Coates Group Says It Has Won McDonald’s Global Digital Signage CMS Business

August 15, 2022 by Dave Haynes

Australia-based digital signage solutions provider Coates Group says it has come out of an evaluation process and been named as “McDonald’s single global Digital Menu Board (DMB) Content Management System (CMS) provider, and one of two approved Digital Menu Board hardware providers alongside Acrelec Group.”

“This new appointment,” says the company in PR, “is the largest partnership engagement to date and follows an extensive, multiple-round RFP process in which several providers were evaluated.”

The five-year agreement will enable McDonald’s first, globally-standardized DMB solution. The comprehensive solution provides McDonald’s markets with Coates’ dynamic Switchboard CMS to power their content and marketing strategies. While Coates Group will manage the overall partnership and be the sole CMS provider, the total solution offers markets a choice of DMB hardware as well as installation and support services from Coates or Acrelec. This holistic global solution enables McDonald’s desired technology standardization while also accommodating individual market’s unique requirements for customization, in addition to significant cost efficiencies for markets.

“After thorough review of best-in-class CMS providers, it was clear that Coates Group was the best positioned technology partner for this critical phase of our digital evolution,” says Hashim Amin, VP Global Product & Engineering at McDonald’s. “Our goal was to find one global provider that could deliver our digital CMS vision, which is to enable a consistent ordering experience to all our customers around the world through a single, cohesive hardware and software solution. We’re confident that Coates Group will deliver on that vision, and we look forward to a long-term partnership that empowers our markets with flexibility within a globally standardized framework.” 

“We couldn’t be prouder to continue the great momentum we’ve built with McDonald’s in the digital merchandising space over the last 10 years and to take our partnership to new, innovative heights. As a long-term partner of McDonald’s, we are thrilled about the continued growth and success we’ve seen together and are excited to deliver in this new capacity, beginning with the transition of the US market to the Coates CMS solution,” says Leo Coates, CEO of Coates Group.

Coates Group says it first formed a partnership with McDonald’s in Australia in the 1970s, as a traditional signage and merchandising provider. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the partnership grew into Asian and European markets with the introduction of new signage technology. Following Coates’ evolution into the digital merchandising space in the 2010s, the partnership expanded even further across the world. In 2017, Coates Group was awarded the Outdoor Digital Menu Board hardware rollout for McDonald’s US, which was the largest QSR menu board rollout completed to date. Today, Coates is supporting 50 McDonald’s markets – including the US, CanadaAustraliaFrance, and the UK – with digital merchandising solutions such as CMS, DMB and self-order kiosk.

Acrelec was founded by two a couple of former McDonald’s employees in early 2000, developing self-order kiosks and drive-thru technology and solutions. Acrelec says it has more than 80,000 installations in 80 countries. About 20,000 are drive-thru set-ups.

This is interesting on a few counts:

I am pretty sure STRATACACHE has the software deal in the US with McDonald’s, and has had that for many years. The assertion from Leo Coates that this arrangement will kick off with the US market transitioning to the Coates CMS solution would likely send sparks out of the ears of STRATACACHE CEO Chris Riegel. I’d ask, but know from experience Riegel doesn’t talk publicly about whale clients, because those clients tend to not like that sort of thing.

In the US, I believe there is currently a weird hybrid solution in place that sees the drive-thru displays split between STRATACACHE, which uses LG outdoor-rated displays, and Coates (and perhaps Acrelec), that use Samsung outdoor displays.


  1. craig Allen keefner says:

    We see the same brag with Walmart and self-service. The industry brag there evolved to “we survived Walmart as our customer”. I would expect McD enforces some pretty tight profit margin windows (single digit).

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