The fast food franchise just super-sized its technology investments by buying the big data business for a reported $300m
From teaming up with UberEats to introducing an app, McDonald’s has actively been introducing new technology to modernise its restaurants and services. But the latest push may be the biggest one yet.
The fast food franchise has announced that it will buy Dynamic Yield, the personalisation and decision logic technology startup. While McDonald’s has kept the details about the deal under wraps, TechCrunch has reportedly spoken with sources familiar with the acquisition who put the price tag at over $300m. This whopper of a number would make it the restaurant chain's most expensive acquisition since the franchise bought chicken restaurant chain Boston Market in 2000 for $173.5m.
The Israeli firm’s technology will be used to create a better and more personalised experience for McDonald’s customers, starting with its drive-thru service. Essentially, Dynamic Yield’s AI will plough through slews of big data – including things like time of day, weather, current restaurant traffic and trending menu items – and suggest additional products that the customer is likely to add to their basket. Think about how Amazon showcases what other people buying your product have bought before and you get the idea.
Commenting on the acquisition, Steve Easterbrook, president and CEO of McDonald's, said: "Technology is a critical element of our Velocity Growth Plan, enhancing the experience for our customers by providing greater convenience on their terms. With this acquisition, we're expanding both our ability to increase the role technology and data will play in our future and the speed with which we'll be able to implement our vision of creating more personalised experiences for our customers."
Indeed, McDonald’s efforts to super-size its technology resulted in sales jumping by 4.5% in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017, making it the 14th consecutive quarter sales grew globally. With this in mind, this acquisition won’t be the last time the company improves sales by introducing innovations into the restaurants. Big Macs – with bacon – and big data certainly means big business.