Digital Transformation in Food and Beverage Industry: How McDonald’s Embraces Customer Centricity in Their Digital Transformation Journey
Agus Setiawan

PhD candidate and result-oriented Director with 25 years experience with involvement in all levels of Business Strategy, Sales and Marketing, Managing Project and Product Development. Aside of managing a company, he is also the best corporate trainer and public speaker in seminar and conference.

Digital Transformation in Food and Beverage Industry: How McDonald’s Embraces Customer Centricity in Their Digital Transformation Journey

McDonald's, the world's largest fast-food restaurant chain, was a forerunner in tech-driven innovation, from the drive-thru to self-service kiosks. Today, it’s currently paving the way into the metaverse and beyond!

Digital Transformation in Food and Beverage Industry

Is it critical?

Before jumping into McDonald’s digital transformation story, let’s review a little bit about digital transformation. Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology across all functions of an organization, and it significantly alters how you do business and provide value to customers. Due to technological advancement, the food and beverage industry have undergone a great deal of change in a short period of time. The COVID-19 epidemic also put their operation to the test.

Is it critical for them to transform digitally? Yes, it really is.

All companies in food and beverage industry need to increase their efforts for digital transformation. They need to concentrate on maximizing the efficiency of their processes and strengthening the resilience of their operation. Not only for surviving the pandemic challenge, but it is also to emerge stronger and prepared for potential future challenges.

Not to mention, having the right technology on your side is the best way to prepare for the future and stay ahead of the curve as further changes occur in the food and beverage world. Meanwhile, emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) devices and the blockchain have emerged and are already being applied by food and beverage businesses. You’ll need to be fully equipped to get the edge on the competition as the industry continues its steady growth.

Digital transformation can be very beneficial for food and beverage industry in terms of the following:

  • Decreased costs
  • Streamlined operations
  • Optimised resource management
  • Reduction in human errors
  • Better customer experience

How McDonald’s Embraces Customer Centricity in Their Digital Transformation Journey

Digital transformation is not only the adoption of new technology but strategies and skills. In the end, a business model will need to be redesigned with an emphasis on digital at its core. For one example of successful digital transformation in food and beverage industry, look no further than McDonald’s.

McDonald’s secret sauce is transformation.

McDonald’s have a vision that focuses on making their customers' entire dining experience—from beginning to end—more pleasurable and easier. They devise strategies to enhance the procedure at each point of contact by imagining it from the perspective of their customers.

Surely, we all must have visited and utilized a McDonald's self-service kiosk. The most noticeable aspect of McDonald's extensive digital transformation is certainly these kiosks. Years later, most stores have undergone the transition. With all these emerging technologies lingering around us, what does McDonalds’s do to embraces customer centricity in their digital transformation journey?

1. AI-Driven Touch-Screen Ordering System

Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the food and beverage industry! McDonald's offers AI-powered voice recognition ordering systems using artificial human voices and natural language processing algorithms to take orders. Inside its restaurants, McDonald’s also offers dynamic menu boards using AI to tailor the items on offer in real time.

2. McDonald's in the Metaverse

Metaverse is an alternative and shared virtual world that tries to replicate reality using Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) devices. In this digital world, people socialize, meet up, shop, eat and play. McDonald's has applied for patents to establish virtual restaurants. McDonald’s expects that just as teens prefer to meet and hang out in restaurants, they will also be interested in logging into virtual reality (VR) where they can talk and order food and drink deliveries to their homes.

Just like what Chris Kempczinski, CEO of McDonald's, said, “There is no question that digital is transforming global retail. Across the system, there is great excitement about the role it will play in transforming McDonald’s by strengthening and deepening relationships with our customers”.

Embracing emerging technologies in the digital transformation journey has allowed many food and beverage businesses to increase productivity and satisfy their customers. It changes the way restaurants operate and address new challenges. Remember: adapt or die.

Noble, P. (2022). McDonald's Journey to the Metaverse Through Digital Transformation. Third Stage Consulting. Retrieved from
Mutingwende, B. A. (2022). The Metaverse And Digital Transformation At McDonald’s. Retrieve from
Payne, J. (2022). Why Digital Transformation in the Food Industry Is Imperative. Retrieved from

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