Adding the flavor of modernity where it matters most: the menu



The challenge

Bruster’s Real Ice Cream is a family-owned franchise dedicated to creating locally sourced, “farm to cone” product in a variety of flavors that change constantly.  With 190+ locations, Bruster’s has worked very hard to retain the small-business, farm-stand feel that adds to charm and warmth that customers love to routinely visit.  Most of their stores are drive-through or walkup – but given the home-spun environments and complexity of daily menu changes,  Bruster’s was in search of a partner who could:

  • bring simplicity, prioritization, and automation to the menu presentation experience, through a data-driven process.
  • handle the demands of surveying, prepping, and installing a site, while keeping the operations open and serving customers safely
  • get it right and deliver the kind of service and responsiveness they hadn’t experienced from other signage providers

The solution

The Buster’s team inherently knew the benefits of going from static to digital, with the original intention to leverage the walk-up area for digital transformation.  But after site walk-throughs, we pivoted and focused on testing drive-through activation - as well as an indoor/outdoor facing in-window experience.  This turned out to be a key business driver and quickly became the solution moving forward.
Since the infrastructure was either old or non-existent, the solution needed to be fully thought through from an architectural and engineering point of view.  We collaborated with Samsung and specified either a single or double-sided digital outdoor digital menu board solution, depending on location – and larger footprint stores received a pre-order screen as well.  We deployed our purpose-built CMS for digital menu boards [Clarity] and created hooks to integrate with the Bruster’s Operating System platform, known as BOSS. This is a key enabler to getting the correct product up on the digital menu boards irrespective of location or other complexities.
Hardware includes Samsung displays with SOC; mounts by Legrand-AV, white-label enclosures manufactured by PDG.

The results

Once the digital was activated wholesale - operational efficiencies were realized, including ease of ordering, increased through put, simplicity of changing out the content either by Corporate – or by Creative Realities if / when required.  Integration to the BOSS system was instrumental in many automated features and functionality to populate content items to the digital menu boards without having to do that manually. The entire site is more visible and more aesthetic without distracting from the rustic charm. Best of all, Franchisees are super pleased and very willing to commit to the investment in the upgrade.