McDonald’s has agreed to sell its McD Tech Labs business to tech giant IBM.
McD Tech Labs was created to advance employee- and customer-facing innovations following McDonald’s 2019 acquisition of Apprente.
As part of McDonald’s strategic growth plan – ‘Accelerating the Arches’ – the company is committed to innovation across digital, delivery and drive thru.
It said the deal “will accelerate its efforts to provide an even more convenient and unique customer and crew experience”.
McDonald’s development and testing of automated ordering technology in restaurants has shown substantial benefits to customers and staff.
Moving forward, IBM’s expertise in building customer care solutions with AI and natural language processing will help scale the AOT technology across markets and tackle integrations including additional languages, dialects and menu variations.
AOT will continue to be integrated into McDonald’s highly secure technology ecosystem.
IBM and McDonald’s said they are both committed to adopting AI responsibly by embedding ethical principles into AI applications and processes to build systems based on trust and transparency.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. It is expected to close in December 2021. Upon closing, the McD Tech Labs team will become part of the IBM Cloud & Cognitive Software division.