Major Fast-Food Chain Says AI Will Soon Take Your Drive-Thru Order Instead of a Human

May 9, 2023
1 min read
Major Fast-Food Chain Says AI Will Soon Take Your Drive-Thru Order Instead of a Human

Generative AI models — led by OpenAI’s ChatGPT — have already introduced dramatic changes to a variety of businesses, bringing the opportunity for enhanced productivity through fewer workers. 

Now, AI is on its way to changing the restaurant business.

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Wendy’s  (WEN) – Get Free Report announced Tuesday that the restaurant chain will be partnering with Google  (GOOGL) – Get Free Report to bring generative AI to its drive-thrus.

The new AI system, called Wendy’s FreshAI, will launch its pilot program in June in a Columbus, Ohio restaurant operated by the company. The AI pilot will include a few features, notably one that will have conversations with customers. It is designed to understand made-to-order requests and will have answers to frequently-asked questions

The AI will have access to information from Wendy’s menu, as well as its established business rules and logic for conversation guardrails; the system will also be integrated into the restaurant’s hardware and point-of-sale system.

Wendy’s goal here is to further simplify the drive-thru ordering process so its employees can focus on food preparation.

Around 80% of the restaurant chain’s customers come through the drive-thru.

This is an expansion of a partnership between the two companies that first began with data analytics and hybrid cloud tools in 2021.

“Google Cloud’s generative AI technology creates a huge opportunity for us to deliver a truly differentiated, faster and frictionless experience for our customers, and allows our employees to continue focusing on making great food and building relationships with fans that keep them coming back time and again,” Todd Penegor, President and CEO of Wendy’s said in a statement. 

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