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Select Mcdonald’s stores to have robots replace some employees to improve service

By Brooke Villanueva Published Jun 11, 2021 6:11 pm

Mcdonald’s is looking into technological advancements involving robot-ordering service to make its processes a faster—and much lighter—feat.

In particular, the food chain will be testing out the voice recognition set-up at the drive-thru areas of ten branches in Chicago. Seen to have 85% order accuracy, it can cover four out of five staff in stores. The innovation could, however, take about a year or two to be utilized. 

“Now, there’s a big leap from going to ten restaurants in Chicago to 14,000 restaurants across the U.S., with an infinite number of promo permutations, menu permutations, dialect permutations, weather, and on and on and on,” said Mcdonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski. 

Apart from ordering systems, the food restaurant is also looking into developments in the kitchen like grills and fryers. But Kempczinski doesn’t see it happening within the next five years. “The level of investment that would be required, the cost of investment, we’re nowhere near to what the break even would need to be from the labor cost standpoint to make that a good business decision for franchisees to do,” he explained. 

According to CNBC News, a number of spots in the food and beverage industry have been gearing toward the use of technology as a means "to improve the customer experience and help save on labor" over the past ten years. The news website also noted that the company spent a huge but undisclosed amount of money on artificial intelligence software and other restaurant breakthroughs in 2019.