The use of AI is reaching restaurants, and this time it’s McDo that’s paying the price. Viral videos on TikTok show failed interactions with the company’s voice AI on Drive kiosks.
Fast-food giant McDonald’s recently deployed intelligent ordering kiosks. The aim of this technological move is to improve the customer experience in its Drives. However, this initiative was marred by a TikTok campaign that quickly spread across social networks.
McDo AI: frustrating voice robots for customers
Fast-food chains like McDonald’s have begun to integrating artificial intelligence (AI) to improve the efficiency of their ordering service. However, some TikTok videos show that this technology can also have shortcomings. Indeed, many McDonald’s customers have expressed frustration with voice robots that take orders over the phone or while driving.
@themadivlog How did I end up a butter #fyp ♬ The Office – The Hyphenate
These customers have encountered difficulties communicating with these voice AIs and sometimes received incorrect orders. Although McDonald’s restaurants still use restaurant staff to take orders, some are using voice assistants to help with order taking.
McDo AI: Voice robots and personalized menus to improve customer experience
McDo has embarked onAI experimentation to improve its ordering service since 2019. The company has thus equipped some of its restaurants with voice AI to assist employees in charge of taking orders at the wheel.
In addition, digital menu boards also use AI to recommend menu items based on food trends or the weather. This can lead to a more personalized customer experience and improved order speed and accuracy.
However, it is difficult to know how many McDonald’s restaurants are using these technologies. It is important for the company to ensure that these voice robots perform well enough to meet customer expectations, and that they do not lead to ordering errors or malfunctions.
Catering becomes automated: voice AIs take over
With the labor shortage in the food service industry, many restaurants are turning to automation and AI to facilitate their operations. Several chains such as Checkers & Rally’s, Taco Bell, Sonic, Panera Bread and Popeyes have begun testing voice robots for drive-through services. Mexican food chain Chipotle, meanwhile, is exploring the use of robots to take telephone orders.
McDonald’s has also adopted a new almost entirely automated restaurant format in Texas. The facility features digital order picking lanes and kiosks for placing orders.
Although some vloggers have raised concerns about restaurant automation, this trend is likely to increase. This is due to the evolution of the foodservice industry in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and staff shortages.