McDonald's Customer Frustrated by Drive-Thru Chatbot Experience As Fast Food Companies Plan to Roll Out Across Country

Photo byAdobe/ Licensed by Let's Eat LA

McDonald's is testing artificial intelligence to take orders at their drive-thrus, but it has yet to be smooth sailing.

When one customer, TikTok user, Dal (@that_usa_guy), tried out the new artificial intelligence (AI) system in his local drive-thru restaurant, he got more than he bargained for—and not in a good way.

@that_usa_guy FAIL: The new AI ordering system at McDonald's #mcdonalds #AI #artificialintelligence @McDonald’s Corporate ♬ original sound - Dal JustDal

It took multiple attempts from Dal and an employee who finally stepped in to get the correct order placed.

Dal's video has divided opinion, and the TikTok has racked up over 290,000 views, 18.5k likes and 545 comments.
The TikToker attempts to order two ice creams at the drive thruPhoto byTikTok / @that_usa_guy

In the video, captioned, "FAIL: The new AI ordering system at McDonald's," Dal is heard telling the machine:

"You added bacon to my ice cream, I don't want bacon."

Many other people could relate to how he ordered at the drive thru, while others thought the problem was with him, and took to the comments to express this.

One person said: “Dude you were making it so complicated”

Another added: “This is like my 90 yo grandpa trying to talk to Alexa”.

A third commented: “Works great when you talk to it correctly”.

Meanwhile, someone else noted: "You were talking to it like a person you should have said remove one bacon remove one cone"

While another user said: “What is with all these comments? He was speaking perfectly clearly and AI wasn't getting it”.

"This is what it will be if they get rid of employees," another said.

IBM Joins Forces With McDonalds To Automate Its Drive-Thru Lanes
Drive thru artificial intelligence is 85% accurate, below 95% "human" targetsPhoto byAdobe

McDonald's is about to make some major changes to its drive-thru lanes over the next few years.

The restaurant chain plans to use artificial intelligence-powered drive-thrus that will reduce the number of human employees at each restaurant.

The company has been testing out this technology, and its current accuracy rate is just 85%. That means that for every 100 orders, 15 of them need human intervention.

As reported by CNBC, McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski told a conference this week that the technology will likely take more than one or two years to implement.

“Now 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 — and on and on and on,” Kempczinski said.

McDonald's is not the only fast food company testing out AI in the drive-thru. Wendy's, Sonic and Panera Bread are also trialling the drive-thru chatbot technology, amongst other fast food chains.

The number of McDonald’s restaurants has increased to 13,345 across the country since November 21, 2022 (via Scrapehero). California has the most number of these establishments, with 1,186. The second most number of these is in Texas with 1,124. Florida follows with 854 locations.

Final thoughts

It's not clear whether or not the restaurant workers should be happy about the artificial intelligence in the drive-thru. This could save them from the drudgery of listening to orders, but it could also lead to job cuts as restaurants limit the number of people who can prepare orders.

What do you think about this?

Do you agree with the video? Share your thoughts in the comments and feel free to share this article on social media and with your friends and family if you'd like.

Disclaimer: This article is only for educational and informational purposes.

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Bringing you news and videos from the world of fast food, retail & tech. Follow me for the latest updates. Formerly Let's Eat LA

Los Angeles, CA

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