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How McDonald's is using technology to tell you what you want to eat

Brooke DiPalma
Associate Producer

McDonald’s (MCD) reports earnings on Friday, and it now has the advantage of technology that allows it to personalize menu offerings at its drive-thrus.

The fast-food giant revealed in March that it had acquired a tech platform called Dynamic Yield. In the company’s first-quarter earnings call in April, McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook said Dynamic Yield’s “decision logic tech” had been put in place in 700 locations, Skift Table reported at the time.

“I think it’s going to be helpful for the company,” Bank of America restaurant analyst Greg Francfor told Yahoo Finance’s YFI AM on Thursday. “They’re able to re-invest, they’re able to basically figure out what you as a consumer want and then try to sell things to you.”

“The biggest restaurant companies really have an advantage of scale,” Francfor said. “McDonald’s is flexing that.”

McDonald’s acquired the privately held tech platform Dynamic Yield for reportedly $300 million. The acquisition allows McDonald’s to personalize its drive-thru orders to specific customers by offering suggested items based on time of the day, weather, current restaurant traffic, and trending menu items.

TIANJIN, CHINA - 2018/03/20: A customer bought food from a McDonald's Drive-Thru restaurant. McDonald's has added a 'Food Safety Quality Commission' in China at the end of 2017, and announced that it would open about 2000 new McDonald's restaurants in mainland China in the next five years. (Photo by Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images)

McDonald’s is not the only restaurant chain that’s using technology to personalize the customer experience. Domino’s (DPZrecently announced plans to let consumers track their pizza delivery with GPS. This come after the fast-food pizza chain has also tried delivering with robots and self-driving cars, on top of ordering through car and Alexa devices.

“I think the majority of Domino’s headquarters is actually tech employees,” Francfort says. “It’s not just people selling pizza anymore, it’s people trying to figure out what you want and getting it to you.”

When McDonald’s reports earnings on Friday, analysts are expecting adjusted earnings of $2.05 per share on revenue of $5.33 billion.

Brooke DiPalma is a producer for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @brookedipalma.


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