McDonald’s acquires AI startup for $300m as it aims to personalise menus

McDonald’s is set to purchase an Israeli artificial intelligence (AI) company in a deal thought to be worth $300 million (£226 million) as it seeks to personalise its digital menus.

The fast food behemoth will acquire Dynamic Yield and hopes to use its AI technology to transform its digital menus, offering customers tailored selections depending on a range of factors including the weather, how busy the restaurant is and the time of day.

It will roll the technology out in its drive-thru locations across the US after the acquisition is finalised later this year, and expand internationally soon after.

McDonald’s also hopes to introduce the technology to its digital kiosks in its bricks and mortar stores, though no time scale has been specified.

“Technology is a critical element of our Velocity Growth Plan, enhancing the experience for our customers by providing greater convenience on their terms,” McDonald’s chief executive Steve Easterbrook said.

“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.”

Dynamic Yield’s chief executive Liad Agmon added: “We started Dynamic Yield seven years ago with the premise that customer-centric brands must make personalization a core activity.  We’re thrilled to be joining an iconic global brand such as McDonald’s and are excited to innovate in ways that have a real impact on people’s daily lives.”

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