More layoffs coming to McDonald’s as fast food giant embraces Google’s AI for online ordering
By Ethan Huff // Dec 15, 2023

McDonald's is going human-less in an effort to keep its top executives handsomely paid and its lower-level store employees, well, obsolete.

In a recent press release, McDonald's announced a new partnership with Google that will utilize the search engine giant's artificial intelligence (AI) technology at McDonald's franchise stores.

With self-serve kiosks already plastered inside McDonald's restaurants all around the world, the next step for the world's most well-known fast food chain is to do away with all remaining human employees and replace them with robots and computers.

"We see tremendous opportunity for growth in our digital business and our partnership with Google Cloud allows us to capitalize on this by leveraging our size and scale to build capabilities and implement solutions at unmatched speeds," commented McDonald's Executive Vice President and Global Chief Information Officer Brian Rice, who makes nearly $5 million annually from the company.

"Connecting our restaurants worldwide to millions of datapoints across our digital ecosystem means tools get sharper, models get smarter, restaurants become easier to operate, and most importantly, the overall experience for our customers and crew gets even better."

(Related: Starting next year, McDonald's and all other fast food chains in California will need to start paying their employees at least $20 an hour.)

McHatin' it

McDonald's says its new partnership with Google and its AI program "is a significant step for McDonald's in advancing its restaurant technology platform to become the most sophisticated and productive in the industry."

Notice that McDonald's has shifted away from caring about things like food quality and an immersive restaurant experience. Instead, McDonald's seems to be all about getting customers in and out of the store as quickly as possible with as little human interaction as possible – because human employees cost the company money that it would rather stuff into the pockets of Rice and other high-level executives.

According to the fast food chain, letting AI robots take over the brand will bring "significant advancements" the each restaurant and its "customer platforms."

"With a consistent approach, McDonald's expects to deploy innovations with much greater speed and agility," the press release further states. "McDonald's will use edge computing from Google Cloud to power these new platforms, bringing information storage and high powered computing into individual restaurants."

Also commenting on the partnership was Thomas Kurian, Google Cloud's Chief Executive Officer, who celebrated the fact that McDonald's is shifting away from having humans work its restaurants.

"Through this wide-ranging partnership, Google Cloud will help McDonald's seize on new opportunities to transform its business and customer experiences, empowering restaurants worldwide with the latest technologies for near-term impact," he said.

"Pairing the iconic brand, size and scale of McDonald's with Google Cloud's deep history in AI and technology innovation will redefine how this industry works and what people expect when they dine out."

In the comments, many people noted that the customer experience at McDonald's has been lackluster, to say the least, for many years.

"AI doesn't spit in your food, so there's that," one of them wrote.

"Who eats this slop anyway?" asked another. "No soda, no food that isn't real food. It's cheaper and healthier."

Others pointed out that even regular food from grocery stores in the United States is extremely unhealthy due to the country's piss-poor consumer protection laws.

"'Bread' is chemical crap almost everywhere," one person from another country wrote about the average American loaf of bread. "The mustard is just yellow, tasteless glue, and all with added sugar for no reason whatsoever. Is sugar a religion over there?"

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