Just two months after McDonald’s spent $300 million to acquire Dynamic Yield, a leader in personalization and decision logic technology, the fast-food giant is making another tech acquisition.
McDonald’s announced September 10 it entered into an agreement with Apprente, an early stage leader in voice-based, conversational technology.
“McDonald’s commitment to innovation has long inspired our team,” Itamar Arel, Ph.D., co-founder of Apprente and vice president of McD Tech Labs, said in a statement. “It was quite clear from our various engagements that McDonald’s is leading the industry with technology. Apprente was borne out of an opportunity to use technology to solve challenging real world problems and we’re thrilled to now apply this to creating personalized experiences for customers and crew.”
Before entering into the deal, McDonald’s tested Apprente’s technology in select units. “In McDonald’s restaurants, this technology is expected to allow for faster, simpler, and more accurate order taking at the Drive Thru with future potential to incorporate into mobile ordering and kiosks,” the company said in a statement.
“Building our technology infrastructure and digital capabilities are fundamental to our Velocity Growth Plan and enable us to meet rising expectations from our customers, while making it simpler and even more enjoyable for crew members to serve guests," McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook said in a statement.
Apprentice is the founding member of McD Tech Labs, “a new group integrated in our Global Technology team that will take our culture of innovation one step further,” Easterbrook said.
Technology will continue to be at the forefront of McDonald’s innovation strategy, Easterbook added. The company plans to build relationships in Silicon Valley and hire engineers, data scientists, and other advanced technology experts to help at McD Tech Labs.
In addition to acquiring Dynamic Yield and Apprente, McDonald’s also invested in mobile app vendor, Plexure, earlier this year.