McDonald’s trying out AI-powered menu boards

❝ Savory bacon, sweet Donut Sticks and a $5 value meal contributed to better-than-expected U.S. results for McDonald’s Corp. despite negative guest counts in the first quarter…

Going forward this year, McDonald’s said it is pivoting its focus to overall restaurant operations, especially at the drive-thru. McDonald’s said it has deployed menu boards with automated suggestive selling at 700 restaurants through Dynamic Yield. In late March, the Chicago-based chain purchased the decision logic technology company, which uses artificial intelligence to automate the upselling of menu items based on time of day, trending items and weather…

❝ When asked by an analyst where McDonald’s stands on adding a plant-based dish, CEO Steve Easterbrook said his culinary teams are “paying close attention to it.”

“The key for us is to identify the sustaining consumer trends,” he said.

I zeroed in on the plant-based consideration because of the dynamic IPO this past week for BEYOND MEAT. Their CEO emphasized that the simplest advantage they will offer consumers – beside a healthier planet and healthier consumers – is lower prices than meat. I haven’t any confidence in McDonald’s using lower wholesale commodity prices to reduce the tab for consumers. But, I look forward to taking advantage of the difference in the cut-throat world of supermarkets.

And – I wonder at the intelligence of fast food retailers who utilize the tastebud brain-switch of salty or sweet to bump their profits and don’t consider saving money for consumers to be equally compelling.

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