Krystal QSR Evolves Digital Experience to Menu Boards

Posted on September 9th, by Andrea Poley in Case Study, Quick Service Restaurants. Comments Off

The ongoing ten-year project includes POS system integration



Krystal, known throughout the southern United States for their unique quick-service restaurant (QSR) experiences, had an initial digital signage solution that included an interactive system at their flagship location. The solution, designed and managed by Scala partner Hammond Communications Group, included more than 16 drive-up stalls with interactive digital screens for customers to enjoy their meal and be entertained while staying in their cars.

As a car approached, magnetic beacons triggered the high-quality digital displays to automatically transition from looping promotions to the current day-part menu. In addition, the interactive experience included a physical push-button interface outside customers’ car window to control the screen, switching between different menu options and accessing a select TV channel listing.

Krystal wanted to build on the success of the digital drive-up experience and expand the strategy into the interior eat-in area of their restaurants. Using the Scala platform, Hammond created a hybrid menu board, containing two traditional backlit boards flanking a single digital screen, or LCD. Displaying HD videos of their monthly promotions, Krystal quickly realized the system’s immediate impact oncustomers, which is key to the fast-paced QSR experience.

“For the past several years, we’ve found the Scala platform very reliable and integral to the success of our digital menu board strategy. We’ve found Scala to be pretty much a ‘set it up and forget about it’ system as it works consistently. Scala has been received favorably by our Marketing team and partners in allowing vibrant, exciting content for our customers.”
Jimmy Biddle, Director, Restaurant Information Systems at The Krystal Company

Quick facts

  • Scala partner Hammond Communications Group expanded a success beacon- and touchscreen-focused digital signage strategy to:
    • Extend into the interior, eat-in area, which includes a three-screen digital menu board featuring promotions, corporate branding and location-based menu choices
    • Integrate with Krystal’s existing, centrally controlled point-of-sale (POS) system with individual restaurants having the autonomy to set pricing
    • Continue the success by adding new locations every quarter

The flexibility and expandability of the Scala platform allowed Hammond to begin a seamless transition toward centrally and locally managed content on high-resolution digital menu boards. Within 18 months, the successful hybrid trial was already being redesigned as a three-screen fully digital menu board, with all pricing integrated with Krystal’s existing, centrally controlled point-of-sale (POS) system.

Krystal’s current digital strategy includes three 46-inch side-by-side landscape-oriented screens with a zone of the third screen reserved for monthly corporate promotions and branding, ensuring consistency across Krystal’s many locations. The remainder of the screens’ real estate displays menu items with location-based pricing. All items on each menu board – regardless of location – display real-time prices per Krystal’s POS data.

“Over the years, Krystal’s menu boards design has undergone three significant major or wholesale redesigns, and the flexibility of the Hammond/Scala solution enabled the implementation and deployment of the new designs to be extremely cost effective and efficient.”
Craig Miller, VP Interactive Media at Hammond Communications Group, Inc.

As the system is fully digital and easily updated, Hammond works with Krystal on a biannual re-branding of the digital menu board system, with the most recent version being deployed in June 2015. With a current network encompassing 44 locations, Krystal plans on adding new locations every quarter with Hammond continuing to provide service and support on the expanding system.

The next phase in this successful digital experience is to use more metadata for targeted messaging as well as tying menu inventory to menu board displays.

About Scala
Scala has a passion for creating intelligent digital signage solutions that move employees, consumers, and products. Driving more than 500,000 screens worldwide, our solutions increase sales, improve brand loyalty, optimize the customer experience, and reinforce business objectives.

Scala is known for its innovation and leveraging best-of-breed technologies such as mobile and predictive analytics to create award-winning solutions that are easy-to-use yet infinitely customizable to meet our clients’ unique needs. Our solutions can be found all over the globe across multiple industries. Our software powers the digital communications of companies like Rabobank, IKEA, Bloomberg, Tommy Hilfiger, Burger King, TMobile, Virgin Megastores, Disneyland Resort Paris, McDonald’s, Warner Bros., Mercedes-Benz, DNB, Hard Rock Hotel, Shell, Esso, Ericsson and IBC-13.

Scala is headquartered near Philadelphia, Pa., with multiple subsidiaries across Europe and Asia, and over 500 partners in more than 90 countries. For more information, visit: or their blog. Connect with Scala via Twitter and Facebook.

About The Krystal Company®

Founded in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 1932, The Krystal Company® is the oldest quick service restaurant chain in the South. Its hamburgers are still served fresh and hot off the grill on the iconic square bun at more than 350 restaurants in 11 states. Krystal’s Atlanta-based Restaurant Support Center serves a team of 6,000 employees. For more information, visit or or follow the brand on Twitter and Instagram @Krystal.

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