• Market Crumbs

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.


Leftover Crumbs

  • Exactly four months after it went public, Uber has announced layoffs for the second time in less than two months. With the stock -20% from its IPO price, the company is ramping up cost-cutting efforts. They laid off about 400 people in the marketing department in late July. They announced a further 435 people from the engineering and product teams are now being let go.

  • With the price of many items and necessities going up faster than wages, companies in the streaming space are outdoing each other with lower prices. Apple announced its Apple TV+ will debut in November at $4.99 per month, undercutting Disney+, Hulu and Netflix.

  • Violating labor laws will cost extra, is that OK? NYC has sued Chipotle for violating the city’s “Fair Workweek” law. They allegedly didn't provide schedules two weeks in advance or get consent for last-minute changes.

  • Happy Birthday, now leave. After resigning as CEO in 2013, Jack Ma, the co-founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, celebrated his birthday by officially stepping down as chairman after 20 years at the company.

  • If you are feeling nauseas, please use the sickness bag in front of you. Boeing’s August deliveries dropped 72% year-over-year, with total deliveries so far this year falling 40%. The world's largest aerospace company continues to deal with the fallout from the grounding of the 737 MAX, which had two fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.