In attempts to improve customer experience in its restaurants, Chicago-based fast food giant, McDonald’s, is to test voice-activated drive-thru technology. Planning to develop the drive-thru comes with its concerns, as McDonald’s in the United States sources 70 percent of the company’s business, or, presents itself as a US$27 billion mogul—something not to be lightly tampered with. However, Steve Easterbrook, McDonald's CEO, said, "Our 2019 focus is on operational execution in our restaurants and optimising the experience for our customers," during the company's earnings call in April.
The test is currently taking place in Chicago, the same store in which automated fry machines are being tested, too. McDonald’s has planned to move the trial to an additional selection of restaurants soon, however. While McDonald’s has come under scrutiny of late concerning employee’s working conditions and the company’s policies, McDonald’s believes that the automation would free up workers, and make McDonald’s an even better place to work. This, however, is something that critics believe may not be true, arguing that with more automation comes less opportunity for human work.
In addition to the new drive-thru technology, McDonald’s has been expanding their efforts to decrease drive-thru service times, holding competitions throughout their stores, earlier this year.