Retail Insider Breakfast – Philippe Chainieux, CEO of, and Andrew Ellis, head of CRM at McDonald’s

Philippe Chainieux of and Andrew Ellis of McDonald’s

Retail Insider held its latest Breakfast Event of 2019 with Philippe Chainieux, CEO of, and Andrew Ellis, head of CRM at McDonald’s, who described how they are continuously adapting their businesses to satisfy customers in today’s dynamic market.

Philippe highlighted how the pace of change had accelerated as access to technology has become increasingly easy and solutions such as the tools from AWS (Amazon Web Services) are now affordable to all sizes of business.

This was recognised by Andrew who pointed out that this scenario has also made it easier for new competitors to enter the market. It was therefore paramount that established players are proactive in making changes that puts them in a more competitive position.

Senior executives from Amazon, John Lewis, Boots, Pret A Manger, Sofa Workshop and Tossed were among those gathered at The Delaunay in central London to hear how and McDonald’s are developing their models through continuous innovation.

At this has involved the creation of showrooms around Europe that complement its core online presence and incorporate a variety of developing technologies. These solutions are likely to be further enhanced following the recent formation of a Innovation Lab.

“We want to plug into external technologies. We can’t be innovative in all areas so we need other [third-partes] technologies. We’re incorporating the ‘tech scene’ into our business in the same way that we have done with the many product designers we work with,” says Philippe.

For McDonald’s the UK market has been a particularly fertile innovator, according to Andrew, who says such success in specific regions – whether it be around technology, marketing or food development – is being increasingly shared around the globe: “We are being encouraged to share a little bit more and to have hubs through which best practice can be shared.”

Evidence of the company’ intent can be seen from its building-out of a core data platform onto which can be plugged a variety of applications such as a campaign tool and the artificial intelligence decision engine Dynamic Yield that was recently acquired by McDonald’s.


The solution is initially being used to take data points around specific stores such as the local weather, traffic levels and demand for certain products. From this it can determine the insight that can then surface content including recommendations on the menu at its Drive Thru restaurants. Much more is planned in this area.

Retail Insider would very much like to thank Philippe Chainieux and Andrew Ellis as well as the morning’s sponsors Womble Bond Dickinson, PCMS Group, Webloyalty, and H.I. Executive Consulting. Without their much appreciated support this event would not have been possible.

Glynn Davis, editor, Retail Insider