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Artificial intelligence, big data, smart pricing; thus improves the McDonald’s user experience

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In the services sector, user experience is one of the most important intangible assets of the company. Nevertheless, it is not always clear how the company can act to improve the care provided.

For many restaurants, the user experience is based on the treatment offered and the quality of the food. But that is not all that a catering establishment can propose..

The hospitality industry is plunged into a digital processing unprecedented in the sector that we have been narrating for many years in this newspaper. Changes happen at high speed. In many cases linked to changes in customer consumption habits. It is difficult to perceive the change in the behavior patterns of the clientele if you do not have the appropriate tools. A) Yes, the artificial intelligence and big data (Bid Data) customers have more value than ever for the sector professional.

The technology for restaurants based on digital systems collects large volumes of information. TPV, autopedido kiosks, surveillance cameras, review repositories online, ordering platforms for delivery, social networks, etc. This big data can be analyzed to reveal hidden patterns. The restaurant manager will be able to act on these to make the most of the trends in his premises more efficiently..

Just that's what he's doing McDonald’s. The famous hamburger chain acquired in 2019 the company specialized in AI development Dynamic Yield. It was a transaction valued at 300 million dollars, an amount representative of the value that McDonald’s places in this technology.

Since that year the start-up Israeli has worked on various projects for the hamburger giant.

One of the technologies in which they are investing enormous amounts of effort is the smart price adaptation. It is about making prices liquid and adjusting to the circumstances of each moment. As our director anticipated, Diego Coquillat, At the beginning of the year 2018 in this article “Farewell to fixed prices in restaurants, ready for dynamic and intelligent prices”. To this aspect we must also add the dynamic menus oriented to the upselling.

These new features in operating mode are not limited to sales on-premise or inside the restaurante. Omnichannel is a priority today. In this way, menus of apps mobile, associated food delivery platforms and even drive-thrus vary the items and suggestions on the screen to optimize the restaurant's results.

The artificial intelligence can check the specific circumstances (traffic, weather, hour…) with the consumer's track record to offer a combination with a higher success rate. Is it cold and is it weekend?: combo of BigMac, Deluxe potatoes and hot chocolate. Hot spring day?: McNuggets, quarter pound with cheese, soda and McFlurry. Do we know that the client takes care of his food?: the relevant hamburger, Caesar salad to accompany and drinking water. All recommendations made by AI are executed with the same goal in mind: increase the average amount per ticket benefiting the business.

Consumer needs are not the only ones that these computer systems consider. Whether the program has access to ingredient inventory data, inputs of supplies and sales, so he software is able to eliminate inefficiencies in the kitchen.

This task can be fulfilled in two different ways: alerting when an item is close to being sold out or promoting the exit of articles that alleviate the pantry.

In the first case, McDonald’s tries to avoid that its specialties are not available. There is no major disappointment for a loyal customer of the brand than not being able to enjoy your favorite baked apple pies. Or Happy Meal with collectible. O Snack Wrap. Ask the scriptwriters of Rick & Morty, whose passion for Szechuan sauce launched as a promotion for Disney's blockbuster, Mulan, had to wait almost two decades to be satiated.

A methodology of AI-based smart provisioning it also allows to anticipate adverse meteorological phenomena that may delay the arrival of new stock.

By other band, dynamic menu recommendations can help minimize the amount of food wasted, as well as preventing a product shortage. The letter will make suggestions that alleviate the demand for some items and direct it towards others.. In this way a more or less homogeneous output of the product stored in pantry.

According to the current CEO of McDonald’s, Steve Easterbrook, the hamburger chain has already been analyzing its big data in this way for years. The reform they are undertaking thanks to Dynamic Yield focuses on the communication between different elements of the restaurant and the kitchen to take management to a new level.

As an additional goal, the brand wants to stop targeting its average audience to personalize every interaction with a customer in detail. In this regard, Commented Easterbrook: «How do you go from marketing from mass to mass customization? To achieve this, there is no other than to unlock the information of the ecosystem in a way that is beneficial for the consumer.. When you start to link the predictive nature of customer demand even with the inventory of the restaurant and the kitchen, you can deconstruct it through the supply chain ».

The unique artificial intelligence-based system that McDonald’s plans to put into operation in the short term could be even more powerful. There is the possibility that the recommendations could be made in real time based on the aggregated data of all the brand's points of sale.. In that case, McDonald’s could offer globally the items with the highest demand and highest profit margins at all times.

In addition to revaluing the operation of McDonald’s stores and the user experience of its customers, a system like this would help iterate at high speed the news in the catalog. Both new arrivals and seasonal specialties could be judged with minimal risk to the company. Now the true potential of the Dynamic Yield acquisition in 2019 that is turning McDonald’s into a big tech company.

About the Author

Article by the editorial team of DiegoCoquillat.com. It has professionals both in the field of hospitality, gastronomy and tourism, and new technologies and innovation.

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