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McDonald’s has entered into a strategic partnership with IBM to automate drive-through lanes

The vehicle sits in a drive-through lane at a McDonald’s restaurant in Princeton, Illinois.

Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

McDonald’s On Wednesday it said it had entered into a strategic partnership with IBM Develop artificial intelligence technology to help fast food chains automate drive-through lanes.

As part of the deal, IBM will acquire McD Tech Labs, formerly known as Apprente, before McDonald’s acquired a tech company in 2019. McDonald’s does not disclose the financial terms of either transaction.

Chris Kempczinsky, CEO of McDonald’s, said in a financial results briefing with analysts on Wednesday, “IBM is an ideal partner for McDonald’s with expertise in building AI-powered customer care solutions and voice recognition. “.

Apprente technology uses AI to understand drive-through orders.McDonald’s this summer Tested technology at several restaurants in Chicago.. Kempchinsky said the test showed “substantial benefits” to customers and employees.

In June, Kempchinsky shared McDonald’s technology acquisition strategy at the same conference that unveiled the Chicago test.

“If we make an acquisition, it’s a short time, bring it in-house, jump start, turbo, then spin out and find a partner to work and scale for us.” Said.

CFO Kevin Ozan said less than 100 employees will leave McDonald’s to work at IBM.

“I would say it’s a plus or minus, not a big financial statement impact, and then move on,” Ozan said.

McDonald’s share price rose more than 2% in the middle of Wednesday afternoon after the company announced it. Third quarter results.. Fast food chain revenue and revenue exceeded estimates as the international market recovered.

McDonald’s has entered into a strategic partnership with IBM to automate drive-through lanes

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