BrightSign Powers Menu Boards for Argo Tea

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Argo Tea, a Chicago-based chain of specialty tea cafés, has installed a total of 78 BrightSign network-enabled digital signage players to deliver high-definition menu boards at the company’s 26 cafés located across the globe. Argo Tea uses the networking capabilities of BrightSign’s controllers and BrightSign Network Manager to remotely update prices and menu items on the 78 menu boards from its headquarters in Chicago.

"BrightSign's digital signage players enabled us to consolidate management of our entire network of digital menu boards," said Simon Simonian, Argo Tea's Co-Founder. “For example, updating seasonal menu items from company headquarters centralized a process that created efficiencies and cost savings.”

Argo Tea’s triple-board menu displays use three BrightSign media players hidden behind slim 46- and 52-inch monitors for each location in Chicago, New York City, St. Louis, Boston, Beirut and Abu Dhabi. The menu board for Argo Tea’s Signature drinks displays looped content featuring high-resolution photos of its Signature drinks, loose leaf tea varietals and coffee beverages, all highlighting pricing and calorie count for the various sizes. Other zones in the displays are used to showcase Argo Tea’s seasonal specials, loyalTea program and chariTea partner.

With Argo Tea cafés open an average of 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, reliability was a key requirement when selecting BrightSign’s digital media players. Cost, ease of use, scalability and the ability to control their own content and updates were also priorities that influenced the decision to go with BrightSign.

In less than a month, Argo Tea was able to take its Chicago-based pilot from concept to design and then to deployment. Within six months, the BrightSign-based digital menu boards were up and running at 21 locations. Following this initial deployment, BrightSign-based menu boards were later deployed in other US cities, as well as new international locations. The players are scalable, so displays can be upgraded as Argo’s needs change. Priced lower than PC-based solutions, BrightSign’s solid-state platform ensures 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 the average PC, it also uses less power. For additional energy savings, BrightSign presentations can be programmed to power the displays on and off according to the business hours of each Argo Tea café location.

Argo Tea designs, develops and manages the content for all of its locations at its headquarters in Chicago. Using BrightSign Network’s secure, Web-based application, Argo can add and manage content for all 78 BrightSign players remotely. One feature that simplifies this task for Argo is the ability to organize the players into groups. For example, when different cities have different pricing, it requires certain menu board images to be different, but Argo can group these updates rather than having to send them individually.

The BrightSign digital signage controllers used by Argo include the free BrightAuthor software application. BrightAuthor optimizes one of the 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, the cafés can automatically change the menus displayed according to the time of day, delivering a more personalized experience.

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