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The Power List
Lucy Brady, chief digital customer engagement officer of McDonald’s Corp.

How McDonald's technology investments helped it navigate the pandemic

Chief digital customer engagement officer Lucy Brady talks about outdoor digital menu boards, kiosks and more. Meet the innovative, inclusive and industry changing leaders of the 2021 NRN Power List.

Lucy Brady, chief digital customer engagement officer of McDonald’s Corp., was chosen for the Power List by CEO Chris Kempczinski because she is “a driving force behind some of the most groundbreaking trajectories for our business” Here’s what else Kempczinski had to say:

With an eye toward delivering world-class customer experience and growth, Lucy Brady oversees the Digital Customer Engagement team, leading the charge in creating industry-forward digitally-enabled customer experiences. Time-and-time again, Lucy has demonstrated her ingenuity, integrity, collaborative spirit and people-first mentality in her efforts to build the company’s competitive edge while also creating delicious feel-good moments for everyone. As the driving force behind some of the most groundbreaking trajectories for our business, Lucy oversaw the rapid expansion of McDelivery, quickly growing the business from $1 billion to more than $4 billion in three years. She also led the acquisition of Dynamic Yield, which enables us to leverage machine learning and predictive algorithms to help personalize and further improve the customer experience. As a critical member of our executive team, Lucy is overseeing many of the innovations we are implementing in what we call our 3D’s — Digital, Drive-Thru, and Delivery – all areas with high growth potential for McDonald’s. She embodies the McDonald’s spirit, and her contributions have positively impacted the company, our customers and communities around the world.  

Nation’s Restaurant News talked with Lucy Brady about the importance of listening to customers and responding to the needs of them and their communities. Here’s what she had to say:

What are you most proud of in terms of company leadership and community impact as you look back at the challenges of 2020? 
McDonald's purpose is to feed and foster communities — and that resonated more than ever the past year. I am proud of the role McDonald’s has played in supporting our local communities, whether donating millions of pounds of food or providing hot meals to neighbors and first responders in times of need. Through these interactions, and many others, McDonald’s and our franchise partners have found ways to make a difference in communities around the world.  We see customers seek out companies and innovations that benefit them and their communities, raising the bar for companies like McDonald’s to rise to the challenge. The investments our system has made in digital — for example, our outdoor digital menu boards, mobile ordering capabilities, kiosks, and in technology like Dynamic Yield — are helping us step up to customers’ rising expectations for faster and easier experiences. These efforts have been instrumental in helping us serve our customers through COVID-19. It’s gratifying to be part of the team helping to propel these efforts and innovations forward, especially in these challenging times.


What does leadership and impact mean to you?
[The past] year, more than ever, has highlighted the important role companies and individuals play in creating a vision for the future and helping teams imagine what is possible. There is no one formula for leadership.  Leadership and impact have to flow authentically from what a company values, how it acts and what it does in the world.  It’s vital that as a company we challenge ourselves as leaders, our teams, and our restaurants to go further, to do better and to listen and learn. 

lucy-brady.jpgIn today’s world, when customers’ assumptions around how things should work are shaped by whoever’s doing it best, we must be even more agile in the face of change, and always put the customer and their needs and preferences first. We’ve been setting this precedent for decades, and as such, a commitment to put our customers and people first is firmly embedded in our company’s values. Today’s customers expect us to make a difference on the causes that matter most to them — including serving our local communities; sourcing sustainable, quality ingredients; providing jobs and opportunities to our neighbors; and ultimately, helping to protect our planet and the global community. We believe that when you follow the customer’s lead, good things happen. We’ll continue to lead by putting customers first, and using today’s technology to turn problems into opportunities at a scale unique to McDonald’s.

As you look to the future of foodservice, what excites you?

The impact of the pandemic has brought about a change in consumer behavior that will require the entire foodservice industry to continually evolve to meet the needs of customers. People are taking out more, whether through Drive Thru, McDelivery, or contactless curbside pick-up; they are relying on digital devices, with heighted expectations of the service they receive; and putting greater emphasis on personalization and speed of service. At McDonald’s, we’re responding to meet those needs by doubling down on what we refer to as the 3 Ds: digital, delivery and Drive Thru. As a key part of our growth strategy, this vision leverages our competitive strengths and builds on the groundwork that has been laid over the last years. I’m looking forward to further enhancing our digital offerings and experiencing first-hand the continued evolution of quick service in 2021.

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