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Issue Date: Vol. 47, No.12, December 2007, Posted On: 12/20/2007

TouchTunes Hits Bennigan’s; Pelican Oversees Rollout

Marcus Webb

LAKE ZURICH, IL — TouchTunes said it has been selected by Bennigan’s Grill & Tavern as its exclusive provider of digital music entertainment. Jukeboxes will be installed on broadband connections in all 157 corporate locations. In addition, TouchTunes jukeboxes will be recommended and made available to all 86 Bennigan’s franchisee locations.

The Pelican Group (Danville, CA), a national vending and amusement management company, will supervise operation of the jukeboxes, assigning individual accounts to members of its 400-strong operator affiliates. TouchTunes will centrally manage all music and marketing content.

The rollout began in November; installations were expected to be completed by January 2008. Certain Bennigan’s locations will also test TouchTunes’ new PlayPorTT portable touchscreen interface device.

TouchTunes executives said chain accounts are more open to pay-for-play equipment when it is sold not just as a “jukebox” but as a full “digital entertainment system” that can provide music, games, advertising and more. Chains are also more open to coin-op machines when a single operating entity like Pelican is the consistent “face” of the service provider across the entire chain.

“Our corporate clients appreciate that we can offer them single-source accountability and consistency throughout every location,” said Steve Birrell, vice-president and general manager of TouchTunes’ national accounts division, which supplies interactive digital music and game systems to large corporate accounts with multiple locations, including restaurant and retail chains. “We can also offer them attractive features like interactive marketing and survey capabilities, which make connecting with the customer easier than ever before.”

The digital entertainment systems will offer Bennigan’s customers different music genres and song choices based on the time of day and preferences set by the location manager. When there are no paid plays in the queue, the units will automatically provide background music that is uniquely created for Bennigan’s.

Birrell said the physical placement of each jukebox in individual Bennigan’s stores will vary by building and location, but that TouchTunes works with location clientele to recommend places for installation that are visible by customers, yet won’t interfere with wait staff. “There are not that many variations in locations so once we finish study of dimensions, then we’re able to come up with some general guidelines,” Birrel said.

The prospect of keeping customers in their seats with multiple units of PlayPorTT, which can be passed from one table to another, rather than having patrons walking to and fro to select songs on a single jukebox, was also appealing to Bennigan’s management, he said.

“PlayPorTT is definitely of interest” to the chain’s executives, Birrell said, but he cautioned that no final decision had yet been made at presstime as to whether they’ll roll out this product. He termed the technology “a real revolution regarding how we bring entertainment to our guests.

Birrell said TouchTunes will begin location testing of PlayPorTT “with some very well-known brand names” in the restaurant sector in January or February, and that Bennigan’s is a definite possibility for some of these tests.

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