The Chain Gang

McDonald’s New Menus Monitor the Weather, Trick You Into Spending More Money

Not a great day for a milk shake.
Not a great day for a milk shake. Photo: Anton Golubev/Reuters/Corbis

In addition to cheap mozzarella sticks, McDonald’s announced it will roll out some snazzy new digital menus that display different things based on the weather. Specifically, the systems “monitor temperature outside” and “know which products sell better at hotter or colder temperatures and promote those products,” McDonald’s USA president Mike Andres told investors, adding they’ll be operational in all U.S. locations by the end of next year.

Here’s why the troubled burger chain is really excited about them: The company already tested the digital boards in Canada, and, on average, customers spent more on every transaction than they would have otherwise. Because they’re “smart” menus, they also switch over at each mealtime and push lattes and whatnot at midafternoon snack time, and they’ll show animated images of promotional foods McCorporate wants to sell.

Of course, it’s also possible the algorithm McDonald’s uses won’t be too terribly complex:


McDonald’s Menus Will Change With the Weather