Iconic Order-Matic enters the digital menu board era

Aug. 9, 2011 | by Christopher Hall

An Oklahoma company that started out with silvered drive-in microphones and backlit static signs more than 50 years ago is moving into the digital signage age.

Del City, Okla.-based restaurant signage provider Order-Matic will now be providing digital signage menu boards and drive-thru order confirmation boards as a marketing and reselling partner with digital signage provider Popstar Networks.

Order-Matic has been in the restaurant ordering system business for more than half a century, first providing multipoint communications and ordering systems for drive-in and carhop restaurants, and then backlit signs for quick-service drive-thrus.

According to Robert Powell, the company's vice president of Operations, Order-Matic started with "mom-and-pops across the Midwest," which led to drive-ins and carhops, which led to drive-thrus. The company's website boasts of signage and menu housing deployments for QSR heavyweights such as Taco Bell, Subway, A&W and Sonic.

But in recent years, some of the company's long-term customers began asking for something new, Powell said.

"They've been telling us, 'We would love to continue to display our menus, and we would love for you to you continue doing it, but we'd also love to not have to have to print something new up every time we change our menus. We would love for you to carry digital signage,'" he said.

According to Powell, many of the restaurants Order-Matic services have to deal with quickly-changing food commodities markets, which require them to frequently update their menus.

"They have to make changes quite often, and they have to do more target marketing," he said. "When you have to make changes that often, quite often you have to do it on the fly ... In the end digital signage is more efficient and more cost-effective. You don't have your labor force out changing menus all the time."

Order-Matic provides order confirmation displays and both indoor and outdoor menu boards, and is focused on digital signage across the board, Powell said.

Joint agreement announced today

Order-Matic and Popstar Networks announced their new joint marketing and reseller agreement earlier today. Through the agreement, Order-Matic will market and resell Popstar Networks' complete digital signage offering, including the company's digital menu boards for multi-location convenience stores, quick-service and fast casual restaurants.

Popstar Networks said its DMB offering is designed to specifically meet the needs of today's QSR and fast casual restaurants, allowing easy content distribution, remote location management and flexibility in updating and changing pricing, caloric/nutritional and other data elements. The system also provides robust scheduling and dayparting, and full support of multibrand management – all through a single, common interface.

The company also promotes the platform's utility in developing interactive, self-service ordering kiosks and direct integration with existing point-of-sale systems and other third-party applications.

"It's not an exaggeration to say Order-Matic is a true industry icon. They've led restaurant clients – large and small – to success through their innovation and unique mix of products and services," said Don Selmon, CMO for Popstar Networks, in today's announcement. "We're certainly excited to offer technology solutions that will allow Order-Matic and their customers to expand upon that innovation."

In an email to DigitalSignageToday.com, Selmon also said that Popstar Network's wireless broadband offering is a key component of what Order-Matic will be able to offer its customers, and one of the main reasons company leaders believe Order-Matic chose to partner with Popstar Networks.

"Digital menu boards are a natural starting point for Order-Matic and their customers, but given their mixture of clients, we're anticipating activity in other verticals as well, including retail," he wrote.

And Order-Matic is excited about the new possibilities the partnership opens up for it, Powell said. The company did its due diligence, he said, and saw Popstar Networks as an ideal partner.

"Anytime we can bring in a valued partner that is a specialist in their specific area, that adds value to our portfolio. Anytime you can bring in a new product that is exciting for your sales force, that's a chance to throw another log on the fire," he said. "Now we can take our history and everything we've done from a static standpoint, and carry it over to the digital signage standpoint."

For more information menu boards, click here.

Topics: Digital Signage , Menu Boards , Systems / Technology

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