It’s not about packaging or troubled franchisees or breakfast. It’s about how McDonald’s is trying to better understand and get closer to the consumer.
McDonald's has acquired Dynamic Yield, a very interesting acquisition of a high-tech company that specializes in recommendations based on machine learning, gathering data about customers that then auto-generates recommendations based on what customers are looking for or have purchased in the past.
Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s CEO, in a video explained why the company paid a reported $300 million to acquire Dynamic Yield.
He says that McDonald's will deploy Dynamic Yield's technology to try to sell you more things using customer data instantly. McDonald's claims drive-thru stations will be able to adjust what they display based on weather, time of day and "trending" menu items.
Go to McDonald's on a hot day and it might recommend a frozen treat to you, for example. McDonald's would ideally use the technology to get customers to buy things they didn't know they wanted. Sounds just like Amazon.
McDonald's, according to Mashable, did limited test runs of these techniques in 2018 and apparently liked the results enough to extend it to its entire business. Mashable goes on to say that it's not hard to believe that data-driven recommendations would drive up sales.
It’s a tech-driven solution much like New York's bodegas displaying umbrellas near the front door on rainy days. Just imagine what a supermarket could do with over 40,000 products available.