McDonald’s sets up group to ensure customers like its new tech

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(Bloomberg) --McDonald’s Corp. has set up a team dedicated to digital customer engagement as the world’s biggest restaurant chain seeks to reap the benefits from its technology investments.

The new team will be led by Lucy Brady, Chief Executive Officer Chris Kempczinski said in memo to staff seen by Bloomberg News. The division will lead the chain’s global digital efforts including ordering, personalization, payments, loyalty and delivery, according to the memo. Brady, head of corporate strategy and business development, has helped lead the chain’s delivery efforts with Uber Eats.

McDonald’s is under pressure from franchisees and Wall Street to show better results after hefty technology investments, including the $300 million deal for artificial intelligence startup Dynamic Yield last year, the company’s largest acquisition in two decades. Last quarter, the chain lost momentum in its home market amid more competition from Burger King and Dunkin’ -- both of which are offering plant-based imitation meat.

“Digital is transforming global retail, and it will transform McDonald’s,” Kempczinski said in the memo. The company must accelerate its progress in online and mobile platforms and make sure that its recent investments result in customer engagement and sales growth, he said.

Brady, who will take the role of chief digital customer engagement officer, said the company will use the next 90 days to seek input from other teams, franchisees and suppliers before sharing more detail in early April.

Brady also helped oversee the Dynamic Yield acquisition, “an investment that’s already in restaurants throughout the U.S. and starting to gather steam in additional markets – one that’s tangibly driving check growth,” Kempczinski said.

McDonald’s said in October that predictive technology, which seeks to determine customer ordering and offer relevant items, was in about 9,500 drive-thrus out of its 14,000 U.S. locations.

Bloomberg News