Published: Wed, March 27, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

McDonald's makes $300 million bet that AI can sell you a burger

McDonald's makes $300 million bet that AI can sell you a burger

McDonald's tested the AI at several restaurants previous year, and executive vice president and global chief information officer Daniel Henry told Wired he expects more than 1,000 locations will be using it within the next three months.

The deal is the biggest that McDonald's will strike with the Tel-Aviv based start-up which provides retailers with algorithmically driven "decision logic" technology.

McDonald's Corporation has signed a deal to acquire Israel-based web personalization company Dynamic Yield Ltd., the companies announced Tuesday.

The move will make McDonald's "one of the first companies to integrate decision technology into the customer point of sale at a brick and mortar location", the statement said.

CEO Liad Agmon of the Tel Aviv-based artificial intelligence company Dynamic Yield, which was acquired March 25, 2019, by U.S. fast-food giant McDonald's.

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

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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.

McDonald's reportedly said it has already tested this in several United States locations a year ago. Dynamic Yield smarts will be added to additional drive thus in the USA over the course of 2019 before expanding to worldwide markets.

Since taking the helm in 2015, Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook has pushed technology-including self-order kiosks, digital menus boards and delivery-to boost sales and help McDonald's stand out among rivals.

"When you serve 68 million customers every single day, our ability to learn of their behaviors and play that back through this technology is unbeatable", he said in a video posted on the McDonald's website. Investors include Bessamer Ventures, Innovation Endeavors, Vertex, Marker LLC and others.

"The deal is valued at more than $300 million, making it the largest McDonald's deal in two decades, people familiar with the matter said", the CNBC reported late on Monday. The 38,000-store burger chain will continue to invest in Dynamic Yield, which will remain a standalone company.

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