Innovation on the Menu: McDonald's Pairs Up with Google Cloud for Fusion of Cloud Tech and AI

By Greg Tavarez, TMCnet Editor  |  December 13, 2023

Ah, McDonald's, the golden arches that beckon with promises of quick, greasy-good indulgence. It's more than just a fast-food joint; it's a cultural icon, a guilty pleasure haven. The unmistakable aroma of salty fries and sizzling burgers wafts through the air. The anticipation of sinking your teeth into a perfectly imperfect Big Mac or those crispy chicken nuggets is a universal experience.

Sure, it might not be everyone's ideal cuisine, but there's a certain nostalgic charm in surrendering to the comforting familiarity of those red-and-yellow wrappers from one of its 40,000+ locations in more than 100 countries.

To have that many locations in that many countries, McDonald’s is surely doing something right when it comes to its food and marketing. But what about its digital side?

McDonald’s prides itself on being one of the more sophisticated and productive in the industry. Its mobile app quickly became popular with more than 150 million members, and that member count is expected to continue to rise. There are also the self-service kiosks in restaurants worldwide that allow customers to digitally order and customize their meals to their liking.

With that said, McDonald's is set to create even better experiences for its customers, restaurant teams and employees through a new multi-year partnership with Google (News - Alert) through connecting Google Cloud technology across thousands of its restaurants worldwide.

McDonald's will adopt edge computing technology from Google Cloud for its various platforms. Leveraging Google Cloud's edge computing capabilities, McDonald's aims to gain valuable insights into equipment performance, address issues proactively to minimize business disruptions and simplify operations for restaurant teams.

Also, the implementation of Google Distributed Cloud, a comprehensive hardware and software solution, is slated for deployment across thousands of McDonald's establishments. This move allows the restaurants to utilize cloud-based software applications and their proprietary software and AI solutions on-site as required.

"We see an opportunity for growth in our digital business and our partnership with Google Cloud allows us to capitalize on this," said Brian Rice, McDonald's Executive Vice President and Global Chief Information Officer. "Connecting our restaurants worldwide to millions of datapoints across our digital ecosystem means tools get sharper, models get smarter, restaurants become easier to operate and the overall experience for our customers and crew gets even better."

By embracing these innovations, McDonald's positions itself as the leading global foodservice retailer utilizing Google Distributed Cloud's cutting-edge features, with plans to commence hardware and software upgrades for thousands of restaurants in the coming year.

In addition, a dedicated Google Cloud team in Chicago will work in close proximity to McDonald's global innovation center, known as Speedee Labs. The team will focus on applying generative AI across key business priorities to power exciting new experiences for crew and customers. 

"Google Cloud will help McDonald's seize on new opportunities to transform its business and customer experiences," said Thomas Kurian, Google Cloud's CEO. "Pairing the iconic brand, size and scale of McDonald's with Google Cloud's deep history in AI and technology innovation will redefine how this industry works and what people expect when they dine out."

Edited by Alex Passett
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