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.
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.
Copycat McDonald's Recipes That Let You Skip the Drive-Thru
A crispy coating mix is the secret ingredient that dresses up these baked hamburgers. You bake them in the oven instead of grilling or frying. I like to use a sweet and spicy steak sauce for the best flavor. —Mike Goldman, Arden Hills, Minnesota
An even tastier way to eat fries! The addition of Parmesan and garlic makes this side dish simple irresistible. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
Save a sleeve of Girl Scout cookies for this creamy milkshake that's fun for kids and adults, too. —Shauna Sever, San Francisco, California
My 3-year-old went through a chicken-nuggets-and-french-fries-only stage, so I made these golden nuggets for him. Even the grown-ups like them! —Amanda Livesay, Mobile, Alabama
Go on a burger road trip in your own backyard. Grill the patties and load them sky-high with your favorite toppings. For instance, peanut butter and bacon make them southern style; coleslaw and tomatoes,
a northern version. —Susan Mahaney, New Hartford, New York
I turned classic breakfast sandwiches into something heartier that you could even enjoy for dinner. We pile toppings like salsa and avocado—mayo and ketchup, too—on the homemade biscuits. —Fay Moreland, Wichita Falls, Texas
This fast, easy mustard with rice vinegar and honey has more flavor than any other honey mustard dressing I've ever tried. —Sharon Rehm, New Blaine, Arkansas
You can use any type of bread or roll for this sandwich. We like the ciabatta, but have used other breads and rolls, whatever I might have handy. You can also pan fry the chicken if you can't get to a grill.—Debbie Speckmeyer, Lakewood, California
Cool off with a thick and rich treat that will remind you of a malt shoppe! Nothing can beat this strawberry shake recipe. —Kathryn Conrad, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
I found this fluffy and easy pancake recipe among our old family favorites and adapted it to make a small amount. It's quick and easy to prepare, but we still consider it a special treat. —Eugene Presley, Council, Virginia
These strips are designed for kids, but tasty enough for company. The tender strips are moist and juicy and would also be great on a salad. —Becky Oliver, Fairplay, Colorado
I've never cared that much for store bought barbecue sauce. I just like to make things myself from scratch including this spicy, deep red-brown sauce. You'll find it clings well when you slather it on grilled meat. —Helena Georgette Mann, Sacramento, California
A slow cooker turns day-old cinnamon rolls into a comforting, old-fashioned dessert. It tastes wonderful topped with lemon or vanilla sauce or whipped cream. —Edna Hoffman, Hebron, Indiana
Perfect for a weekday dinner or cozy weekend meal, this recipe makes fall-off-the-bone tender meat with delicious flavor. —Margaret Luchsinger, Jupiter, Florida
This knockout shredded pork makes a healthy, delicious and hearty salad with black beans, corn, cotija cheese and plenty of fresh greens. —Mary Shivers, Ada, Oklahoma
I tasted muesli on a trip to Switzerland, and when I came home, I made it my way. Keep things interesting (and avoid midmorning munchies) by adding different fruits and nuts every day. —Maddie Kirk, Springfield, Pennsylvania
The seasoned breading of this hearty sandwich turns mild-flavored cod or halibut into a taste sensation, and the creamy sauce just keeps it going! —Mildred Caruso, Brighton, Tennessee
Here’s a traditional sauce worth making from scratch. It makes the meal feel very special, and guests are always impressed. You might never buy the bottled stuff ever again.
—Roger Slivon, Genesee Depot, Wisconsin
This is a great kid-friendly recipe that takes only 20 minutes to prepare and cook.—Sharon Haswell, Cheshire, Massachusetts
Every family has a burger of choice, and this is ours. It's stacked tall with bacon and crunchy onion rings. —Paula Homer, Nampa, Idaho
The best time for this dessert is midsummer, when the blueberries are thick in our northern woods. Red raspberries can be added to the mixed berries, too, to brighten the patriotic colors.—Anne Theriault, Wellesley, Massachusetts
My husband and I love fried fish, but we're both trying to cut back on dietary fat. I came up with this oven-baked version. He likes it as much as deep-fried fish, so I know it's a winner. —LaDonna Reed, Ponca City, Oklahoma