Dirty Dough Integrates Digital Signage to Strengthen Employee Training and Company Branding

Jennifer Guhl
Contributor Writer
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Decorating Station
Dirty Dough has rapidly expanded to 80 locations nationwide.

With their motto, 'proudly unique, inside and out,' Dirty Dough wants to be the cookie maker you can relate to.

Founded in 2019, the company doesn’t stress out about perfectly placing the frosting on each cookie or using filters to perfect its product photos. They want to make sure each cookie is made with authentic ingredients and, to be honest, is just really good to eat. Each cookie is baked and decorated on the spot, and customers enjoy a rotating menu of cookies consisting of popular favorites and four new recipes, which requires employees to quickly learn how to decorate the latest cookies on the menu.

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This, and the need to streamline brand consistency amongst their 80 franchise locations, inspired Dirty Dough's recent partnership with Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES) to incorporate digital menu boards, promotional screens, and employee communication screens into their stores, helping expand their business, guide employees through store processes, and enhance in-store engagement.

Romney Stewart, Chief Operating Officer, Dirty Dough
Romney Stewart, Chief Operating Officer, Dirty Dough

Romney Stewart, chief operating officer for Dirty Dough, said the technology allowed them to meet their goal of having consistent brand and product messaging across their network of locations while also using it to guide employees through their cookie-making process.

“We needed a solution to enable our locations to easily update their weekly menus; support more eye-catching promotions; provide enhanced recipe instructions to employees at the decorating stations; and have all screens connected and integrated at each store and across the chain.” This digital signage solution also gave the corporate office more control over store content, with local stores receiving minimal access to change the content.

Before the recent technology integration, employees were tasked with inserting a USB drive into mounted displays to update content changes like the new weekly cookie menu. Each decorating station contained printed resources and instructions for the employees. At the same time, promotional material mainly consisted of printed window posters and flyers for special promotions that the company realized did not get proper attention from customers.

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“While it was not difficult to disseminate these USB sticks, recipe cards, and posters to a few Dirty Dough locations, we recognized that it was not a sustainable or scalable process to support our aggressive growth goals,” said Stewart.

“We want to provide our franchisees with a simple, turnkey experience to be up and running,” added Stewart. “We also want to give them the best value possible.”

Integrating the digital signage network and cloud-based content management system (CMS) took about a week and allowed corporate to manage content remotely across multiple screens and locations. Each store now has four screens, including two large menu boards, one 24-inch screen for the decorating station, and one promotional board to share information about Dirty Dough services like catering and their customer loyalty program.

Even though the stores have limited control capabilities, they can place “out of stock” labels as menu items sell out or promote unique in-store offerings specific to their location. 

The signage also allows the company the flexibility to change and adapt its instructional and marketing material continuously based on feedback or current needs. “The great thing about digital signage is that we can continue to evaluate and update without the expense or logistics of shipping materials; the updates happen digitally and in near real-time,” said Stewart.

The new technology empowers employees to make cookies faster and more consistently while giving them more time to engage with the customers to deliver a more personalized experience. Stewart commented, “This makes our stores more efficient and enhances the in-store experience. And that ultimately translates into greater loyalty from our customers.”

Customer Feedback

The displays also allow the company to use customer feedback and reviews to promote their new cookies while encouraging customers to share feedback so they can see their words broadcast on the new screens. When a customer walks into one of our stores and sees a positive review for a cookie they haven’t tried before, that encourages them to branch out and order a new menu item,” said Stewart.

The CMS enables corporate to tailor the reviews displayed based on location. For newer sites, a QR code encourages them to provide reviews based on their recent experiences. It also allows them to have individualized menus for each store, which would have been too challenging to coordinate with their previous approach.

Keys to Designing Content to Engage Employees

When designing content, it’s essential to think of your audience, which is the case when creating content directed to employees. When done correctly, the employee-themed content intended for the displays can help your team be more efficient and productive in their daily duties, helping to develop a more efficient working environment. Stewart offered three pieces of advice:

    Romney Stewart, Chief Operating Officer, Dirty Dough on Effective Retail Content Management

    Make sure the content you’re targeting toward your employees is relevant and creates value for them.”

    “Make sure to update your content regularly and personalize as much as possible.”

    “Lean into visuals and video without being overly reliant on text.”

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