McDonald’s has announced a strategic expansion with Accenture to integrate generative AI technology across its restaurants worldwide.

The initiative will focus on improving operational efficiency, customer service and employees’ digital skills.

The collaboration will focus on leveraging technology to streamline restaurant operations and enhance the dining experience.

The restaurant giant aims to accelerate automation innovation, enabling restaurant managers to swiftly address and solve operational challenges.  

The initiative will bolster McDonald’s technology team, with Accenture providing learning and development programmes to upskill employees in AI, data and edge computing [the deployment of computing and storage resources at the location where data is produced].

It will also support McDonald’s technology strategy which aims to leverage scale to unlock faster and more efficient services for customers.

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This includes expediting automation innovation from equipment manufacturers. It will help restaurant managers quickly identify issues and find solutions to reduce business disruptions and address complex situations for restaurant staff, while customers can benefit from better service.

Accenture will provide training and support services to McDonald’s workforce to make employees adept in AI, data and edge computing skills.

McDonald’s global chief information officer Brian Rice stated: “To unlock the opportunity in our ongoing digital investments, we chose Accenture, our long-time partner who has helped us build our digital foundation, to work with us on this next phase of innovation.

“Accenture’s deep understanding of our business, our industry, and, of course, technology, will allow us to leverage the full potential of the cloud and generative AI solutions by implementing advanced practices to quickly leverage those technologies as well as to nurture and empower the talent within our organisation.

“Lifelong learning and digital upskilling are at the heart of our culture and long-term growth plans – and embedding this across our workforce will enable greater business agility and performance.”

In December 2023, McDonald’s announced plans to expand its network to 50,000 restaurants worldwide by 2027.

It operated 40,275 restaurants at the end of 2022.  

As part of this expansion plan, the business will launch CosMc’s, a new network of small-format stores with an emphasis on cold beverages.