How is McDonald's adopting AI in its enterprise? Source: Shutterstock

How is McDonald’s adopting AI in its enterprise? Source: Shutterstock

Another feather in Ronald McDonald’s hat: Conversational AI

RECENTLY, McDonald’s acquired a voice-based, conversational AI startup which might just be a game-changer in the fast-food industry.

Capabilities that accrue to the quick-service restaurant (QSR) will enable it to pick up customer’s orders in a conversational form, however complex, and also be able to identify multi-item orders in a variety of languages and accents.

In line with its Velocity Growth Plan that focuses on improving employee and customer experience, the technology enables McDonald’s to meet increasing customer expectation without adding to the burden of its frontline staff.

This acquisition is something that the QSR giant has been exploring for the past year or so, aiming to improve its drive-through experience across geographies.

Earlier in the year, McDonald’s bought over Dynamic Yield to adopt its decision-logic technology into its digital drive-through menu by equipping digital counters with the ability to make personalized recommendations to customers depending on the time, weather, and other items customers have in their cart.

Currently, the machine-learning technology acquired from Dynamic Yield has been installed in over 8,000 chains around the United States and is expected to be adopted by almost all of their chains in Australia and the United States by the end of this year.

McDonald’s is also planning to adopt the recommendation technology into its other digital platforms, linking the company’s technology ecosystem, to provide a smoother customer experience.

“We are also able to leverage on being the first brick-and-mortar enterprise to adopt decision logic into their customer ordering process,” said McDonald’s Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook.

McDonald’s move to improve the drive-through time is a strategic as a recent study has shown that McDonald’s drive-through times have gotten longer in the past five years, with 2018 recorded at 273.29 seconds compared to 2013’s 189.49 seconds.

Aside from upgrading its drive-through experience, McDonald’s is also making a move to improve its mobile ordering system by investing in Plexure whose team will work on the company’s global mobile application’s development.

Taking note of the complaints on McDonald’s application reviews and errors customers and company executives have experienced, business leaders decided to make improvement in this area a priority in April.

Overall, the decision to prioritize experience using technology has provided a boost to the business, increasing customer visits and ensuring they get more out of every interaction with the brand.