McDonald’s released a new automated drive-thru system that uses artificial intelligence instead of a McDonald’s staff member to take your order. To some, this sounds like a dream. Not having to repeat your order four times into the speaker or socialize with another person? I’m down. Unfortunately, the AI isn’t as human as the staff, and the turn towards technology turned into more of a nightmare. 

How does McDonald's AI drive-thru work?

The AI drive-thru is voice activated ordering. It asks you what to order and any customizations you want your meal to come with like a drink.

What's happening with McDonald's AI drive-thru?

People on TikTok are roasting McDonald’s for how horribly the AI is working. TikTok user Ren Adams tried to order a hash brown, sweet tea, and a Coke, which the fast food robot had down at first. But as soon as another driver pulled into the other lane, the AI drive-thru picked up their order as well and combined it into one big order. When Adams tried to tell the machine the order was wrong, the AI instead added more sweet teas to her order.  

In another video, TikToker Madilynn Cameron shared her frustrations “fighting with a McDonald’s robot.” She tried to order a vanilla ice cream with no caramel — the AI added cream packets to her order instead. 

“I just want a large water and a cup of ice cream,” she said with frustration in her voice. It only got worse when the AI added butter onto her order. “Where’d the butter come from?” she said, as it was added onto her order on the screen.

Some expected the mistakes of the AI drive-thru and laughed it off, like TikToker Caitlyn Sykora. When she tried to stop the AI from adding hundreds of nuggets to her order, she couldn’t help but die of laughter because of how many nuggets the AI had added to her order.

While McDonald’s is still planning to increase the usage of AI in more of their restaurants, would it be helpful or more harmful for the customers? They already have the self-ordering kiosk that helps cut down line times, but would the AI help McDonald’s decrease the time it takes for customers to order in their drive-thru or continue to make mistakes like these for everyday orders?