Coates Group officially opened the doors of its new, dynamic office space and Innovation Lab in the heart of Chicago’s bustling West Loop, a neighbourhood that has transformed from factories and warehouses to a sought-after residential, dining and office destination over the past five years. Coates’ North American headquarters is located on the corner of May and Randolph Streets in the first and second loft-style floors of a former belt factory, just blocks from other notable offices like Google, McDonald’s, Sterling Bay and more.
Just three years after first arriving in Chicago with a core team of five, Coates’ US headquarters now hosts a team of over 80 employees. With an open floor plan, creative work areas and interactive collaboration spaces, the permanent residency on May Street provides a forward-thinking work environment conducive for the evolving team.
Located on the first floor, the state-of-the-art Innovation Lab showcases the latest technology and data-driven capabilities in the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) and retail industries, whilst also providing a space for client collaboration and development. The Innovation Lab concept is an initiative deployed globally within the Coates offices, each unique to the products and services of their markets.
Those that visit the lab will experience custom-built outdoor digital drive thru signage with License Plate Recognition (LPR) software, a wide range of self-order kiosks and indoor digital merchandising solutions. All are powered by Coates’ signature data-driven Switchboard Content Management System (CMS).
Coates’ Switchboard CMS is a leading global cloud-based platform, connecting real-time data from multiple inputs to drive localized and personalized content on numerous digital touchpoints. The simplification of content creation and distribution through integration with data sources and systems enables valuable insights about in-store merchandising and customer behaviour.
LPR technology can be leveraged in different variations within Switchboard, dynamically shifting content to deliver a unique guest experience, whilst implementing seamless loyalty and driving guest counts. LPR is one of many identification strategies that can be deployed within Switchboard to drive a robust and targeted content strategy for customer engagement and personalization.
Below is a look inside Coates’ new workspace, which serves as a showroom for these advanced digital solutions and will continue to support the team’s growth and innovation.
Chicago-based EWP Architects in collaboration with the Australia-based Bennett Murada Architects served as the project designers. Summit Design + Build and Carr Realty Advisors were the general contractor and Coates owner's representative, respectively.