Drive-Thru At McDonald Is Driven By AI To Take Orders


“McDonald’s Drive-Thru Sign” by Random Retail is licensed under CC BY 2.0

By: Kevin Le, Reporter

Why Are McDonald Drive-thru Driven By AI?

McDonald’s is testing out artificial intelligence in a Chicago suburb’s drive-thru in order to keep up with the high demand and to increase efficiency. The plan is to replace McDonald workers with voice-based technology, because slow service, long lines and wrong orders have threatened their sales. The new AI’s voice has a feminine tone, sounding a lot like Siri or Alexa. According to CNN, in 2019 the average McDonald’s drive-thru order took six minutes and 18 seconds to complete, last year though, the fast-food corporation trimmed it down to five minutes and 49 seconds.

Is McDonald The Only Company Doing This?

With over 14,000 McDonald’s locations around America, most of them include a drive-thru lane, giving McDonald more of an advantage than any of its competitors. Drive-thrus account for a larger amount of fast-food sales than ever before due to Covid-19 closing indoor dining, so the need for increased sales for major chains has become the number one priority. So much so that Shake Shack is opening its first drive-thru this summer to make up for the chain’s lost wages. Companies like Burger King, and White Castle have also been investing more in technology like artificial intelligence upgrades than ever before since Covid-19. The chains have been experimenting with things like smart menu boards, Alexa-like assistants, automated ordering and payment processes, and even payments driven by facial recognition.


“I go to McDonald’s every day. But I don’t eat much.”

Brandy Norwood

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