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Published on March 29th, 2019 | by Emergent Enterprise


McDonald’s will Use AI to Automatically Tweak Drive-thru Menus

Emergent Insight:

Your next Big Mac may be influenced by Big Data. This post by Kris Holt at Engadget reports on McDonald’s integration of “smart” menus that will change based on various conditions and factors at the locations. This will frequently give customers what they want but also will obviously move products that may have slow sales by moving them into a more prominent place on the menu. Will the fast food giant take the next step and make it even more personalized by recognizing your license plate and then recommend your favorite items? Drive up and see.

Original Article:

When you roll up to a McDonald’s drive-thru in the near future, you might notice the menu changing while you’re ordering to persuade you to buy a few more items. The fast food giant is buying machine learning startup Dynamic Yield for a reported $300 million, and the first stop for the company’s AI is the drive-thru window.

The system will look at factors such as the weather, time, local events, traffic levels at the restaurant and on nearby roads, historical sales data, currently popular items and even what you’re ordering to optimize menu displays at drive-thru windows. It might, for instance, promote the McFlurry or iced coffees on hot days, or suggest simpler items that are faster for employees to prepare if there’s a long line.

McDonald’s tested the AI at several restaurants last year, and executive vice president and global chief information officer Daniel Henry told Wiredhe expects more than 1,000 locations will be using it within the next three months. The system will ultimately reach all 14,000 US restaurants and expand to other markets. McDonald’s also plans to add the AI to self-order kiosks and its mobile app, and perhaps other parts of its business, such as kitchens.

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Emergent Enterprise

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