McDonald’s to Predict Drive-Thru Orders

The new technology will enhance the chain’s decision-logic prediction capabilities with customers at the drive-thru.

July 31, 2019

CHICAGO—When McDonald’s ponied up $300 million to buy Dynamic Yield earlier this year, many analysts expressed skepticism about the acquisition. Dynamic Yield, a decision-logic company, brings predictability to the chain’s drive-thru menus, QSR Magazine reports.

“We knew we had to evolve with our changing market and consumer dynamics, and we knew incremental progress wasn’t going to cut it,” said CEO Steve Easterbrook of the investment. “We were keenly aware that the pace of change inside McDonald’s [was] being eclipsed by the pace of change outside our business.”

With Dynamic Yield’s software, McDonald’s can personalize the drive-thru experience by switching up outdoor digital displays to showcase items based on weather, status of the drive-thru line, hot menu items or daypart. The customization extends to each order, with the computer suggesting additional items based on the order. The technology has been a hit with employees, who no longer have to remember to upsell.

The technology is used at around 700 U.S. locations but will jump to 8,000 units within two weeks. By the end of 2019, all U.S. and Australian drive-thrus will be integrated with Dynamic Yield’s predictive software.

“I’ve got to say, three months in, couldn’t be more pleased with the integration of Dynamic Yield,” Easterbrook said, “both as a company and as a culture. But also, frankly, getting the capabilities into our restaurants.