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

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Big Mac is probably what McDonald's is most closely associated with.

McDonald's Corporation (MCD) and Dynamic Yield Ltd. today announced an agreement by which McDonald's will acquire Dynamic Yield, a leader in personalization and decision logic technology.

The most well-known name on the market is, of course, McDonald's, that chose to acquire machine learning startup Dynamic Yield for $300 million and will be using it, initially, to tweak up the drive-through window. Over the years, McDonald's has been aggressively making technology advancements throughout its restaurants by installing more self-ordering kiosks, developing mobile apps and by partnering with UberEats service to expand delivery.

McDonald's said in a statement that it will use the decision technology "to provide an even 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". He said McDonald's is expanding the role that technology will play in the company's future "and the speed with which we'll be able to implement our vision of creating more personalized experiences for our customers". It's said that one in eight Americans have worked at the company, which is perhaps one of the reasons 2020 Democratic Presidential candidate Andrew Yang is pushing for a universal basic income.

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The Experience of the Future upgrades are a springboard for McDonald's, not an end point, and the Dynamic Yield buy is a logical next step. McDonald's also plans to have all 14,000 restaurants in the US and other markets to feature the drive-thru AI. McDonald's plans to start rolling out the technology once the acquisition is complete. It will also allow the chain to instantly suggest and display additional items to customers based on their current selections.

Self-service kiosks at a McDonald's restaurant at Ontario and Clark streets in Chicago, Ill. on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018. Remodeled restaurants saw sales lifts of 4 to 6 percent in global markets, as Ozan told McKinsey in a January interview, but the sales have been slower to rise in the U.S.

Chicago-based McDonald's announced Monday that it plans to acquire Dynamic Yield, a company based in NY and Tel Aviv that specializes in decision logic technology.