In Focus
TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, Australia

Bucking Bull taps into digital menu boards to maximise the customer experience

The brand is trialing the use of digital menu panels which are slated to roll out across all new stores and refits in 2018. Obvious print production savings aside, the digital menu boards allow Bucking Bull to be more agile in relation to menu and product innovation.

QSR Media has reached Aktiv Brands executive director Dean Vella to know more about Bucking Bull's product innovations. 

QSR Media: What’s new at Bucking Bull?

We finished 2017 with the opening of our very first licensed casual dining restaurant in Watertown in Perth. We opened our third Victorian Bucking Bull store in the food court at Bayside Shopping Centre and just last month opened in the newly redeveloped Mandurah Forum in WA.

We’re constantly looking for efficiencies in our business, but new stores present a unique opportunity to switch up the way we do things. With the recent openings we have been trialing the use of digital menu panels and are excited to roll these out across all new stores and refits in 2018. Obvious print production savings aside, digital menu boards allow us to be more agile in relation to menu and product innovation, and we will certainly be looking at ways of further maximising the customer experience in store through these screens.

The opening of our first licensed casual dining restaurant in Watertown in Perth was also a massive development for us with our biggest store footprint to date. We are now gearing up to roll out this model nationally.

QSR Media: Is the brand expecting to open further sites over 2018? If so, where?

Yes, absolutely! In the first instance, we are seeking suitable Master Franchisees for the key states and territories, particularly Queensland and New South Wales. We will also be looking to open additional fast casual sites in major dining hubs, within retail as well as appropriate strip site locations.

QSR Media: What interesting trends are you seeing in the industry in 2018?

Food is becoming a bigger and bigger drawcard in retail with centres diversifying their dining options with food courts, casual dining outlets, bistro restaurant precincts, and cafes are becoming part of the standard mix of food offerings. This presents challenges as we are now faced with significantly increased competition, increased rental pressure, and a more discerning customer. 

One of the interesting trends to come from this shift, is that customers, in many cases consider the “new and exciting” element of a purchase to be just as influential as the traditional factors such as value-for-money, customer service and convenience. This is something we’re navigating with constant menu innovation and our promotional LTO strategies. For us, it’s all about continuing to be relevant in a number of fast changing environments.

QSR Media: What other product innovations are underway?

The speed in which we’re able to introduce new products to the market is only going to advance with the introduction of digital menu boards. For Bucking Bull, slow roasted meats has always been at the core of who we are, so our product innovation centres around products that make our range of roast meats shine!

We’re actually about to introduce a new meat line to our menu. A smoky beef brisket was trialled as a LTO promotion in 2017 and we had such an amazing response that it is set to join the existing line up of Bucking Bull meats -roast beef, pork, lamb and pork belly. Customers will be able to enjoy brisket in a roast meal, a burger and spud as well as a brisket topped chips.

Slow cooked meats is what customers know and love about Bucking Bull, and that’s not about to change! Our product innovation is about challenging how customers perceive ‘roast meats’ by modernising and presenting them with truly exciting and unique flavour combinations. We are one of the only Australian fast food franchises that specialise in roast meats, so we like to continually reinvent the rules of roasting.

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