McDonald's is investing heavily in technology solutions. Source: Shutterstock.

McDonald’s is investing heavily in technology solutions. Source: Shutterstock.

McDonald’s latest move to go digital involves creating specialized teams

FAST-FOOD giant McDonald’s has recently announced the formation of a digital customer engagement team.

Not one to shy away from technology, it is clear that McDonald’s makes every effort to stay agile and integrate technology into daily business operations.

For example, they have been installing digital kiosks in their stores since 2017, changing the way customers order food, and at the same time, increasing revenues.

It has also been expanding food delivery services, and have been making more tech-focused investments.

Their latest venture was the formation of McD Tech Labs, a Silicon Valley-based tech group that aimed to ‘use state-of-the-art AI, Machine Learning, and related technologies to deliver advanced technology solutions that address real-world needs in the McDonald’s Restaurant environment, transforming customer experience’.

The formation of their digital customer engagement team is a timely one.

With everything going digital today, consumers are expecting an experience comparable to the one offered by tech giants such as Amazon, especially where speed, personalization, and efficiency are concerned.

McDonald’s recognizes this, and the digital customer engagement team was formed specifically to address this need.

Some of the responsibilities that fall under the team include digital ordering, personalization, electronic payments, loyalty, and delivery.

In a message sent to CNBC, McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski noted that digitization is redefining how business is being done in the restaurant industry.

He also said that McDonald’s is actively seeking customer feedback when it comes to its digital services.

On this matter, Kempczinski acknowledged that there is still plenty of room for improvement.

“Digital is transforming global retail, and it will transform McDonald’s […] I’ve heard our customer’s feedback, and there is still a lot more work to do to fulfill our digital potential.”

The fast-food giant has also undergone restructuring to align with its goal of using technology to reach customers and drive sales growth.

Those that know about the new team being formed believe that new job roles will be created, and involve the marketing technology and global delivery teams.

The team will be headed by Lucy Brady, who was formerly the senior vice president of corporate strategy and business development for the company.

Businesses have much to learn from McDonald’s.

Firstly, the agility they possess in using technology to stay relevant has served them well, allowing them to thrive in uncertain times.

Secondly, they are brave enough to invest in innovation — which is apparent from their heavy investments in the McD Tech Labs and digital kiosks.

Thirdly, they listen to their customers and act on the feedback they collect.

Finally, they focus on talent, creating relevant roles and finding the skills they need to propel their digital agenda forward.

The reality is that digitization is the only way forward for businesses to survive. Just in the restaurant industry, digital orders have already grown by 23 percent over the last four years, to reach US$26.8 billion in sales.

Ultimately, the faster businesses hop onto the digital bandwagon, the more it would profit them. McDonald’s will definitely continue to grow in the coming months — competitors that don’t invest in technology will struggle to keep up.