Minimum wage hikes = more robots and AI.
Ten McDonald’s restaurants in Chicago are testing automated drive-thrus using voice-ordering AI software.
CEO Chris Kempczinski said the AI technology is 85% accurate and can take 80% of orders.
The company obtained the AI technology in its 2019 acquisition of Apprente.
McDonald’s is also looking to automate its kitchen, including the fryers and grills.
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.
Over the last decade, restaurants have been leaning more into technology to improve the customer experience and help save on labor. In 2019, under former