In this episode, I’m having a chat with Leo Coates of The Coates Group, an end-to-end digital signage solutions provider that’s heavily focused on the quick service restaurant sector. The Australian company already has a footprint in 35 countries – everything from rollouts to trials. Now Coates has opened up an office and innovation centre in Chicago – and it’s not a coincidence that Chicago is also the global headquarters of McDonald’s.
One of the most interesting things about Coates is that he’s just 32 years old, having bought the family business from his dad when he was just 24. He’s built it up from there, and expanded some existing business in Australia with McDonald’s and then moved successfully into some giant markets like Japan and China.
In our chat, Leo talks about how the company operates, how data from restaurant systems is critical to what they do, and why he’s building up a team of 20 in Chicago to go after the North American market. We spoke recently in Chicago, just ahead of the company formally opening its offices and showroom.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.