McDonald's goes shopping in Silicon Valley

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McDonald’s is shopping in Silicon Valley. Not for new burger creations or breakfast foods but help with digital marketing and design.

The Oak Brook fast-food giant has opened an office in San Francisco and is aggressively recruiting people for digital marketing, media and design jobs, AdAge.com reports. Chief digital officer Atif Rafiq pushed to open the office.

McDonald’s and its competitors want to develop a do-it-all mobile app that’s easy to use for customers and not too costly for restaurant operators. The company in January expanded the test of its McD App, which allows users to order meals but not pay for them. The app also notifies users about food and drink deals.

Mobile ordering is a top draw for restaurant apps but RestaurantApps.org says businesses like them for building brand loyalty and surveying customers too. The limited area where the McD App works and lack of a payment feature has left it open for criticism. Businessweek called the app “the digital version of fliers in the mail or supermarket circulars.”

And customers at one Southern California restaurant can use a tablet to pick the bun, patty, cheese and toppings for their burgers. No word on when or if the “build your own burger” program will be expanded.


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