McDonald’s latest tech move aims to bring voice-based, conversational ordering to the dining experience
McDonald’s Corporation announced that it has entered an agreement to acquire voice-based technology provider Apprente, marking the company’s second tech acquisition this year. In April, McDonald’s bought personalization and decision logic technology Dynamic Yield which it plans to have working in all U.S. and Australian drive-thrus by the end of this year. These moves indicate that the fast-food chain is ready to deliver a tech-driven dining experience to its customers.The Apprente team will join McDonald’s Corporation as the founding members of an internal group within McDonald’s Global Technology Team called McD Tech Labs. According to McDonald’s, it expects to grow its presence in Silicon Valley by hiring additional engineers, data scientists and other advanced technology experts.Why we should careThe combination of Apprente’s voice-based conversation technology with Dynamic Yield’s personalization technology, McDonald’s customers could soon have a very different experience when placing an order. And as one of the largest and most visible brands in the world, McDonald’s could very well set a new standard for fast food and could increase customer expectations for more personalized interactions across the food industry.The expansion of McDonald’s corporate footprint in Silicon Valley will likely attract top talent through recruitment and innovation.“McDonald’s commitment to innovation has long inspired our team. It was quite clear from our various engagements that McDonald’s is leading the industry with technology” said Itamar Arel, Ph.D., co-founder of Apprente and Vice President of McD Tech Labs. “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.” More on the newsApprente was founded in 2017 in Mountain View, California, to create voice-based platforms for complex, multilingual, multi-accent and multi-item conversational ordering.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.Dynamic Yield’s decision technology provides a personalized customer experience that varies by outdoor digital Drive Thru menu displays to show food based on time of day, weather, current restaurant traffic and trending menu items.The decision technology can also instantly suggest and display additional items to a customer’s order based on their current selections. About The Author Jennifer Videtta Cannon serves as Third Door Media’s Senior Editor, covering topics from email marketing and analytics to CRM and project management. With over a decade of organizational digital marketing experience, she has overseen digital marketing operations for NHL franchises and held roles at tech companies including Salesforce, advising enterprise marketers on maximizing their martech capabilities. Jennifer formerly organized the Inbound Marketing Summit and holds a certificate in Digital Marketing Analytics from MIT Sloan School of Management.