McDonald's buys a startup that AI tech aims to make you spend more

The fast food giant announced on Monday that it is acquiring Dynamic Yield, an Israeli company that uses artificial intelligence to provide consumers with personal experiences.

McDonald said it would use the boot technology to tailor the items displayed on the menu boards on the drive -Tra outlets based on the weather, how busy the restaurant is and the time of day. It will also immediately recommend extra items based on a customer's first order. This approach can help McDonald's ( MCD ) increase the sale of breakfast or McCafe items, for example.
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Food companies have increasingly turned to digital technology, especially mobile apps, to learn about their customers' preferences and sell them more of it they like.

Dynamic Yield will expand McDonald's ability to increase the role technology and data will play in our future, said McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook in a statement. It will also increase "the speed at which we can implement our vision of creating more personal experiences for our customers," he added.

McDonalds did not reveal the size of the agreement or respond to a request for more information. The Wall Street Journal reported that the acquisition was worth more than $ 300 million.

McDonald's first began testing Dynamic Yield's technology in American restaurants last year. It plans to integrate the platform into its run-through menu boards at US outlets this year, before expanding into major international markets. The company also plans to start working on integrating the technology into its self-service kiosk and mobile app.

  McDonald plans to use Dynamic Yield's AI-powered technology to customize their digital menu boards.

Dynamic Yield, headquartered in Tel Aviv and New York, will remain a stand-alone business under McDonald's ownership.

The agreement marks the final step in McDonald's aggressive growth strategy, as announced two years ago.

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Tech is an important part of the plan to Keep existing customers, bring new ones and convince people to buy more. Last year, McDonald tried to persuade consumers to download their app with promotions like free French fries with a $ 1 app purchase.
Other fast food companies use technology to try to attract customers as well. Burger King ran an app-only campaign that allowed customers to buy a one-cent Whopper when they were within 600 feet of a McDonald's.
More recently, Chipotle ( CMG ) offered free money through Venmo to customers who signed up for their reward program.

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