Digital displays are increasingly becoming a requirement for quick-service restaurants. Behind the counter, digital menu boards display the restaurant menu. In the dining room, they show current promotions and other content. Outside, in the drive-thru, they help speed up service with a combination of the two.
Digital displays allow brands to incorporate full-motion video, run quick specials to work down products that may be overstocked, and allow operators to easily remove items in the event of a runout. Those allow for easy dayparting, switching from breakfast to lunch to dinner or however the operator desires.
So when a global leader in the quick-service restaurant space was seeking a way to boost sales, improve the guest experience and streamline the content management process at more than 1,000 locations throughout Canada, they sought a leader and innovator in digital signage solutions. They tapped Australian company Coates Group who has North American offices in both Chicago and Toronto.
"The project achieved a seamless transition from the existing CMS software to Switchboard CMS. Working with signageOS ensures that the Switchboard CMS features will continue to be fully supported even with the introduction of new Samsung hardware types in the future."– () Tweet
Founded in 1963, Coates combines hardware and software technology innovation to deliver relevant, dynamic, personalized digital experiences for quick-service restaurant brands and the retail industry.
The brand selected Coates’ CMS software Switchboard to pioneer the optimal customer purchasing journey, using 5,000 new and existing Samsung displays for drive-thru boards across its locations. And to help accomplish that task quickly and easily, Coates selected signageOS as their solution partner for the project.
Founded in 2016 and based in Prague, Czech Republic, signageOS has created a digital signage software platform that provides a unified method to accessing and controlling smart commercial displays and other professional digital signage hardware. The signageOS technology enables digital signage companies and their customers’ device networks to become truly hardware-agnostic, thus ensuring long-term digital signage hardware compatibility with optimal performance.
Samsung OHF high-brightness outdoor series displays, as well as other types, were already installed at every location. Most of the existing Samsung displays operated on the current version of Samsung’s Linux-based operating system Tizen, version 4.0, with some operating on older versions of Tizen. What that meant is that there would be a variety of display models across those locations that would all need to be updated. And once the upgrades were completed, all these different display types would need to be able to be updated and managed remotely.
Due to the popularity of the QSR chain, one major challenge was developing a way to deliver the Switchboard software across the brand’s locations quickly, without interrupting operations. Because the chain would be replacing their existing software solution in favor of the Coates Group Switchboard CMS software while keeping regular business hours, the transition required seamless integration and 24/7 uptime.
Also complicating the project rollout was the COVID-19 pandemic. The rollout was scheduled to occur between May and December 2020, with the majority of deployments falling between June and November during the height of the pandemic.
To achieve this, the Coates Group and signageOS teams completed a highly efficient development and testing process for the QSR content and Samsung displays before rollout.
Coates Group, known for their feature-rich software solutions including Switchboard and reliable hardware products like the K2 kiosk, chose to utilize the signageOS technology to offer long-term compatibility to older and new Samsung Tizen displays, remotely manage and monitor various hardware, remotely update firmware and offer superior levels of digital signage support to the QSR company.
Despite the multiple versions of the Samsung Tizen operating system in use, the cooperation between Coates Group and signageOS enabled Coates Group to drastically reduce the development and testing time required to deploy their software to the Samsung hardware. The signageOS APIs allowed Coates to quickly build custom tools to rapidly provision screens during the rollout.
"The project achieved a seamless transition from the existing CMS software to Switchboard CMS. Working with signageOS ensures that the Switchboard CMS features will continue to be fully supported even with the introduction of new Samsung hardware types in the future."
The joint solution also enables a system on a chip (SOC) architecture, eliminating the need for a separate media player for each SOC screen or any additional cabling. With the content playing back on the display itself, all the teams needed to deploy new signage was a nearby power outlet, an Internet connection and room to mount the display.
At its peak, the project was transitioning 428 locations, or approximately 2,000 displays, per month without affecting the brand’s operations.
The complexity of the project required the cooperation of innovative digital signage solutions to exceed the client expectations in an accelerated project timeline. The QSR company now provides engaging customer experiences through the Switchboard software with seamless performance and complete control over the hardware through signageOS.
About Coates Group
Founded in 1963, Coates Group is a global technology and digital merchandising solutions provider creating immersive experiences for some of the world’s leading brands. The Coates, data-driven CMS software, Switchboard, self-order kiosks, digital drive-thru and indoor displays are used by leading brands across 50+ global markets. The privately held company is headquartered in Australia with offices in Japan, India, China, Middle East, Canada, Europe and the United States. Its U.S. operations are based in Chicago.