McDonald’s To Acquire Conversational Tech Company Apprente

To grow its presence in the Bay Area and integrate teams with advanced technology skills into its business, McDonald’s Corporation announced an agreement to acquire Apprente. The company said in an announcement that the arrangement is another bold step in advancing employee- as well as customer-facing innovations while bolstering the technological capabilities of the chain.

McDonald’s Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook said in the announcement, “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.”

The company also said the team of Apprente will become the founding member of a new integrated group dubbed McD Tech Labs. It noted that, over time, “McDonald’s expects to grow its presence in Silicon Valley with the hiring of additional engineers, data scientists and other advanced technology experts to join McD Tech Labs to meet future business needs and support deployment.”

Easterbrook said in the announcement, “Apprente’s gifted team, and the technology they have developed, will form McD Tech Labs, a new group integrated in our Global Technology team that will take our culture of innovation one step further.”

Founded in Mountain View, California in 2017, Apprente was started to make voice-based platforms for complex, multi-accent, multilingual, and multi-item conversational ordering. Within the restaurants of McDonald’s, the technology is forecast to enable simpler, faster and more accurate order-taking at the drive-thru with the possibility of becoming a part of mobile ordering and kiosks.

The news comes after artificial intelligence-powered personalization platform operator Dynamic Yield announced in March it is being acquired by McDonald’s. In a blog post at the time, Dynamic Yield Chief Executive Liad Agmon said the company will play a critical role in transforming the quick-service restaurant (QSR) company with digital technology so that it can improve customer service.


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