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McDonald’s Looking to Automate Drive-Thrus

Credit: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Wasn’t expecting the AI revolution to go this way…

For the third time this year, the mega fast-food chain, McDonald’s, has reached a new technology deal. This time the deal is centered around an AI company that will help to automate the drive-thru.

The company, Apprente, currently uses artificial intelligence to make sense of drive-thru orders. The goal is to cut down on customer service times. McDonald’s hopes that this technology will help with self-order kiosks and their mobile app.

The employees of Apprente will be the founding members of a brand new group called McD Tech Labs. This group will be housed in McDonald’s global technology team. In March of this year, the company hired Dynamic Yield, which specializes in personalization and decision logic technology. After that deal, almost 8,000 drive-thrus were converted to menus that change based on the time of day, weather, traffic, and even the customer’s order. This is done in order to persuade the customer into spending more money.

The fast-food chain expects to incorporate the Dynamic Yield drive-thru specializations into all stores by the end of the year. McDonald’s also took a stake in Plexure, which is a mobile app vendor.

The company is renovating every store to include digital menu boards, self-order kiosks, and other tech upgrades. McDonald’s is definitely on the technological rise and it shows, as their stocks have been up 22% this year, building on its market value of $167 billion.