Fast Food AI

The Lempert Report
April 05, 2023

Wingstop has become the latest fast food restaurant that's starting to use AI bots to take customers orders. McDonald's already has. Also, Taco Bell, Chipotle, Popeyes, and Dominoes. Basically, they're using it for drive-through services, for taking orders over the phone. And there's two reasons. Number one is certainly these bots are making less mistakes than human beings do, but a lot of people, even with those signs out front that they're offering 12 bucks an hour, just don't wanna work in the fast food environment.

Sally: Right? And not only do they make less mistakes, but also bots don't need breaks and don't need time off. So, that is something that is a benefit to, fast food business owners. What I do wonder is, will there be a segment of consumers that get frustrated with having to deal with bots, with everything that they do? AI seems to be popping up in a lot of areas of our lives. And I wonder if there will be a segment of consumers that are looking for the human connection. So that will be interesting to see if there are some businesses that position and market themselves that way. 

Phil: Yeah, that's an excellent point. The other thing that I'm concerned about is, I mean, my first job was at a McDonald's. A lot of people's first jobs are in fast food. There's not a lot of places where you can work when you're 15 or 16 or 17 years old, and just make a little bit of money as you go through college or whatever else if those jobs disappear. What happens to this whole population? And, I forget that there was a McDonald's commercial a few years ago that talked about the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people who had their first job at McDonald's. And, if we take that away, how are these people gonna make money? Not everybody can mow lawns.