US-based fast food chain giant McDonald's has announced plans to acquire a start-up named Dynamic Yield for $300 million as it steps up to embrace Machine Learning (ML) in a super-sized way, the media reported. No financial details were disclosed but the "Wall Street Journal" and "Techcrunch" both said that McDonald's is paying over $300 million, its largest acquisition in the past 20 years.
McDonald's also expects Dynamic Yield to help make restaurants more efficient. Testing of the tech in 2018 was a success, so this year customers in the US can expect more bespoke menus. Dynamic Yield will show food based on time of day, weather, restaurant traffic and food that is trending.
McDonald's has made an agreement to acquire an AI-powered platform that will enable it to develop Drive Thru menus that are nearly as smart as your smartphone.
McDonald's said in its release that it plans to utilize the decision technology to provide a more personalized customer experience by varying outdoor digital menu displays in its drive-thrus. With this acquisition of Dynamic Yield, based in NY and Tel Aviv, McDonald's builds on its significant technology investments for growth.
McDonald's tested Dynamic Yield's technology in several of its restaurants last year and will roll it out to drive-thrus across the country this year, then in global markets.
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Based on an order's selections, the technology also can suggest and display additional items, much like Amazon and other retailers' highlight what other customers purchased.
Steve Easterbrook, President and Chief Executive Officer, McDonald's Corporation.
As the company spends those billions to ensure that almost every restaurant will have digital menu boards at the drive thru and touchscreen ordering kiosks by the end of 2020, it makes sense that executives are already thinking about how to better leverage that technology.
The company is traded at a market cap of about 142 billion US dollars on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Dynamic Yield now serves more than 300 brands across the world.
The acquisition builds on McDonald's recent advancements in the tech space to enhance the customer experience.