Plan to modernize 10K+ drive through boards adding jobs here

Digital drive-Thru menu boards at a drive-thru Location at Burger King. (CNW Group/Restaurant Brands International Inc.)
Digital drive-Thru menu boards at a drive-thru Location at Burger King. (CNW Group/Restaurant Brands International Inc.)

Credit: Restaurant Brands International

Credit: Restaurant Brands International

New jobs will go to Stratacache’s Needmore Road and Trotwood facilities

A plan to modernize more than10,000 drive through boards at several fast food restaurants owned by an international company will add jobs to a local operation that manufactures the technology.

Restaurant Brands International Inc. said Tuesday it is modernizing the drive through boards at Burger King and Tim Hortons locations, with Popeyes set to have its own rollout later — and Dayton-based digital technology company Stratacache will have a major role in the effort.

Stratacache “media engines” ―computer hardware — will power more than 40,000 outdoor-rated 46-inch screens, said Restaurant Brands International Inc., the owner of the popular restaurants.

“This is all run from our Needmore Road facility, a great win,” Chris Riegel, Stratacache founder and chief executive, said. “It brings new jobs to the area.”

This will result in “several dozen” new jobs at the company’s Needmore and Trotwood facilities.

“Needmore is kind of like NASA mission control," Riegel said.

There, Stratacache employees monitor some two million media engine devices, making sure they’re in the proper state, overseeing the operation of retail screens, menu screens, lottery screens and more placed all over the world, the CEO said.

A Tim Horton's drive-through menu board. (CNW Group/Restaurant Brands International Inc.)
A Tim Horton's drive-through menu board. (CNW Group/Restaurant Brands International Inc.)

Credit: Restaurant Brands International

Credit: Restaurant Brands International

“If any one of the four digital screens in a standard drive-thru loses communication with its primary media player, the secondary media player will take over and ensure that content continues to be displayed correctly,” Restaurant Brands (RBI) said in its announcement. “Stratacache is a global leader in digital marketing technology and provides proactive 24/7 network monitoring to RBI’s thousands of restaurant sites from its national operation centers in Ohio and Montreal. Stratacache has the capability to manage any digital screen and to update or modify menu board content across remaining digital screens in the event of a hard screen failure.”

More than 40,000 digital screens are being installed with what RBI called “powerful predictive selling technology,” integration with restaurant loyalty programs and the ability for remote, contactless payment.

“Our guests have sought out our drive-thru lanes for our iconic food and beverages throughout the COVID-19 pandemic — even in the face of mandated dining room closures around the world,” said Jose Cil, CEO of RBI. “We believe strongly that it is time to modernize our drive-thru lanes throughout the US and Canada to provide even better, quicker and contactless service for our guests."

The boards also have the flexibility to add "immediate, remote contactless payment to allow guests to order and pay simultaneously and speed up drive-thru lanes, RBI said.

As of September, Tim Hortons has installed digital drive-thru menu boards at some 800 locations in the U.S. and Canada; Burger King has installed digital drive-thru menu boards at more than 1,500 locations in the U.S.; and Popeyes is starting installation at new locations later this year.

A typical drive-thru lane includes 4 digital screens, while double drive-thru lanes typically include a total of 7 digital screens.

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