Craveable Brands: Dynamically updating store menu content and reducing data costs by 75%

About Craveable Brands

Craveable Brands is the franchisor for more than 570 quick-service restaurants and outlets across three brands — Red Rooster, Oporto, and Chicken Treat. Combined, the restaurants and outlets employ 12,500 people and serve more than 150,000 customers every day.

Industries: Retail
Location: Australia

About StratosMedia and Sakura Sky

StratosMedia provides cross-platform, visual communications products based on Google Chrome that enable businesses to create, schedule, and deliver digital content to any screen from a single platform.
Sakura Sky provides cloud, data, and security services to the world’s leading brands.

Craveable Brands worked with leading partners Sakura Sky, to implement Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and StratosMedia, to use GCP for a cloud-based content management solution for in-store digital menu boards.

Google Cloud Results

  • Enables real-time updating of pricing, promotions, and products on digital menu boards at stores
  • Democratizes access to data and provides relevant information faster to marketing teams
  • Completes some queries twice as fast compared to previous cloud environment

Reduced data costs by 75%

Digital technologies and physical renovations are improving the customer experience at more than 570 quick-service restaurants across Australia. Franchisees operate these restaurants — branded Red Rooster, Oporto, or Chicken Treat – under agreements with franchisor Craveable Brands. Collectively, the restaurants employ 12,500 people and serve more than 150,000 customers per day.

“Our vision over the past year has been to elevate our restaurants to be best in class,” explains Ken Russell, Group Head, Digital Marketing at Craveable Brands. “We want to wow our customers at every step.”

Dynamic digital menus

Craveable Brands’ digital transformation seeks to improve employee access to data. Doing so will enrich customer relationship management (CRM) systems and loyalty programs that store the details of about 500,000 people. This will in turn enable Craveable Brands to deliver more targeted marketing campaigns and identify opportunities to provide better customer experiences. As part of the effort, the company is looking to modernize menu content displays and updates at Red Rooster restaurants.

“We wanted to move from static, printed menus that we had to send out to individual stores to digital menu boards that we could update on the fly from a central location,” says Russell.

The business decided to review available cloud infrastructure and platform services. “We were looking for a robust solution and a key strategic partner to replace our existing infrastructure,” explains Russell.

Craveable Brands’ review included discussions with technical experts and other cloud customers. These discussions provided valuable insights into Google capabilities, particularly its advances in voice and the development of machine learning-powered digital assistants.

“We were particularly impressed by technologies that could support our longer-term strategies,” says Russell. For instance, Russell cites machine learning-powered image content analysis through Cloud Vision API and machine learning-enabled text analysis through Cloud Natural Language as being of interest to the business.

“Sakura Sky delivered on time and within budget a Google Cloud Platform architecture that could meet our current and future needs.”

Ken Russell, Group Head of Digital Marketing, Craveable Brands

GCP and Sakura Sky fit the bill

Craveable Brands decided to move to Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and selected Singapore-headquartered cloud advisory and technology services provider Sakura Sky as the strategic partner for the implementation. Sakura Sky ran the project from proof of concept to production and finalized its work last year. “Sakura Sky delivered on time and within budget a Google Cloud Platform architecture that could meet our current and future needs,” says Russell.

The GCP environment at Craveable Brands now comprises Cloud Pub/Sub, Compute Engine, and App Engine to deliver reliable task scheduling; Cloud Dataflow for automated and scalable data ingestion; Cloud Dataprep — an integrated service from Google partner Trifecta — to perform extract, transform, and load analysis; BigQuery to provide a central data warehouse; Google Data Studio for data visualization and dashboards; Cloud Datalab to provide analyst collaboration and visualization around data; and Cloud Storage to act as a cost-effective, static-file repository to backup raw data.

Google technical and account team members are playing key roles in helping Craveable Brands realize benefits from investing in Google. “The Google team is working closely with us to help ensure we’re up to date with the latest thought leadership and initiatives Google is undertaking,” Russell says.

StratosMedia powers digital menu solution

Craveable Brands is also deploying a centralized StratosMedia digital content management solution running on GCP and connected to Chrome devices in its Red Rooster and Oporto stores. These devices are linked to digital menu boards and dynamic video walls that feature products, prices, promotions, and other information. The business can tailor digital menu board displays for easy navigation and offer customers information about certain products or promotions.

