“Welcome to McDonald’s. May AI help you?”
No, you probably won’t ever hear those words greet you when you enter a McDonald’s restaurant but the gist of the statement will soon ring true.
McDonald’s is investing in artificial intelligence in a bid to improve in-store ordering and online marketing, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The burger giant will pay $300 million to acquire the Israeli digital startup, Dynamic Yield Ltd. It is McDonald’s first acquisition in years and its largest one in at least two decades.
Dynamic Yield already works with a number of familiar brands such as IKEA, Sephora and Hello Fresh, to provide personalized recommendations to customers.
At McDonald’s, the restaurant chain is expected to use Dynamic Yield at its drive-through windows where, according to the Journal, “digital displays will change in real-time based on factors such as weather and what the customer is ordering. During heat waves, for instance, a drive-through display could promote a McDonald’s ice cream cone.”
The investment comes on the backdrop of McDonald’s already investing heavily in technology to fulfill its ‘Experience of the Future’ strategy. The idea there is to roll out a kiosk-centric modernization to approximately 1,000 McDonald’s locations every quarter.
The company’s Experience of the Future focuses on several large kiosks placed towards the front of the restaurant where customers will naturally gravitate towards them and begin using the touchscreen to order.
McDonald’s management tested Dynamic Yield’s technology at U.S. restaurants in 2018 and apparently liked what they saw. Upon closing of the acquisition, the burger chain says it will begin to roll out this tech at restaurants in the United States in 2019 and then expand the use to international markets.
“Technology is a critical element of our Velocity Growth Plan, enhancing the experience for our customers by providing greater convenience on their terms,” said Steve Easterbrook, President and Chief Executive Officer, McDonald’s Corporation. “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 personalised experiences for our customers.”
You don’t need to be a billion-dollar corporation to benefit from the latest restaurant technology. Contact us today for a demonstration of kiosks and other tech that will help you better serve customers at your business.