Davanni's Pizza & Hot Hoagies

With its 40" NEC LCD4000 and 30" NEC LCD3000 displays, NEC has been able to help this fast-casual restaurant chain bring a new wave of technology and positive impact to its stores.

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Davanni's Pizza & Hot Hoagies

Quick Facts

  • Facility: Davanni’s Pizza and Hoagies
  • Location: Various stores in the Twin Cities area
  • Challenge: Promoting new menu items
  • Solution: 40" NEC LCD4000 and 30" (29.5" VIS) LCD3000

To some, consumer behavior is considered a science. There are many influences and cues that factor into a person’s purchase decision-making process, making it extremely difficult for retailers to discover the best way to appeal to the average shopper. It doesn’t take a scientist, however, to make the connection between a consumer’s senses of sight and smell and their purchase behavior. Representatives from Minnesota-based Davanni’s Pizza and Hot Hoagies, a fast-casual restaurant chain that has grown to 21 locations in the Twin Cities area since opening in 1975, recently decided to conduct an experiment of their own in the hopes of influencing their customers’ behaviors.

With its 40" NEC LCD4000 and 30" NEC LCD3000 displays, NEC Display Solutions* has been able to help Davanni’s not only bring a new wave of technology to its stores but make a positive impact on its customers’ perceptions and behaviors.


The majority of restaurant-goers are pretty set in their ways, opting for a preferred menu item upon each visit to a given dining establishment. When Davanni’s Owner Mick Stenson decided to heighten promotions for the bevy of new menu choices they had added over the previous year and a half, he knew it would be a tough task to convince his customers to switch from their favorites.

“We really wanted to get the message across and create an impression on the customer to give new things a try,” he said. “Most customers get stuck on one item, and when they walk up to the counter to order, they’re not thinking about new choices.”

The Solution

To illuminate the menu boards and food images in all of its locations, Davanni’s uses translights, which customers do not pay much attention to, according to Stenson. For the Uptown location, he was hoping to find a brighter, more attention-grabbing alternative to put on the wall to promote their new menu items.

Based on the suggestion of Ed Johnson, Davanni’s manager of information services, the NEC LCD3000 large-screen LCD display was chosen. “We wanted the ability to easily change images and use moving pictures that really catch the customers’ eye,” said Stenson.

In August 2003, working with Alive Promo, a local provider of Internet-based POP display and management software, Stenson and his team installed the display alongside the menu board and set up a slideshow program of mouth-watering menu item visuals with accompanying text messages. Though the images are static, they move across the screen to catch customers’ attention. “Compared to the translights, the LCDs give us great flexibility and allow us to get across a lot of images and messages in a small amount of space,” said Stenson.


With the 30" LCD3000 installed, the Davanni’s Uptown location began to draw a lot of attention. “Customer are very attracted to it,” said Stenson. “This kind of display solution is very unique in the Twin Cities area food business. I don’t think anyone else is using a screen like this.” Tim Huberty, Davanni’s director of marketing, added, “The LCD screen really hits you-the impact is tremendous. When you’re looking at the menu, it’s right in your main sight of vision and you can’t help but be drawn to it.”

Due to all of the positive reactions, Stenson had another LCD3000 installed in the newly opened Savage location in December 2003 and went bigger with the 40" NEC LCD4000 in the new St. Cloud location in February 2004. The upgrade in screen size has convinced Stenson and his team to use only the LCD4000 for future installs. “The 40" LCD really commands your attention,” said Stenson. “It’s pretty hard to walk up to the counter and not notice the moving images.”

As the Davanni’s team becomes more familiar with Alive Promo’s software, they look to apply a much more strategic approach to the images and messages displayed. With this display solution, the Davanni’s team looks to make a stronger connection with its customers and appeal to their preferences. “We’re going to look at the purchase behavior of our customers and start showing the more popular lunch items during the day and the better-selling dinner items at night,” said Stenson. “Also, we’ll display special promotions and welcome messages for large groups.”

Their strategy has actually already gone into effect. During the past year, a devoted customer of Davanni’s began a personal campaign to have a restaurant opened in his home town of Savage, sending letters and postcards to their corporate headquarters. Coincidentally, a Savage location opened this past December, and the LCD3000 displayed “John, welcome to your Davanni’s!” upon his entering. Needless to say, a mighty impression was made on the customer.