Network-enabled Signage Simplifies Remote Updates, Saves Energy
To meet the high reliability restaurants need to run their menu boards 24/7, Argo Tea, a Chicago-based chain of specialty tea cafes, has installed 50 BrightSign® network-enabled HD1010 digital signage players. Currently, the solid-state controllers deliver high-definition menu boards at 21 locations. Argo Tea uses the networking capabilities of the BrightSign HD1010 controllers and BrightSign Network Manager to remotely update prices and menu items on the 50 menuboards from its headquarters in Chicago.
“Using BrightSign as our menu board presentation has allowed for more flexibility in flavor changes, pricing updates and layout redesigns, ”said Simon Simonian, Argo Tea’s Director of IT and one of its founders. “We’ve also been able to completely eliminate accessory menu board signage that was previously used to communicate seasonal specials and other limited-time promotions.”
Argo Tea’s double-board menu displays use two ultra-compact BrightSign HD1010 media players discreetly hidden behind slim 52- and-55-inch monitors for each location—15 in the Chicago Area, 5 in New York City and 1 in St. Louis. The menu board for Argo Tea’s Signature drinks features looping high-resolution photos showing the Signature drinks with pricing and the calorie count for small-, medium- and large-sizes. The second menu board is a multi-zone display featuring Argo Tea’s loose leaf tea varietals, coffee beverages and SpecialTea Food selection, all prepared and baked fresh in each café. Other zones in this display are used to showcase Argo Tea’s seasonal specials and products.
With Argo Tea Cafes open an average of 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, reliability was a key requirement when selecting the BrightSign HD1010 digital media controller. Cost, ease of use, scalability and having the ability to control their own content and updates were also top priorities.
BrightSign digital sign controllers include the hardware, software and networking capabilities for a complete, turnkey signage solution that eliminates compatibility issues and makes digital signage very easy to deploy. Argo Tea reports it took less than a month to roll out its pilot location in Chicago. Then, within six months, the BrightSign-based digital menu boards were up and running company wide. The players are fully scalable, so displays can be easily upgraded as Argo’s needs change.
Priced significantly lower than PC-based solutions, BrightSign players have a solid-state, PC-less platform that ensures high reliability because it has no moving parts to fail. With a power requirement of only about 3-5 watts, compared to 70-90 watts for an average PC, it also uses substantially less power. For additional energy savings, displays can be programmed to turn on and off according to Argo Tea Café hours.
Argo Tea designs, develops and manages the content for all of its locations at its headquarters in Chicago. By using BrightSign Network, a secure Web-based application, Argo can add and manage content for all 50 BrightSign players remotely. One of the features that simplify this task for Argo is the ability to organize the players into groups. “The BrightSign Network’s interface makes it easy to group them by the content,” explained Simonian. “For example, when different cities have different pricing, it requires certain menu board images to be different, but we can group these updates rather than having to send them one at a time.”
Like all BrightSign models, the BrightSign HD1010 digital signage controller used by Argo includes the BrightAuthor software application free of charge. The PC-based software makes creating, publishing, managing and monitoring digital signage displays easy–even for non-technical users. BrightAuthor optimizes one of the key advantages of BrightSign Digital Signage by offering flexible scheduling and day-parting (scheduling the display of content for specific times throughout the day). With day-parting, restaurants can automatically change the menus displayed according to the time of the day.
Still growing, Argo Tea’s future plans include incorporating BrightSign digital menus into several more stores in New York and Chicago.
BrightSign all-in-one digital players and kiosk controllers are available from the BrightSign Store with prices ranging from US$284.99 for the HD110 with simple looping video playback, $399.99 for the HD210 network-enabled digital sign player, US$649.99 for the HD1010 network-enabled interactive digital sign and kiosk controller, and US$699.00 for the HD1010w with built-in Wi-Fi.
Included free with all models, BrightAuthor software makes creating, publishing, managing and monitoring digital signage displays easy–even for non-technical users. A free 30-day trial of BrightSign Network is available at http://www.brightsign.biz/products/brightsign_network_manager.php. BrightAuthor and BrightSign Network run on a standard Windows PC with XP or Vista and Windows 7.
About Argo Tea
Headquartered in Chicago, Argo Tea is passionate about bringing teas directly from growers around the world and blending them into unique and delicious signature beverages and teas. We are committed to being a sustainable business by working with the best local and global tea, coffee, and food artisans and by contributing back to our communities to promote a healthy lifestyle and the conservation of natural resources. We are dedicated to delivering consistent quality and a genuine customer experience “one customer and one cup at a time” and to providing the “Argo experience” through our innovative approach of rediscovering the diversity and tradition of teas. We promote diversity by empowering our employees and leveraging our customers’ feedback, which together results in the best products, people, and business. For more information, visit www.argotea.com.
BrightSign, LLC, based in Saratoga, California, develops products and software for digital signage. BrightSign solid-state digital sign controllers set new standards for both stand-alone and networked digital signage applications with their superior video quality, reliability, affordability, ease of use and interactivity. Online information about BrightSign units is available at www.brightsign.biz.
For sales inquiries, please contact sales [at] brightsign.biz or call 408-852-9263 in the USA and +44-1223-911842 internationally.
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