McDonald's drive-through chatbot automated ordering system

McDonald's AI-powered automated ordering system (AOR) uses voice recognition and natural language processing to enable customers to place orders quickly and easily from their cars. 

Based on technologies from voice recognition company Apprente and AI order taking outfit Dynamic Yield, the system was trialed at ten restaurants in Chicago in 2021.

According to McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski, the system is 85 percent accurate and able to take 80 percent of orders. 14,000 sites across the US are expected to use the technology.

The company was said to be largely terminating the system in June 2024.

System 🤖

Documents 📃

Operator: McDonald's/McD Tech Labs/IBM
Developer: McDonald's/McD Tech Labs/IBM
Country: USA
Sector: Travel/hospitality
Purpose: Personalise orders
Technology: Voice recognition; NLP/text analysis; Automated license plate/number recognition (ALPR/ANPR)
Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Privacy; Ethics/values; Employment - jobs
Transparency: Governance; Privacy

Risks and harms 🛑

McDonald’s drive-through chatbot order taker has faced criticism relating to accuracy and privacy, and to its implications for jobs.

Order taking inaccuracies

BIPA class-action lawsuit


Legal, regulatory 👩🏼‍⚖️

Page info
Type: System
Published: December 2021
Last updated: June 2024