McDonald's spends millions on tech to juice up drive-thrus

McDonald's spends millions on tech to juice up drive-thrus

McDonald's plans to install Dynamic Yield's technology in its drive-thrus and self-order kiosks, as well as on its mobile app.

The company said it would roll out the technology at restaurants in the United States in 2019 and then expand the use to other top global markets.

The system will look at factors such as the weather, time, local events, traffic levels at the restaurant and on nearby roads, historical sales data, now popular items and even what you're ordering to optimize menu displays at drive-thru windows.

Drive-thru wait times have increased annually for about the last five years, CEO Steve Easterbrook said during the company's last earnings call, and the company has been looking at ways to halt that trend.

McDonald's has been making giant leaps in the tech space by integrating functionality - through its mobile app, self-ordering kiosks, mobile order and pay option, etc.

"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.

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He added that the USA firm went through "a very thorough diligent process" before it selected Dynamic Yield as the best solution for its business. The startup has raised $82.25 million from investors including Korea's Naver Corp., Israeli private equity fund Viola, and Israeli VC fund Vertex Ventures.

McDonald's on Tuesday announced plans to purchase Dynamic Yield, a machine learning start-up that uses predictive algorithms to create personalized recommendations and optimizations in real time.

Started seven years ago, Dynamic Yield now enables more than 300 brands in six continents. Dynamic Yield had been recently valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars; people familiar with the details of the McDonald's offer put it at over $300 million.

Dynamic Yield's Tel Aviv office is at 8 Eliezer Kaplan Street, a short hop from the IDF headquarters.

Upon closing, McDonald's will become sole owner of Dynamic Yield and will continue to invest in its product and teams, the statement said.

McDonald's outdoor digital drive-thru menus are about to get a lot more personal.

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