South Bend, Indiana, June 1, 2023 — Eating at a KFC in Mexico is meant to be more than a typical drive-thru fast-food experience. The popular chain is on a quest for reinvention to make it a family destination for dining and enjoyment. With 502 locations throughout the country, and aggressive expansion plans on the horizon, KFC wanted consistent audio content in all locations along with a simple way to centrally manage it. KFC turned to LEA Professional amplifiers and the company’s industry-leading Cloud connectivity capability to meet the challenge.
KFC is synonymous with Colonel Sanders, and its “finger-lickin good” chicken has been a culinary delight for millions of families around the world for over 130 years. In Mexico, KFC has the distinction of being ranked by YUM Brands as its #1 franchisee in the world for its high standards, store design, and overall value to the consumer.
“Our business vision is about offering a nice environment for friends and families to enjoy a dine-in experience,” says Alfonso Ramirez, director of Premium Restaurant Brands, which is responsible for KFC and its franchisees throughout the country. “While drive-thru, delivery, and carry-out are very important channels for our business, the idea of families sharing, being together and eating together in our restaurants is part of the enjoyment we want our brand and stores to foster.”
“KFC is what chicken means in Mexico. A lot of families come to KFC during the week and weekends. It’s a popular destination and night out,” comments Daniel Agüero, president of Signo Corporation, the company KFC entrusted to specify and install the right audio solution for the company’s needs.
To maintain this high standard, KFC wanted the same audio content and ambience across all of its locations and wanted the ability to control it from one place. In a country of 126 million people covering 760,000 miles, the logistics behind a project of this magnitude are daunting. Agüero and his team first needed to assess the current state of the audio systems across the various locations, and then develop a scalable solution to accommodate KFC’s plans for growth.
Signo started the process by partnering with Intéligos, a leading audio, video, and security sales company headquartered in Monterrey, Mexico. With such a large country to cover and the looming requirement for single-source monitoring and control, Intelligos introduced Agüero and the Signo team to LEA Professional. “LEA’s products are high quality, and its technology is simple to understand and gives KFC the ability to control, monitor, and troubleshoot all locations from a single place through the Cloud. These were all key selling points for me. Intéligos handles the product, the logistics, shipping, and warehousing, and has helped ensure everything runs smoothly,” adds Agüero.
Agüero’s Signo team started with 70 stores in Phase One of the project. “We felt we had a great opportunity to make things better.” When Signo started the process 18 months ago, all of the stores played different music, at different sound levels, and in some cases, not at all. “We told the store managers to focus on their attention on serving customers. We are the experts in sound and music, and you are the experts in chicken. Together, we make a good alliance,” quips Agüero.
Intéligos recommended the LEA Connect Series 354 amplifier for each location. The LEA Connect Series 354 is a 4-channel amplifier with 350 watts per channel, providing each KFC location with enough power to support audio content delivery. The amplifier is easy to install either through the built-in Wi-Fi access point, connecting with the location’s Wi-Fi, or with an ethernet connection. “We hesitated sending a lot of product into each store,” says Agüero. “We wanted to keep it simple by assigning a standard package of one LEA CS354 amplifier and a set of Sonos speakers for each location – easy to inventory, ship, and keep track of.”
The biggest advantage for Signo now is the ability to remotely troubleshoot and fix any issue with any store from the Mexico City office. By leveraging a built-in Amazon Web Services (AWS) IoT Core, Signo can send each of KFC’s LEA Amps into the Cloud where they can be accessed and controlled securely, from anywhere in the world, without using a VPN to access a Local Area Network. “We can also easily modify music content across locations as well as schedule amplifier on/off times to coincide with store operating hours, which can help save energy and extend the life of the products,” delights Agüero.
As KFC continues implementing the LEA solution, the Cloud component will become even more critical as the company expands its footprint throughout the country.
“This is a robust amplifier. We don’t want to have to send a technician to the desert in Sonora or some other remote location every time a problem occurs. That would be a big cost for us and KFC,” laments Agüero. Being able to remotely troubleshoot and fix any issue with any store from one location was the ideal scenario for KFC and Agüero’s team. “Thankfully we haven’t had one problem. The LEA solution is very robust and reliable.”
With Phase One completed, the Signo team has developed an ideal blueprint for the balance of the project. And, above all, KFC Mexico has greater control in providing families across the country with a uniform, consistent in-store experience – a key element to the total brand experience the company aims to achieve.
With baseline continuity and control achieved, KFC plans to regionalize content across their stores based on local music and content preferences to further appeal to their customers – all through the Cloud and controlled from one location. “I think that what we’re doing right is trying to focus all our efforts on the customer experience and our employer experience as well,” continues Ramirez. And our belief is that if these two cycles work well, the brand can keep going and growing and we can continue expanding our footprint in Mexico. Our efforts are working and it’s what keeps our customers coming back.”
Headquartered in South Bend, Indiana, LEA Professional was founded to provide dealer/integrators in the professional AV market with the highest-performing, best-connected amplifier technology possible. Privately held, LEA Professional is led by industry veterans with proven capabilities on the executive, engineering, and channel aspects of professional AV. The company was founded in 2019 and is organized to be a major force in professional AV. Visit leaprofessional.com to learn more and follow LEA at facebook.com/leaprofessional, twitter.com/leaprofessional, Instagram.com/lea_professional, and linkedin.com/company/lea-professional.