McDonald's AI-wing which sets menus based on weather, regional preferences to be partly sold
McDonald’s Corp. said it’s considering selling part of Dynamic Yield, its artificial intelligence start-up that provides personalized digital promotions to consumers.
The decision-logic technology helps its restaurants vary electronic menu boards’ display of items, depending on factors such as the weather, for example more coffee on cold days and McFlurries on hot days. It also factors in variables such as the time of day and regional preferences.
The company works with other clients besides McDonald’s, and that business has grown since the acquisition and now works with 300 other brands globally. The plan under consideration is to sell the part of the business that works with those third parties while keeping the part that serves McDonald’s.
“The potential sale of the non-McDonald’s part of our business has been discussed from the outset and now feels like the right time to explore that possibility,” McDonald’s said in a statement. “We look forward to our continued relationship while continuing to expand the use of Dynamic Yield’s technology at McDonald’s restaurants around the world.”
The plan is in the early stages and the chain may pursue other options for Dynamic Yield, which it bought two years ago for more than $300 million, marking its largest acquisition in decades.
Dow Jones earlier reported the plans.
Following the acquisition of Dynamic Yield, McDonald’s executives called it a central part of the company’s evolving digital strategy. Still, it faced pressure from franchisees and Wall Street to show better results after from its technology investments -- part of a push by former Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook, who was ousted in 2019.