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McDonald's putting AI drive-thru ordering service on ice

McDonald's putting AI drive-thru ordering service on ice

McDonald's is putting its AI drive-thru ordering trial on ice.

The fast-food giant teamed up with IBM in the US to utilize the revolutionary, yet controversial technology to take orders instead of human employees over two years, but according to Restaurant Business, the automated service will end “no later than July 26th, 2024."

Mason Smoot, chief restaurant officer for McDonald’s USA, said in an email circulated to the franchises and obtained by the trade publication: “While there have been successes to date, we feel there is an opportunity to explore voice ordering solutions more broadly.

“After a thoughtful review, McDonald’s has decided to end our current partnership with IBM on AOT and the technology will be shut off in all restaurants currently testing it no later than July 26, 2024.”

It will then make “an informed decision on a future voice ordering solution by the end of the year.”

However, the chain is still confident that a "voice-ordering solution" is possible.

In a statement to the outlet, McDonald's said: “As we move forward, our work with IBM has given us the confidence that a voice-ordering solution for drive-thru will be part of our restaurants’ future.

“We see tremendous opportunity in advancing our restaurant technology and will continue to evaluate long-term, scalable solutions that will help us make an informed decision on a future voice ordering solution by the end of the year.”

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