InstaVR Interviews: Meet the VR Practitioners
InstaVR Interviews is a blog series where we turn the spotlight on our customers. We find out why they create VR, how they use InstaVR, and what the future of VR will look like. To read more interviews, visit the InstaVR Interviews homepage.
Kelly Peterson, Digital Production Manager at Brinker International, Inc. (owners of Chili’s and Maggiano’s Little Italy restaurant chains)
Kelly Peterson – Digital Production Manager
Brinker International is one of the world’s leading casual dining restaurant companies. With more than 1,600 restaurants and over 100,000 Team Members in 31 countries and two territories, Brinker welcomes more than one million Guests into Chili’s and Maggiano’s restaurants every day.
Brinker’s first VR project
Question: Can you give an overview of the first main project you’ve built using InstaVR? Who was it designed for?
Answer: The first main project that we created in InstaVR was our Reimage 2020 Project. The project was designed for our yearly General Managers conference and the goal was to give our Restaurant Mangers an opportunity to experience what the inside of a reimaged Chili’s would be like.
VR used to “drive engagement and excitement” with restaurant Managers
Question: Why were you interested in using VR specifically at these manager conferences?
Answer At Chili’s we try to be innovative in the ways that we interact with our Guests and Team Members. We have not used VR experiences in the past and really felt that this was a great way to introduce new technology to our Team Members. The timing of the conference and the subject matter of Reimage was the perfect fit to help introduce and drive engagement and excitement with our Managers.
Used Insta360 Pro + lavaliere mics; storyboarding and being goal oriented key to success
Question: Can you describe your filming process? What camera you used? Did you storyboard? What you used for audio capture? etc.
Answer: As we started our project, we wanted to make it as simple as possible for our GMs to navigate throughout the experience. We wanted to have a high quality video experience, so we used the Insta360 pro to capture our video. For audio, we used lavaliere microphones connected to another camera to have good clean audio, because we were not ready to use the spacial audio from the Insta360 camera.
Before filming, we had certain criteria that we wanted to capture and created a storyboard that would really help our actor understand the goal and keep us on track for the recording. In the storyboard, it contained; script, shot location, what to say, what not to say, potential clickable images, potential additional video, and filming sequence and location. Without the storyboard and keeping the goal in mind, we would not have been able to produce a great experience for our Managers.
InstaVR chosen for ease of use and interactive features; offline access + in-house distribution very important
Question: How did you end up selecting InstaVR for the editing and distribution of your project?
Answer: Over the past few months, I have been researching and testing interactive VR solutions that would meet various needs throughout our organization. When I found InstaVR and completed additional testing, it was obvious to us that it had the easiest user interface and interactive features we were looking for. The best part about InstaVR was to create a project that could live on phones without being distributed through App stores was a bonus and allowed our event to be a great success.
Interactivity w/ hotspots and nav links a main goal
Question: Which features of InstaVR did you use? Did you add Navigation? Hotspots? Icons? etc
Answer: The main goal for our project was to make the experience interactive. We wanted our Team Members to be able to explore the space with in the restaurant and see how it will benefit our Guests.
To help with this process, we used custom navigation that created the feeling that you could go anywhere within the restaurant. We also used hotspots and informational buttons to allow for additional content to be displayed in a close up manner. By having the hotspots and navigation, it provided for a seamless and interactive experience.
Samsung Phones and headsets with built-in headphones used for display
Question: Which VR headsets did you publish to and why?
Answer: Our technology setup and requirements were a little different for this project. We were able to purchase 10 fairly inexpensive headsets with built in headphones and rented 10 Samsung phones as well to keep our costs within our budget. We had a limited amount of time to purchase headsets and do research, so we went with cost efficient solution that would provide a great experience.
Because of this, we opted to pay for the subscription of InstaVr and not do an expensive headset for this project. Going forward, we will explore the options of Oculus headsets to allow for one device instead of two. Overall we were greatly pleased with the technology and experience gained from this project.
VR lead to Team Member engagement; able to monitor if continued sharing happens post-conference
Question: What was the feedback at these conferences? Did the VR project end up meeting your objectives?
Answer: The feedback from both conferences were very positive. Our Team Members were highly engaged and really enjoyed the VR experience to see something new. We are continuing to monitor the InstaVR traffic, to help understand if GMs are sharing our site with others in their restaurant. With this feedback we will be able to create better experiences
New VR opportunities being explored
Question: What other VR projects do you have planned at Brinker International Restaurants?
Answer: We are excited to continue to explore how we can take an VR Experience to our restaurants. We are continuing to explore how we can effectively manage the rollout, cost, and most importably the experience to our Team Members.
Thank you to Kelly Peterson for his time and insight!
***all images on this page courtesy/copyright of Brinker International, Inc.***