McDonalds Buys Dynamic Yield For $300 Million to Bring Big Data to Drive-Thru

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“In a testament to the value of personalization, McDonald’s announced plans to acquire an Israel-based startup that uses data to serve up personalized offers to customers. According to people familiar with the matter, McDonald’s will acquire Dynamic Yield for upwards of $300 million.

The acquisition will inject technology into multiple areas of the traditional fast food restaurant, starting with a core feature: the drive-thru. McDonald’s tested the technology in a Miami location, where, according to Wired, the company’s algorithms took real-life factors like weather and traffic into account, suggesting appropriate menu items.

Thanks to new technology, restaurants collect plenty of data. But the practical application of that data is big business, and McDonald’s is seizing that opportunity with the Dynamic Yield buy.

“Upon closing of the acquisition, McDonald’s will begin to roll this technology out in the drive thru at restaurants in the United States in 2019 and then expand the use to other top international markets,” the company said in a statement on the news. “McDonald’s will also begin work to integrate the technology into all of its digital customer experience touchpoints, such as self-order kiosks and McDonald’s global mobile app.”

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Michelin-Starred Kyo Ya’s Longtime Chef Is Leaving to Open His Own Restaurant

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“Kyo Ya has been open since 2007, one of the first kaisekis in the city before the influx of Japanese restaurants — serving an eight-course seasonal menu for $150 with ingredients from all over Japan, including raw fish like whelk, sea eel, and abalone. Times critic Pete Wells gave the restaurant a three-star review in 2012, praising Sono’s mastery of seasonal ingredients, and it’s been awarded a Michelin star for many years.

Despite its critical acclaim, the restaurant has remained a bit of a hidden gem, bearing no signage for its lowkey subterranean space. In 2015, it also spurred a French-Japanese spinoff called Autre Kyo Ya, which has since closed. Eater has reached out to the restaurant’s ownership for details on what’s next for Kyo Ya.”

“Chikara Sono — the executive chef who led acclaimed East Village Japanese restaurant Kyo Ya to a Michelin star — is leaving the restaurant after 12 years of cooking up a multi-course kaiseki menu of raw and hot small plates. The star chef plans to open his own restaurant. Sono tells Eater that he’s leaving on March 31 in order to open a restaurant of his own; he has already started scouting spaces. In the meantime, Sono will do catering and consulting.”

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Thomas Keller’s Hudson Yards Restaurant Is Now Taking Reservations

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“Reservations are now live for Thomas Keller’s big Hudson Yards debut TAK Room — but alas, the first three weeks available have already booked up for tables for 2 or more at the mid-century American restaurant. A solo diner has several selections, though. The restaurant, which seats about 180, also accepts walk-ins. Eater has reached out to the team for info on how many spaces are reserved for that.

Perhaps most unexpected, TAK Room’s Resy page claims that people will spend just about $50 per person on a meal at the fifth- and sixth-floor restaurant at the Shops at Hudson Yards. That would be a downright steal for any fine dining restaurant, let alone a Keller one that’s being marketed as glamorous and elegant.

But word is that the TAK Room menu is similar in content and pricing to the one at the Surf Club, Keller’s spendy Miami restaurant that also serves continental cuisine. There, a Caesar salad costs $20 and a ribeye costs $75, according to an online menu. Still, it’s a far cry from the cost of dining at the chef’s other NYC restaurant Per Se, which currently charges $355-per-person for a tasting menu before wine. Eater has reached out to the Keller team for more info on pricing TAK as well.

Keller has insisted that he wants this restaurant to be “fun.” Champagne carts and live music are planned in the dining room, which has views of the $25 billion development, deep green chairs,velvet banquettes, white tablecloths, and a spiral staircase.”

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Simple Roast Makes It Look Easy in Auburn, New York

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“Snagging a quick cup of coffee from a drive-through on the daily commute is a simple pleasure upon which many Americans depend. In Auburn, New York, Simple Roast is adding quality to the basic equation.

A second Simple Roast drive-through kiosk held its grand opening earlier this month, and owner Matt Peirson now believes he has enough skilled baristas at each location that he can devote the majority of his attention to the fire-engine-red Ambex YM-10 roasting machine inside the company’s 700-square-foot roastery, office and storage facility.

Three years ago, prior to opening any drive-throughs, Simple Roast sold its beans at area farmers markets, running through about 50 to 60 pounds per week. Now with two kiosks and a wholesale operation, the company runs through more than ten times as much from its headquarters in the picturesque city in New York’s Northern Finger Lakes region.”

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Inside Williamsburg’s New All-Day Restaurant Gertie

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“In its bright, 70-seat space, Gertie — which opened over the weekend at 357 Grand St., at Marcy Avenue — will eventually serve an all-day menu built around its rotisserie, dedicated to roasted meats and vegetables. The setting and service style are casual: Orders get placed at the counter, but there’s still an element of table service when it comes to refilling drinks and bussing. There’s also a full bar program to come, the restaurant billing itself as both a luncheonette and a liquor bar.

Adler went to business school and was on the finance track when he started dabbling in the restaurant world by starting his own business in college. It was a take-out and delivery-only service for University of Pennsylvania students that mimicked home-cooked meals. After school, he decided to go all-in on hospitality and got a job at Danny Meyer’s Blue Smoke, working as a bus boy and then a floor manager. A couple years later, he partnered with fellow Danny Meyer vet Jonah Miller to open Huertas, East Village’s Basque tapas restaurant.”

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New NYC restaurants include Pastrami Queen, Black Seed Bagels expansions

You can now get Pastrami Queen's corned beef

Pastrami Queen

“The longtime Jewish deli has added a second Manhattan location. Like the Upper East Side location, the new Times Square joint will serve Jewish staples like corned beef and brisket sandwiches, matzo ball soup and latkes. The outpost will also exclusively offer an all-day breakfast menu with items such as pastrami and eggs and Belgian waffles.”

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Halal Guys, Wetzel’s Pretzel partner with Kitchen United

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Kitchen United, which offers off-premise kitchen centers for brands and franchises, now has two new partners as well as a new restaurant concept. Halal Guys and Wetzel’s Pretzels are now partners with Kitchen United, which also launched Fresgo, a fast Italian offering serving out of the Pasadena, California kitchen center.

The Halal Guys and Fresgo are now available for pickup, delivery and catering from the off-premise kitchen space, with Wetzel’s Pretzels officially opening April 1, according to a press release. Kitchen United’s Pasadena kitchen center opened last year and is home to Canter’s Deli, AmazeBowls, Cheat Day, Grilled Cheese Heaven, Mama Musubi and The Pizza Plant.

“One of Kitchen United’s goals from the beginning has been to leverage our collective restaurant experience to help our restaurant partners take a leadership position in delivery, a fast emerging growth opportunity in the industry,” said Jim Collins, Kitchen United CEO, in the release. “As a team of restauranteurs, we are thrilled to launch Fresgo in order to provide valuable insight and learnings to our partners. We are very pleased to add The Halal Guys and Wetzel’s Pretzels to our family of restaurant partners in order to help them expand their reach into the Pasadena market.”

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