“This is an important solution and we have about 35% of Red Rooster restaurants on the product at the moment,” says Russell. “It’s the way we want to leverage data to inform content that will drive transactions in our restaurants.”

A strategic partner with best-in-class technology

Russell lauds StratosMedia’s involvement in the digital menu board project. “StratosMedia is a strategic partner and makes sure we have a best-in-class technology solution for our restaurants,” says Russell. “They help us manage that solution as well. We feed any business-as-usual requests, complaints, or issues reported to our service desk directly into their pipeline if we need assistance.”

The StratosMedia solution enables Craveable Brands to dynamically update content such as pricing on digital menu boards directly from other Google Cloud products such as Sheets in G Suite. While the content is currently distributed from a central location, Craveable Brands is considering in the longer term to enable franchisees to make menu board changes from their own restaurants.

“Ultimately, we want to give our restaurant owners a product that they love due to ease of use and the ability to increase average sales. The StratosMedia solution running on Google Cloud Platform and delivered via Chrome devices does exactly that.”

Ken Russell, Group Head of Digital Marketing, Craveable Brands

“We have quite a complex hierarchy with some restaurants offering products that others don’t,” explains Russell. “However, the StratosMedia solution running on Google Cloud Platform can accommodate all the different scenarios.”

Furthermore, the StratosMedia solution features a hybrid-playback solution that enables Craveable Brands to continue using existing content on the digital menu boards if a disruption occurs. The business receives alerts if connectivity problems arise and can confirm what updates have or have not been received. With the solution established and delivering value, Craveable Brands plans to extend it to encompass vision analytics and remote-control management.

A product owners love

“Ultimately, we want to give our restaurant owners a product that they love due to ease of use and the ability to increase average sales. The StratosMedia solution running on Google Cloud Platform and delivered via Chrome devices allows us to do exactly that,” says Russell.

GCP has delivered several benefits to Craveable Brands. The business has been able to load increasing volumes of data into BigQuery without disruption. It has also used Data Studio to create dashboards and reports based on certain data segments.

“Our ability to do this so quickly has been powerful,” says Russell. “The fact you can spin up a lot of dashboards on this data within minutes is fantastic.”

“If you provide marketing directors with a solution that’s fast and produces results, they’ll use it more and more. Google Cloud Platform has enabled us to do this while enhancing our customer relationship management and loyalty systems.”

Ken Russell, Group Head of Digital Marketing, Craveable Brands

Google Cloud cuts data costs by 75%

Moving to GCP enabled Craveable Brands to reduce its data costs by 75% while gaining access to Google’s experience and expertise in scaling and crunching data. In addition, the company has found it can complete some queries twice as fast as it could in its previous cloud environment. This has enabled Craveable Brands to make decision-making data available to its business and marketing teams quickly and extend access to that data to more team members across the business.

“If you provide your marketing directors with a solution that’s fast and produces results, they’ll use it more and more,” Russell says. “Google Cloud Platform has enabled us to do this while enhancing our customer relationship management and loyalty systems.”

Real-time data next on the agenda

Craveable Brands’ next project is to provide real-time data to its marketing teams to help them further optimize campaigns. “That is probably the most powerful thing we can hand to those teams,” says Russell.

“With help from Google, Sakura Sky, and StratosMedia, we have embraced innovation at the store level and throughout the broader business, improved the speed and quality of data provided to marketing teams, and used automation to minimize our administration loads,” he says.

About Craveable Brands

Craveable Brands is the franchisor for more than 570 quick-service restaurants and outlets across three brands — Red Rooster, Oporto, and Chicken Treat. Combined, the restaurants and outlets employ 12,500 people and serve more than 150,000 customers every day.

Industries: Retail
Location: Australia

About StratosMedia and Sakura Sky

StratosMedia provides cross-platform, visual communications products based on Google Chrome that enable businesses to create, schedule, and deliver digital content to any screen from a single platform.
Sakura Sky provides cloud, data, and security services to the world’s leading brands.

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