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McDonald's Is Turning Into A Tech Company

Image via Sepet on Unsplash

After seeing Domino's log 33-consecutive quarters of same-store sales growth by becoming a "tech company that sells pizza," McDonald's is thinking why not do the same?

McDonald's announced it acquired Apprente in a move to automate the drive-thru and eventually self-order kiosks. Apprente uses AI to understand food orders in multiple languages. McDonald's has already been testing the technology that is says will enable “faster, simpler and more accurate order taking.” The Apprente acquisition will probably pay itself off rather quickly given the amount of jobs that are likely to be eliminated.

This is McDonald's third tech-related deal so far this year. They spent $300MM to acquire Dynamic Yield, their largest acquisition in 20 years, which uses machine learning to personalize menus and recommend items. They also dropped just under $4MM to take a nearly 10% stake in Plexure, which powers its mobile app in 48 countries outside the U.S.

So with three tech deals to manage, McDonald's determined it's time to create a tech incubator of sorts. The Silicon Valley-based group will be called McD Tech Labs with the Apprente team as the group’s founding members. In a press release, McDonald's said it "expects to grow its presence in Silicon Valley with the hiring of additional engineers, data scientists and other advanced technology experts."

With all of this technology coming to McDonald's, let's hope Ronald McDonald doesn't end up becoming a robot as well.

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