McDonald’s Wants to Predict Your Order
The burger chain is set to acquire a tech company specializing in “decision technology."
McDonald’s has always kind of predicted what customers want to order. If you order a burger, they ask if you’d like fries and a drink. It’s not a bad guess. But thanks to a recent acquisition, the fast food giant is about to take its food recommendations to an entirely new, tech-savvy extreme.
McDonald’s has bought out Dynamic Yield, a New York and Tel Aviv-based company billed as an artificial intelligence-powered personalization platform that specializes in “decision technology.” In layman’s terms, it means that in the near future, McDonald’s displays will be more tailored to your specific ordering experience. For instance, the brand suggests that outdoor digital drive-thru menus will “show food based on time of day, weather, current restaurant traffic and trending menu items,” while the “decision technology can also instantly suggest and display additional items to a customer's order based on their current selections.”
The burger chain says it is “one of the first companies” to add this kind of technology at brick and mortar stores — McDonald's originally tested the system out at select locations last year. Once the deal to buy Dynamic Yield closes, however, this personalization platform will be rolled out to drive-thrus nationwide. Eventually, it will also find its way into all of the McDonald’s digital interactions with customers — be at self-ordering kiosks in-store or as a part of the restaurant’s mobile app.
“Technology is a critical element of our Velocity Growth Plan, enhancing the experience for our customers by providing greater convenience on their terms,” Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement. “With this acquisition, we're expanding both our ability to increase the role technology and data will play in our future and the speed with which we'll be able to implement our vision of creating more personalized experiences for our customers.”
Interestingly enough, though McDonald’s will be the sole owner of Dynamic Yield, the tech company will continue to operate as a standalone entity — and beyond McDonald’s, Dynamic Yield states that it also serves more than 300 other brands around the globe. So no, the burger brand isn’t quite ready to give Google a run for its money yet, but it's getting closer.