Wendy’s Says It’s AI Only Screws Up Orders 14% Of The Time

Wendy’s claims its AI only messes up 14 percent of drive-through orders, a figure that’s drawing attention as fast food chains experiment with AI technology. According to The New York Times, McDonald’s is scrapping its AI drive-through project with IBM due to frequent errors, including one incident where a customer received hundreds of unwanted chicken McNuggets.

Despite these issues, other chains are pressing on. Wendy’s AI system, for example, still requires human intervention 14 percent of the time. White Castle’s AI system also needs human assistance in 10 percent of orders, according to a company spokesperson.

Whether these figures are accurate is up for debate, but they are high enough to raise concerns. Customer feedback on these systems has been largely negative. One Reddit user described their experience with Wendy’s AI drive-through in Idaho Falls as “an absolute pain.” Another user compared it to “a wish.com version of a cyberpunk dystopia.”

Despite these challenges, the push to integrate AI into fast food continues as companies aim to reduce labor costs and appear innovative. However, the technology is not without flaws. Errors and miscommunications are common, and the cost savings are questionable when factoring in the expense of deploying AI systems.

Customers generally prefer human interaction for their orders, and the reliance on AI has led to frustration and decreased service quality. Additionally, there’s an environmental cost associated with the energy consumption of AI systems.

Moreover, these AI drive-throughs collect voice data, raising privacy concerns. A Reddit photo of a White Castle AI drive-through system’s terms and conditions highlighted this issue. One Redditor commented, “I would just drive to another restaurant at that point,” criticizing the companies for prioritizing AI over human workers.

As fast food chains navigate these technological transitions, they face the challenge of balancing efficiency with customer satisfaction and ethical considerations. The effectiveness and acceptance of AI in drive-throughs remain uncertain, reflecting broader questions about the role of AI in everyday interactions.

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