McDonald's eyes personalised menus in supersize digital push

28 March, 2019, 09:56 | Author: Gerard Cortez
  • McDonald's cuts a big check to buy tech platform Dynamic Yield. The tech provider will allow McDonald's to offer personalized items on its digital drive-thru menu boards

The fast-food giant is spending more than $300 million on Dynamic Yield, according to a report in Times of India. He mentioned further that this acquisition would provide Mac Donald's customers more convenience on their own terms. Self-order kiosks are now available in almost 17,000 restaurants, there are additional digital menu boards set up in more than 21,000 restaurants, and mobile order and pay capabilities are available in over 22,000 restaurants. A company that amasses as much data as McDonald's will find no shortage of algorithmic avenues.

Dynamic Yield, an Israeli startup specializing in artificial intelligence (AI) personalization, will be purchased by McDonald's at a value of over USD300 million. The New York and Tel Aviv, Israel-based Dynamic Yield is the developer of an AI-powered Personalization Anywhere platform that delivers individualized experiences at every customer touchpoint: web, apps, email, kiosks, IoT, and call centers. Its digital screens will track wait times and also will allow McDonald's to better identify which items on its menu will be quicker and easier for the staff to prepare.

Steve Easterbrook, McDonald's President and CEO claims that technology is an important part of their Velocity Growth Plan.

Dynamic Yield is known to work with various brands in e-commerce, travel, finance as well as media to create an Amazon style personalized experience.

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The A.I. has already been tested previous year at a number of McDonald's restaurants and it looks like the system worked well enough, considering the company wants now to extend to all of its 14,000 restaurants in the U.S. McDonald's started testing the technology in several US locations last year, and plans to expand its use for drive-thru menus across the USA this year and then internationally. The technology can also instantly suggest and display additional items based on the customer's current selections.

McDonald's will start integrating the technology into all its digital offerings, such as self-order kiosks and McDonald's Global Mobile App.

Baird analyst David Tarantino said he sees "strategic value" in the deal, especially as McDonald's tries to accelerate its growth and "elevate the customer experience". In 2018, McDonalds announced it was updating thousands of stores in the US with self-service ordering kiosks. Remodeled restaurants saw sales lifts of 4 to 6 percent in global markets, as Ozan told McKinsey in a January interview, but the sales have been slower to rise in the U.S.

"This is great news for Dynamic Yield and McDonald's customers, as well as personalization practitioners everywhere", said Agmon.

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