McDonald's buys AI startup to revolutionize digital menus

March 26, 2019 //By Rich Pell
McDonald's buys AI startup to revolutionize digital menus
Fast-food giant McDonald's (Chicago, IL) has announced that it is acquiring AI-powered "Personalization Anywhere" platform startup, Dynamic Yield (Tel Aviv, Israel), in a move to increase personalization and improve customer experience.

The purchase of Dynamic Yield, a leader in personalization and decision logic technology, is said to be worth more than $300 million - McDonald's largest deal in 20 years. McDonald's says it plans to use this decision technology to provide an even more personalized customer experience by varying outdoor digital Drive Thru menu displays to show food based on time of day, weather, current restaurant traffic. and trending menu items.

The decision technology can also instantly suggest and display additional items to a customer’s order based on their current selections. The deal, says the company, will enable it to be one of the first companies to integrate decision technology into the customer point of sale at a brick and mortar location.

"Technology is a critical element of our Velocity Growth Plan, enhancing the experience for our customers by providing greater convenience on their terms," says 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 personalized experiences for our customers."

McDonald’s tested the technology in several U.S. restaurants in 2018, and, upon closing of the acquisition, plans to begin to roll the technology out in the Drive Thru at restaurants in the United States in 2019 and then expand its use to other top international markets. The company says it will also begin work to integrate the technology into all of its digital customer experience touchpoints, such as self-order kiosks and McDonald’s Global Mobile App.

Upon closing of the deal, says the company, it will become sole owner and will continue to invest in Dynamic Yield's core personalization product and personnel. Dynamic Yield will remain a stand-alone company and employees will continue to operate out of offices around the world. Dynamic Yield will also continue to


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