The integration of artificial intelligence into the food and drink industry has not been without its hiccups. Several incidents throughout 2024 illustrate the sometimes amusing, often frustrating, and occasionally alarming consequences of relying on AI for food-related services.


McDonald’s ambitious integration of AI into its drive-thru ordering system aimed to enhance service efficiency but led to a notable error rate. Approximately 15% of orders were mishandled due to the AI misunderstanding or misinterpreting customer requests. This led to a suspension of the AI system in test locations across the U.S. and Europe, highlighting a significant setback in their digital strategy.


Coca-Cola’s dive into AI-driven marketing backfired when the slogans generated by AI were perceived as nonsensical or culturally inappropriate in diverse markets like Japan and Brazil. This incident prompted a swift reassessment of their AI content generation methods, revealing the challenges of applying AI across varied cultural landscapes.

Uber Eats

Uber Eats faced customer backlash when AI-generated images for Roma Pizza in New York City bizarrely depicted dessert pies as savoury pizzas. This not only confused customers but affected over 30% of the displayed menu items, leading to a temporary drop in orders until the imagery was corrected. 


Starbucks attempted to personalise customer experiences through AI in its app, suggesting customised orders based on past preferences. However, the AI frequently made inappropriate suggestions, such as recommending meat products to vegetarians or hot drinks on warm days. This resulted in a 10% decline in user satisfaction with mobile orders in regions like Canada and the UK.

Domino’s Pizza

Domino’s in Australia faced a surge in customer complaints when its AI chatbot, tasked with handling online orders, frequently misunderstood inputs, leading to incorrect orders. The mishap led to a 20% increase in complaints, prompting an urgent upgrade of the bot’s language processing abilities.


The examples from 2024 demonstrate that while AI offers tremendous potential for revolutionising service delivery and operations in the food and beverage sector, there is a vital need for careful implementation. These challenges across various markets stress the importance of ongoing adjustments and human oversight to ensure that AI technologies are integrated thoughtfully and effectively.