General Automation Inc., the struggling Anaheim manufacturer of computer systems, announced Wednesday that it has signed a "significant" agreement that could hook its latest small-business computer system with a sizable number of the nation's 2,000 McDonald's franchises.
The company, which is banking on its 2-year-old "Zebra" system for much of its growth, said R-Computer Co. Inc. of Palatine, Ill., will use Zebras in the computer systems it installs for the nation's largest fast-food restaurant chain.
"It's a significant piece of potential business for us," said Rene Caron, General Automation's vice president for marketing and sales. "It's an important endorsement for the product."
Caron declined to estimate the potential value of the contract. But company officials estimated that as many as 45% of the 2,000 franchises could be considered potential users of the systems, which sell for $25,000 to $30,000 apiece.