McDonald’s is increasingly looking at tech acquisitions as a way to reinvent the fast-food experience. Today, it’s announcing that it’s buying Apprente, a startup building conversational agents that can automate voice-based ordering in multiple languages.
If that sounds like a good fit for fast-food drive thru, that’s exactly what McDonald’s leadership has in mind. In fact, the company has already been testing Apprente’s technology in select locations, creating voice-activated drive-thrus (along with robot fryers) that it said will offer “faster, simpler and more accurate order taking.”
McDonald’s said the technology could also be used in mobile and kiosk ordering. Presumably, besides lowering wait times, this could allow restaurants to operate with smaller staffs.
Earlier this year, McDonald’s acquired online personalization startup Dynamic Yield for more than $300