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McDonald's to Acquire Apprente, a Provider of Voice Technology

McDonald's Corporation (MCD) announced an agreement to acquire Apprente, a provider of voice-based, conversational technology. The agreement marks another bold step in advancing employee and customer facing innovations while further strengthening McDonald's technology capabilities. The announcement comes after extensive exploration with several parties, including evaluating Apprente's solutions in McDonald's test restaurants. 

Apprente was founded in 2017 in Mountain View, California, to create voice-based platforms for complex, multilingual, multi-accent and multi-item conversational ordering. In McDonald's restaurants, this technology is expected to allow for faster, simpler and more accurate order taking at the Drive Thru with future potential to incorporate into mobile ordering and kiosks.

The Apprente team will be the founding member of a new, integrated, internal group within McDonald's Global Technology team called McD Tech Labs. Over time, McDonald's expects to grow its presence in Silicon Valley with the hiring of additional engineers, data scientists and other advanced technology experts to join McD Tech Labs to meet future business needs and support deployment.

The latest investment builds on several key technology initiatives McDonald's has introduced in recent years to improve the employee and customer experience.  In April, McDonald's acquired Dynamic Yield, a leader in personalization and decision logic technology, which is now deployed in over 8,000 restaurants in the U.S. with plans to be integrated into nearly all Drive Thrus in the U.S. and Australia by the end of 2019. 

McDonald's will utilize this decision technology to provide an even more personalized customer experience by varying outdoor digital Drive Thru menu displays to show food based on time of day, weather, current restaurant traffic and trending menu items. The decision technology can also instantly suggest and display additional items to a customer's order based on their current selections. 

McDonald's also invested in Plexure, a mobile app vendor, earlier this year to further advance the development of McDonald's Global Mobile App. 

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