McDonald's And Starbucks Choose Outdoor Digital Menu Boards From Armagard

Starbucks drive thru lane with Armagard outdoor digital menu boards
Starbucks uses Armagard's outdoor digital menu boards to engage customers and boost sales.

McDonald's and Starbucks have chosen Armagard's outdoor digital menu boards for their drive thru lanes.

Both chains wanted to boost sales, speed up service and make menu changeovers easier for staff. Armagard provided robust digital signage that looks great and works reliably in any weather.

Installation is currently done at 950 McDonald's sites. Starbucks installations are ongoing, with 20 drive thru coffee lanes done so far (as of April 2022).

Find out why these leading QSR chains chose Armagard's digital menu totems and how they use them to boost revenue and improve service.

McDonald's Installation Highlight

Double-screen Samsung OH55F outdoor digital menu boards at McDonald's
Armagard's outdoor digital menu boards improve customer service in McDonald's drive thrus.

McDonald's used Armagard's outdoor totem to update its static signage to digital screens across its sites in the UK and Ireland. This came to a total of 6,850 outdoor digital menu boards across 950 locations. Armagard worked with a partner sign company, with all supplies to Mcdonald's delivered over a five-year development cycle.

The original plan was to base the new drive thru digital kiosks on McDonald's existing signage. This used a C-shaped frame to mount a triple-sided static display board. This board could be spun around to show either breakfast or daytime menus.

This gave McDonald's some flexibility when it came to dayparting, but the printed posters needed manually changing for seasonal promotions and special offers.

Armagard designed a digital equivalent of the C-frame design. This used a digital menu board enclosure in place of the static display board. The weatherproof enclosure housed a portrait LCD screen that could be updated quickly and easily to show the company's latest promotions.

Portrait outdoor digital menu board enclosures at McDonald's
The initial outdoor digital menu board design, before switching to totems for Samsung's OHF displays.

However, the plan changed when Samsung released its OHF displays. These outdoor-ready screens are ideal for any drive thru:

  • IP56 rating: Protects against water and dust ingress. The screens work reliably in heavy rain, for continuous advertising in any weather.
  • 2,500 NITS brightness: Keeps content clear and readable in direct sunlight, for eye-catching promotions that always stand out.
  • IK10-certified glass: Protects the screen from vandalism and accidental damage, for peace of mind in outdoor locations.

The screens needed a robust, stylish mounting solution that would fit the McDonald's brand and provide outdoor protection for a separate media player — and that's what Armagard delivered.

Armagard designed single, double and triple-screen multi-screen drive thru totems for 46" and 55" OHF displays. Samsung Korea approved the design, and McDonald's settled on single and double 55" versions for its restaurants.

Armagard also made a 19" LCD screen enclosure to go at payment windows. This small enclosure plays a big part in improving the customer experience. It shows people what they're getting before they pay — so everyone gets the right order.

Starbucks Installation Highlight

Starbucks drive thru lane with single and triple-screen outdoor digital menu boards
Starbucks chose single and triple-screen outdoor digital menu boards for its drive thru coffee lanes.

The aims of Starbucks were like those of McDonald's: improve service and boost average order value with robust, good-looking drive thru digital kiosks.

Starbucks chose Armagard's single and triple digital menu totems for its coffee lanes. The single-screen totems are ideal for advertising at the entrance to drive thrus. The triple-screen totems give the chain the space to display a full menu in a size that's easy to read.

Starbucks originally used a mix of 46" and 55" OHF displays. However, as the rollout has gone on, some sites have preferred the 55" screen because of its eye-catching size.

Armagard has installed around 50 units at 20 locations, with more in the pipeline as the chain updates its drive thru digital signage across the UK.

The Benefits Of Outdoor Digital Menu Boards For McDonald's And Starbucks

A single-screen Samsung OH55F outdoor digital menu board at a McDonald's, Serbia
Outdoor digital menu boards let this McDonald's in Serbia advertise effectively in any weather.

Armagard's outdoor digital menu kiosks bring Mcdonald's and Starbucks drive thru lanes up to date with great-looking digital signage. The totems improve the customer experience, boost revenue and increase convenience for staff:

1. All-Weather Advertising

The outdoor digital menu boards let each coffee shop and QSR (quick service restaurant) advertise continuously in any weather. That means year-round revenue from promotions that stand out in all seasons.

The OHF screens have an IP56 rating and an operating temperature of -30°C to +50°C. A built-in cooling system prevents overheating, allowing the screens to run 24/7 — ideal for drive thus that are open all hours.

The screen's 2,500 NITS brightness rating keeps content clear in direct sunlight, for promotions that engage customers in all conditions.

The totem also has an IP56, climate-controlled compartment in the base, which houses the media player. An environmental controller board operates fans and heaters, allowing the media player to work reliably in the same harsh weather conditions as the screens.

2. Easy Menu Changeovers

Armagard's drive thru kiosks save time and hassle by allowing staff to update content from inside the restaurant.

Dayparting becomes quick and easy, with staff able to instantly swap between menus and promotions. The right media player also allows scheduled content updates. For example, breakfast menus can automatically switch to daytime menus at a pre-set time.

This adds up to a huge time saving each year across the hundreds of sites that have drive thru menu totems installed. It also means no more removing and reinstalling awkward paper posters in the middle of winter — a big win for whoever had that job!

3. Choice Of Media Players

The totem's media player compartment gives users the option of using a different media player than the one embedded in the screens.

This was important for McDonald's, with the company opting for more-powerful, third-party media players across the rollout. Several Starbucks locations also chose to use a different player, as it gave more flexibility than the simple system-on-chip (SoC) player within the displays.

Using a third-party media player also lets the one in the screens work as a backup. The third-party player is the primary source of content, but the one in the displays will take over in the unlikely event that the main player fails.

That's added peace of mind that a drive thru can stay open and profitable if a media player goes down.

Armagard can advise on the best media player for your drive thru digital signage. Get in touch for a no-obligation chat about using outdoor digital menu boards in your business.

About Armagard

Armagard has over 30 years' experience designing, manufacturing and testing digital signage hardware to industry standards. Over 100,000 Armagard enclosures protect screens and IT equipment in 53 countries, and the company has an 87% reorder rate from its customers.

Other QSR customers include Tim Hortons, Dutch Bros. Coffee, KFC and more.

Choose Armagard for peace of mind when investing in equipment for your drive thru:

  • Expert advice on choosing, buying and installing digital menu kiosks.
  • A five-year mechanical warranty and up to five-year electrical warranty.
  • Lifetime customer support.

Get In Touch To Discuss Outdoor Digital Menu Boards For Your Drive Thru

Attract customers, improve service and boost average order value with outdoor digital menu boards in your drive thru.

Get in touch for a no-obligation chat with a digital signage specialist.

Call +44 (0)121 608 7226 or fill in a contact form to request more information.