Your McDonald’s Drive-Thru Experience Is About to Change—Here’s How

Yes, I'll take...one of everything, please!

The COVID-19 pandemic brought a lot of changes to restaurants. Since many casual restaurants had to close their doors and switch to take-out only, people were ordering fast food even more than usual! Because the “grab-and-go” factor is already a perk of fast-food restaurants, it was basically a no-brainer for those who hoped grab a meal and maintain social distancing.

Now, McDonald’s, one of the pioneers of modern fast food, has decided to step it up when it comes to efficiency and consistent service. Somewhere in a Chicago suburb, an AI is currently taking drive-thru orders!

This Could Be the McFuture

The McDonald’s app was supposed to help with convenience and shorter wait times, but it wasn’t enough for the golden arches. There are over 14,000 McDonald’s locations in the US alone. 95% of those restaurants include a drive-thru lane, which means a lot of us are expecting to be able to drive-up and get our McNuggets, STAT.

The AI drive-thru may be able to help. The voice itself is described as female, similar to Alexa or Siri. It’s connected to a digital menu, and can even suggest food if you’re unsure about what to order.

@soupmaster2000😳😱This is the most dystopian thing I have ever seen in the 27 years of my life. 2020 is crazy. #2020 #mcdonalds #food #weird #fyp #TikTokRecipe

♬ original sound – Julia

It can be a bit unsettling to hear a robotic voice greet you instead of the voice of a human employee, but if McDonald’s rolls this out at all locations, it will be something we get used to. Just another bit of tech to add to the daily modern age!

Will This Help with Drive-Thru Times?

Yes! The idea is that the AI will take care of the orders and allow human employees to focus on accuracy and quality of the food items. Fast-food places are always looking to speed up their service to contend with their competitors. Hopefully an AI drive-thru will help with this, even if it’s just a minute or two of difference! It can also be a great outlet for those who suffer social anxiety and find it difficult to speak with human employees.

All I can say is…I’m on my way to order a Shamrock Shake.

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Melany Love
Melany has been writing food news for Taste of Home for four years. Her knowledge of current culinary trends comes from her extensive time spent on FoodTok and scouring Instagram for any unusual food, charcuterie design or coffee shop creation. Apart from freelancing, she has worked at bookstores like Barnes & Noble and Half Price Books and as a barista. She has always wanted a career in writing, and got her start at Taste of Home. When she’s not working, Melany is playing the latest video game, curled up with a book or spending time with her cats.