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05/27/2021

Yum! Brands continues devouring AI companies

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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The latest artificial intelligence (AI) technology acquisition for Yum! Brands is a provider of food prep and delivery solutions.

Yum! Brands Inc. has entered into a binding agreement to acquire Australian technology corporation Dragontail Systems Ltd. by way of a $72.4 million all-cash share scheme of arrangement in accordance with Australian corporate law. If successfully implemented, the addition of Dragontail to Yum! Brands’ growing technology portfolio is intended to give Yum! Brands the ability to scale Dragontail’s AI kitchen order management and delivery technology globally.

Dragontail’s AI-based platform is focused on optimizing and managing the entire food preparation process, from order through delivery. The solution automates the kitchen flow, combined with the process of dispatching drivers. The technology can also operate with outside food delivery partners. 

In addition, Dragontail’s platform offers consumer-facing capabilities that enable customers to track their order. Yum! Brands’ purchase of Dragontail would also bring other emerging Dragontail technologies in-house.

This agreement marks at least the fourth major AI-based technology acquisition Yum! Brands has entered in the past 14 months. In March 2021, the company acquired Israeli omnichannel ordering and marketing solutions provider Tictuk Technologies and marketing performance analytics technology provider Kvantum Inc. And in March 2020, Yum! purchased Heartstyles, which offers an AI-based omnichannel leadership development program. 

Yum! Brands currently leverages Dragontail’s platform across nearly 1,500 Pizza Hut restaurants in over 10 countries. The company intends to scale and offer Dragontail’s platform to its brands around the world over time.

“With Dragontail, we expect to tap into the power of AI to accelerate and further enhance our delivery technology capabilities, especially at Pizza Hut, and optimize the end-to-end food preparation process,” said Chris Turner, CFO, Yum! Brands.

Yum! Brands expects the acquisition of Dragontail to close by the end of the third quarter of 2021.

Based in Louisville, Ky., Yum! Brands has over 50,000 restaurants in more than 150 countries and territories, primarily operating the company’s brands – KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and The Habit Burger Grill.