Located in New Middleton, Ohio, Hitch-Hiker Mfg. leads the way in design innovations for the mobile food concession industry. When approached by Chicken Charlie’s in San Diego, California, they were asked to help create an innovative LED video display for the new “FryBQ” mobile concession stand that would surely capture the attention of patrons passing by. Needing a solution that could overcome the challenges associated with an outdoor, traveling environment, they called upon Nashville-based PixelFLEX who provided a completely IP65-rated FLEXStorm 6mm LED video system.

“I’ve been in the restaurant business for 34 years and we’ve had the mobile concession stand for 23 years now,” says Charlie Boghosian, Chicken Charlie’s owner. “We have a season every year that last about five months where we travel across Southern California, and I first put LED video on a stand about 10 years ago. This year, as we were building this new trailer with Hitch-Hiker, I wanted to create an even better multimedia experience, and when we shared our vision with PixelFLEX they really helped us take it from an idea to a reality using the FLEXStorm LED video.”

Designed specifically to overcome the challenges associated with traditional outdoor LED video displays, FLEXStorm from PixelFLEX utilizes an intelligent, auto-correcting light sensor control system to ensure the perfect brightness at all hours of the day. With its safe and reliable IP65-rated connections, FLEXStorm can weather the environment, and is available in a variety of custom sizes, resolutions and configurations.

“This really was a great team project to find a custom LED video solution for the ‘FryBQ’ mobile concession stand,” says Mark McIntosh, PixelFLEX Sales Engineer. “As we started getting into the details of the project, one of the biggest challenges was that the displays would need to be securely attached to the top as the stand traveled from one location to another. We also needed to go with an outdoor-rated, modular solution to help shave as much weight off the supporting structure as possible, so we worked with Hitch-Hiker to fabricate a custom, sheet metal structure that would secure and support the new FLEXStorm displays.”

Built to withstand adverse weather conditions while still providing a truly breathtaking experience, FLEXStorm can be utilized for outdoor advertising, entertainment, and much more. With its adjustable sensors that communicate directly with the cabinets control system, FLEXStorm has variable brightness offerings between 6500-7500 Nits to look its best day or night. Additionally, the fully front-serviceable panels allow for quick access to the electronics and data control for any onsite service.

McIntosh continues, “One of the things we pride ourselves on at PixelFLEX™ is that we are a solutions-based manufacturer, and a lot of our products are designed ideally for custom installations and fabrications. We are not limited in any capacity to create the exact design we need.”

As the team got to work installing the custom system, Boghosian’s vision for an even more impactful LED display began to come to life. With the weight and supporting structure no longer an issue, it was time to create an easy to manage content delivery system to truly showcase what Chicken Charlie’s could do.

“Since Charlie wanted the ability to change his content on a regular basis, we needed to implement a user-friendly content management system for video playback,” adds McIntosh. “We decided to go with a BrightSign media player with an Apple TV system connected to it, and he now has the ability to create and control content for both LED screens independently directly off his iPhone. Using the raster presets we created in BrightSign, this system is very easy to use and it gives him quite a lot of capability at a relatively low cost.”

With the project now complete, the new mobile concession stand for Chicken Charlie’s has two new LED video displays; one measuring 30-feet long and 40-inches high, and the second measuring 13-feet wide and 7-feet high. In a world that is becoming increasingly reliant upon digital displays and signage, Chicken Charlie’s no longer has to worry about being lost in the crowd. 

“When you have a static billboard, it’s just one sign and one message,” concludes Boghosian. “We now have two bright, high-definition LED video displays that I can easily change at any time allowing me to really show people all our products, and create a much more dynamic and eye-catching display that really draws people to us.”