When was the last time you saw a really good signage implementation in retail fast food?

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

DOOHM – Librium

Wednesday, July 4, 2007 11:22

We missed McDonalds birthday (born May 15th 1940 according to Wikipedia) but as today is a special day to most Americans (the politically correct and native Americans disagree I am told) I thought it would be a good idea to briefly discuss Quick Service Restaurants.

(Note: QSR – a quaint American term for ‘fast food’)

Question: When was the last time you saw a really good signage implementation in retail fast food?

Answer: Probably “never” unless you have visited any of the 175 McDonalds restaurants in the Netherlands !!

London, Paris and a few places in Austria have all seen McDonalds play with signage – all with little or no success. In London of the 10 McDonalds that had screens, only 4 or 5 now remain as the UK corporate entity has sold sites to Franchisees and system leases and contracts etc. have not been renewed.

Unfortunately Paris fared even worse and the trial systems hardly got off the ground (why eat at a McDonalds in Paris anyway?).

The key to success I believe is quick deployment and fast expansion (get to a 100 venues fast so you can start bringing in significant advertising revenues). In 2004, Librium.TV started with 25 pilot restaurants but a year later had 175.

Each restaurant has an average of 3 x 42” screens all with audio. National advertising is interspersed with news, weather and traffic information

Local advertising also plays a part – sometimes as much as 30 to 50% of media sales revenue is from local advertising (“local” in this instance is better defined by saying that an advertiser will choose to play his commercial in say 1 or perhaps as many as 25 of the actual 175 restaurants – true ‘narrowcasting’ as the Dutch would say!!).

At the till / counter each restaurant is equipped with a 42” Portrait screen – used almost exclusively to promote McDonalds own products and services – here each Franchisee is allowed to select and schedule their own content. They are also testing new Digital Menu Board systems (replaces the flip-over breakfast / daytime boards you see elsewhere) and depending on results this may be introduced nationally.

This is easily the best QSR network I have seen anywhere in EMEA.

BTW Librium.TV are running trial sites in Prague now also

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