PSFK | Leading Food Names Like McDonald’s Are Optimizing Ordering With AI Technology

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Original Article

From menus curated to individuals’ dietary needs to offers that adjust in real time to trends and even weather patterns, here’s how top food names like Sonic and THE.FIT are using AI to enable tailored food experiences

Today’s consumers have more food options than ever. The ordering experience is incredibly important, and a good one can keep customers coming back time and time again. To help guests navigate drive-thru menus, companies like Sonic, McDonalds, and THE.FIT have incorporated AI into their ordering to create a seamless transaction.

Taken from PSFK’s Food Service Debrief report, take a look at how these innovators have redesigned ordering to offer personalization and enhanced convenience:

Sonic, Mastercard and ZIVELO
Global payment company Mastercard has partnered with self-service kiosk technology provider ZIVELO to trial AI-based voice ordering at select locations of the drive-in chain Sonic. At the restaurant, guests place their orders with an AI-powered voice assistant, while an integrated digital menu display can be customized in real time, taking into account context, like weather, time of day, season and location, as well as specific customer preferences. The system aims to streamline repeat orders and use data to offer personalized suggestions and loyalty rewards that are more relevant.


Quick-service restaurant chain McDonald’s is using AI to personalize the menus of its drive-thru location. Thanks to its acquisition of AI startup Dynamic Yield, McDonald’s can make hyper-targeted changes to its digital outdoor menu boards at individual locations. Taking into account contextual factors like weather, time of day, traffic and popular items, the menu’s “decision technology” can instantly rearrange the display to highlight specific items that may be most desirable to diners in that moment, as well as suggest items based on their current selections.


THE.FIT is an AI-powered menu personalization platform that makes it easy for diners to select items that are in line with their individual dietary needs. By scanning a QR code on menus or signage with their mobile phone, guests can input any combination of dietary needs and preferences, such as vegan and gluten-free. They can then instantly view a menu that has been tailored to their preferences and place an order. Their preferences can be saved in the system to make their next visit more convenient. THE.FIT’s platform also integrates with restaurants’ own mobile apps, points of sale and self-ordering kiosks.

To see how more food service innovators are using technology to provide next-generation experiences in line with today’s consumer expectations, download or purchase the Food Service Debrief report today.