It can’t be denied that AI is slowly but surely taking over several industries. Many companies are attempting to save money by automating jobs that can be. This includes fast food restaurant giant McDonald’s, who may, over time, be replacing drive-thru workers with artificial intelligence (AI).
McDonald’s Replacing Drive-Thru Workers With AI
According to CNBC, McDonald’s is currently testing out replacing drive-thru workers with AI in 10 locations across Chicago. The move comes after a pandemic that saw a huge increase in drive-thru sales. The company is trying to make the drive-thru process faster, more efficient, and have fewer errors, as well as cost them less money. This is where AI comes in.
“Humans sometimes forget to greet people, they forget, they make mistakes, they don’t hear as well,” Lucy Brady, McDonald’s chief digital customer engagement officer, explained to CNN Business. “A machine can actually have a consistent greeting and remain calm under pressure.”
Not only that but with AI Mcdonald’s can actually help customers out by offering order suggestions or letting customers know what the most popular items are that day. The entire aim is to improve the customer experience.
“We’re really looking systematically at that customer experience and thinking, ‘Where can technology make this better and easier and faster?'” said Lucy.Source: CNN Business
The 10-unit pilot is about 85% accurate and can take about 80% of orders, CEO Chris Kempczinski said in Nation’s Restaurant News. This means that 4 out of every 5 orders can be conducted by the AI without human help. However he stated that,
McDonald’s Corp. is testing automated voice order-taking at about 10 drive-thrus in the Chicago area, company CEO Chris Kempczinski told an investor conference Wednesday. “There is a big leap between going from 10 restaurants in Chicago to 14,000 restaurants across the U.S. with an infinite number of promo permutations, menu permutations, dialect permutations, weather — I mean, on and on and on and on.” In other words, it has a long way to go.
Not The Only Restaurant
McDonald’s is not the first or only restaurant to begin experimenting with AI in their drive-thru. White Castle has begun testing out a system at one of their Indiana locations. Fair Oaks Burger in California uses a facial recognition system that allows customers to pay without using cash or a card.