McDonald's Joins the AI Revolution

Is tech the future of F&B?

Global fast food giant, McDonald's, has continued its pursuit of integrating technology into its business model by acquiring an innovative AI company called Dynamic Yield. The company, hailing from Israel, is a startup that is able to put AI to good use by providing customers with more personalized experiences. This type of move has certainly become the norm for McDonald's who has shifted tact and developed a strong ethos surrounding integrating new F&B technology to provide the most convenient service to its customers. 

What exactly will Dynamic Yield's AI be able to do, and how will it be able to personalize McDonald's' interactions with customers?

Essentially, by integrating Dynamic Yield's technology into their electronic menu boards, certain external factors will be taken into account, changing the menu items the board displays. Such things include, [1]"factors such as the weather -- more coffee on cold days and McFlurries on hot days, for example -- and the time of day or regional preferences. The menus will also suggest add-on items to customers." 

This push for futuristic technology might seem out of the blue, but McDonald's has been championing new technology ever since Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook joined the company in 2015. Since his appointment, McDonalds's has implemented [2]"self-order kiosks, digital menus boards and delivery." It is believed by Easterbrook that newer technology will provide a better experience for customers, help McDonald's stand out from rivals and boost sales. 

Indeed, Bloomberg analysts seem to think this move is a positive one. Here is their analysis of McDonalds' push to a tech-savvier future: [3]"As McDonald's moves aggressively to steal quick-service restaurant market share in the U.S. and abroad, management aims to use its value menu, technology, discounts, simpler operations, delivery and menu changes to boost guest traffic for a second time in three years in 2019."

In agreement with this analysis, McDonald's stocks have also risen by 6% this year, indicating that shareholders share in this vision of pushing a technology-based revolution that aims to put the customer first and create a customer-centric narrative and business model for the company. 

To learn how other major companies have seen success by implementing new technology into their businesses, check out our blog article about Starbucks, Domino's and Panera.