McDonald’s is opening up shop in the Bay Area, only this particular establishment won’t sell Happy Meals.
The world’s largest fast-food restaurant has a new office on San Francisco’s Market Street, opened with the intent of creating new digital technology for the company, Ad Age reports.
McDonald’s Chief Digital Officer Atif Rafiq leads the Bay Area operation; he arrived at the company last fall after stints at Amazon, Yahoo, and AOL.
Just recently he oversaw the launch of McDonald’s augmented reality app for the World Cup, and now he’s working with a team of tech minds from companies like PayPal, Facebook, Xbox, and others, Ad Age reports.
Rafiq made sure to point out that the new office isn’t exactly a startup incubator or innovation lab, but rather an office to develop “digital initiatives across every facet of our interactions with customers,” he told Ad Age.
Some goal areas include advancements in brand engagement, e-commerce, and service delivery. McDonald’s has already begun working on mobile ordering systems that would allow customers to tap out an order on a smartphone and then go pick up dinner from a restaurant. It’s tech like this we’re likely to see come out of Mickey D’s Bay Area experiment.
By opening this new office, the fast-food chain joins other national brands, like Target and Wal-Mart, in San Francisco. Target opened up a similar office last spring to work on an augmented reality project and partner with Google and eBay, Reuters reports.
Rafiq says McDonald’s is uninterested in incubating startups, but is open to collaboration and partnerships. He told Ad Age: “I can’t think of a company that doesn’t have something interesting to talk to McDonald’s about.”