McDonald’s Buys AI Tech Startup to Customize Shopper Experience

McDonald’s Buys AI Tech Startup to Customize Shopper Experience

The $300 million-plus deal marks the fast-food chain’s biggest acquisition in 20 years.

Over the last several years, the drive-through and in-restaurant displays at McDonald’s have noticeably gone digital, but now the company is embracing technology in a new and even bigger way.

The fast-food giant announced Monday that it is acquiring Dynamic Yield, a startup based in Tel Aviv that uses artificial intelligence to give consumers personalized experiences. The deal is estimated to be worth more than $300 million, according to Wired. That would make it the fast food chain’s largest acquisition in 20 years.

The decision-based technology provided by tech company is expected to give customers a more personalized experience by changing the outdoor digital Drive Thru menu displays to show food based on time of day, weather, current restaurant traffic and trending menu items, according to a release from the company.

Based on a consumer’s selections, the technology also can suggest and display additional items, much like how online retailers highlight what other customers purchased and make suggestions based on that.

“Technology is a critical element of our Velocity Growth Plan, enhancing the experience for our customers by providing greater convenience on their terms,” said Steve Easterbrook, President and Chief Executive Officer, McDonald’s Corporation. “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 personalized experiences for our customers.”


Over the course of 2018, McDonald’s said it tested the technology in several locations across the United States. The company says it plans to start rolling it out across the US in 2019 and then move into international markets.

“We started Dynamic Yield seven years ago with the premise that customer-centric brands must make personalization a core activity,” added Liad Agmon, co-founder and CEO of Dynamic Yield. “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.”

The fast-food giant also plans to integrate this technology into other digital products, like self-serve kiosks and the McDonald’s mobile app.