Blog Excerpts Part V- Random Thoughts

When we sit down weekly to write our blogs we have a list of notes to draw ideas from. In most instances there is enough that we can pull to warrant a post around a sole topic. However, at other times it hasn’t been the case. Rather than bypassing a week, we’ll take a collection of these notes and put together some “random thoughts.” Looking back, I have liked how the random blogs have come together. They cover a lot of area and offer some particular insights that would otherwise not be shared. In the last of installment of five we take a look at some of them.

b&pRandom Menu Boards I

Picking the right digital menu board system

This topic is particularly frustrating.  In the past we have defined the difference between a file management system and a true digital menu board solution.  If you didn’t read that blog, let me break it down for you.  There are a few true digital menu board solutions, content management and file management under one umbrella/software, and a LOT more file management systems, that manages where the content will be displayed and when.  There is no question that there is a market for both of them.  The problem is there are a lot of smaller mom-and-pop customers who think that the solutions are for the “chains and big guys;” they couldn’t be more wrong.

Understanding the cost of menu boards

I kind of get a kick out of consumers (of which I am obviously one) sometimes. When you go to a deli, you never look at what you want to order and think to yourself “well I know what lettuce costs, I know what turkey cold cuts cost, I know what tomatoes cost, etc.” and proceed to question the guy over the counter about his pricing. The value is the convenience that your meal is going to get prepared for you and by someone who is an “expert” in the industry.  Now shifting to menu boards; too many people look at the bottom line and begin to question what the material cost could be. Putting the simple fact that all companies are in the business of making money aside, there are several other factors that drive the price.

Random Menu Boards II

Sign companies have the ability but not the know-how for one-offs

We are a menu board, drive-thru and digital signage company… OK so we are a sign company too.  However, the stark contrast between us and other sign companies is that we have proven products for the industry.  For as many times we have seen someone go the route of a sign company for a drive-thru, we have replaced a drive-thru manufactured by a sign company.  The fact is, they don’t have the correct lighting, plexi, graphic holders, visibility, etc.  This isn’t to say that they couldn’t engineer something that would work and stand the test of time but they certainly aren’t going to invest the R&D on a one-off.  Save yourself the aggravation.

All-in-one shop vs. bits and pieces

Getting back to those that believe a “sign is a sign;” we have often had a difficult time getting them to see the big picture because they have a one-track mind to get the best deal possible.  This could be conceived as sour grapes but I just want to point out a recent example where a gentleman was consumed by price.  His needs- Drive-thru menu board and communications, speaker post and install for everything.  After sharing a conversation with him, he asked that I put my pricing in an email, thus becoming a number on a piece of paper.  Long story short, he ended up getting a drive-thru from one place, speaker post from another, communications equipment and install from another, the digital signage is going to be done by his son and the install for the drive-thru and digital by another.  Conversely, a company like ourselves could have done EVERYTHING for $500 more.

Random Menu Boards III

POS systems and drive-thru communications have nothing to do with each other

The disconnect between drive-thru communications and POS systems has come up a few times in the last couple of weeks so I figured I’d touch on it.  It is quite simple really; the communications is for hearing and speaking to the person at the drive-thru and the POS is for entering and tracking orders.  Where the POS does get involved with the drive-thruoperation is when you have an order confirmation board.  As the order is entered in the POS, it will appear on a screen alongside your car.

Why anyone would still buy menu boards with fluorescent bulbs is beyond me

Not to name names but there are competitors of ours that are still producing menu boards anddrive-thrus with fluorescent bulbs as opposed to LED.  From a consumer standpoint it used to make sense because there was a sizable discrepancy in cost but that isn’t the case anymore.  LED lighting lasts infinitely times longer, is a fraction of the cost to power over the course of time and evenly disperses the light.  With fluorescent bulbs you also open yourself up to the residual effect of bad ballasts and hot spots.

Well that wraps up our five part series. Hopefully you noticed that when you’re not limited to a particular title you’re able share a little something on everything.   I hope you enjoyed this mini series.  Have a great rest of your holidays! | 888-235-2579