordering options and deals to customers. But this has proven to be an outdated and ineffective process as updating physical menus can often take weeks; franchise operators must send menu revisions over to corporate so they can make the graphic design changes, and then the menus need to be printed and shipped by a third-party supplier.

Smoothie King was looking for a digitized business solution that would allow the operators to make menu changes without the wait time of going to the franchisor and enable real-time changes to localize their promotions and menu items, as well as upsell high-margin add-ons. This need was expedited by the COVID-19 pandemic as one-on-one sales interactions between employees and customers were largely interrupted.

Smoothie King franchisees turned to Samsung display technology to integrate an updated indoor and outdoor digital signage with remote management capabilities. The turnkey technology solution included indoor digital menu display boards, an outdoor-ready multiscreen setup for drive-thru lanes, and promotional displays in store windows.

Several Smoothie King locations across Florida, Texas, Chicago, Indiana, and Missouri deployed Samsung displays in their stores to maintain a new, successful drive-thru business that jumped up from 70% to 90% of sales during the pandemic.

The Samsung display technology managed by Washington-state-based digital signage solutions provider C3MS for immediate content changes, includes a number of display experiences. For example, 49-inch narrow bezel LCD displays sit behind the ordering counters in tiled ribbon arrays, delivering UHD 4K visuals, and using a combination of upscaling, color optimization, and anti-glare technologies for ease of viewing.

A set of three 46-inch outdoor-rated, high-brightness are stationed at the ordering position of the drive-thru. The screens are weatherproof, self-cooling and filter-free, and designed to be visible in even the brightest, sunniest operating conditions. A separate 46-inch “pre-sell” display is positioned earlier in the drive-thru lane to promote new products and special offers.

Samsung’s unique dual-sided, super-bright LCD OMN-D display is set up in a window, running promotions aimed at motorists and pedestrian traffic. On the other side of the window, a second screen faces the inside of the store, visible to customers as they weigh their ordering decisions.

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