McDonald's buys Israeli AI company for over USD300M

28 March, 2019, 09:57 | Author: Erin Carter
  • Credit Luke Sharrett  Bloomberg

More broadly, McDonald's can glean valuable insights by gathering data on its 68 million daily customers. Yahoo Finance's Dan Roberts, Melody Hahm, Myles Udland, and Brian Sozzi talk about McDonald's largest acquisition in 20 years. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.

Under Easterbrook, who became CEO in 2015, McDonald's has incorporated technology including self-order kiosks and digital menu boards as part of a $6 billion overhaul for its USA restaurants announced a year ago.

Dynamic Yield, which already works with retail clients like Ikea, Sephora and Urban Outfitters, will help McDonald's upgrade its drive-thru menus at its more than 14,000 US locations, making them change based on factors like the weather and the time of day.

Since taking charge as the CEO of the company in 2015, Easterbrook has emphasised on digital technology and has included self-order kiosks, digital menus boards and delivery services to boost the sales of the company and to help it stand out among its competitors. According to Wired, McDonald's acquired Dynamic Yield for $300 million acquisition to provide 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.

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".

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McDonald's has announced its acquisition of Israeli start up Dynamic Yield, which specializes in machine learning and personalization capabilities. With this acquisition of Dynamic Yield, based in NY and Tel Aviv, McDonald's builds on its significant technology investments for growth.

McDonald's has already been making technological improvements. 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.

The technology will be rolled out at McDonald's Drive-thru restaurants in the United States in 2019 and will be swiftly expanded into top global markets following. For example, the technology will be used in drive-thru displays and mobile app interfaces to give customers a custom dining experience via item add-on suggestions. The system will ultimately reach all 14,000 U.S. restaurants and expand to other markets. Dynamic Yield now serves more than 300 brands across the world.

Thanks to this information, McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook claims that "Our ability to learn of (customer) behaviours and play that back through this technology is unbeatable".

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