• June 17, 2021

Exclusive: McDonald’s Starts Testing Automated Drive-Thru Ordering

 Exclusive: McDonald’s Starts Testing Automated Drive-Thru Ordering

New submitter DaveV1.0 shares a report from CNBC: At 10 McDonald’s locations in Chicago, workers aren’t taking down customers’ drive-thru orders for McNuggets and french fries — a computer is, CEO Chris Kempczinski said Wednesday. Kempczinski said the restaurants using the voice-ordering technology are seeing about 85% order accuracy. Only about a fifth of orders need to be a taken by a human at those locations, he said, speaking at Alliance Bernstein’s Strategic Decisions conference.

In 2019, under former CEO Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s went on a spending spree, snapping up restaurant tech. One of those acquisitions was Apprente, which uses artificial intelligence software to take drive-thru orders. Kempczinski said the technology will likely take more than one or two years to implement. âoeNow there’s a big leap from going to 10 restaurants in Chicago to 14,000 restaurants across the U.S., with an infinite number of promo permutations, menu permutations, dialect permutations, weather â” and on and on and on,â he said. Another challenge has been training restaurant workers to stop themselves from jumping in to help.

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