The restaurant industry has been intertwined with innovation for over a century. In 1948, Harry and Esther Snyder revolutionized fast-food with the introduction of the two-way speaker system and a drive-thru window at their In & Out Burger, resulting in unprecedented guest convenience while opening the door for faster and more efficient service. Today, the rise of Generative AI-powered drive-thru voice assistants once again present an opportunity to dazzle guests while improving on nearly all the key financial and operational metrics tracked by Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) brands and operators alike.
What makes Generative AI so wizardlike is its innate ability to create new content based on the way it is prompted. Just as ChatGPT can craft responses tailored to the individual asking, Generative AI in a drive-thru setting can dynamically respond to guests based on the way they order and the specific items within a fast-food chain’s menu. As a result, this technology is able to consistently provide faster, more efficient, and more personalized interactions with guests.
One example is Presto Voice™, a Generative AI voice assistant that is always available, friendly, and skilled at up-selling that milkshake, especially at 2 a.m. Already deployed at hundreds of drive-thru locations nationwide, Presto is helping QSRs like Del Taco improve order accuracy, optimize their operations, reduce labor costs, and increase revenue.
ChatGPT for the Drive-Thru?
Presto Voice is a highly specialized version of Generative AI developed exclusively for restaurants, leveraging the company’s proprietary Natural Language Understanding (NLU) technology and Large Language Models (LLMs) like the one that underpins tools such as ChatGPT. By combining these powerful technologies, Presto Voice can seamlessly interpret natural human language and provide logical, almost magical responses that cater to the queries of drive-thru guests. In addition, Presto Voice is tailored to each brand’s unique menu, allowing it to become contextually smarter with every guest interaction by fully taking into account new accents, alternative terms, and unique guest orders to enhance overall performance. It seamlessly integrates with a restaurant’s POS system and is capable of handling various menu options, including item combos, coupons, price variations, and seasonal items.
Generative AI solutions like Presto Voice offer a range of benefits for both drive-thru guests and QSRs. Drive-thru guests can enjoy more accurate orders, improved response times, and a more frictionless experience. Meanwhile, the benefits for QSRs go beyond increased revenue and cost savings. By using Generative AI, QSR operators can differentiate themselves from competitors, optimize their drive-thru operations, build long-term loyalty, and gather valuable data on guest behavior and preferences at the most important point of the guest interaction: right when the order is placed.
Presto AI-powered restaurant chains that have seen 95% of drive-thru orders handled without any staff intervention. This allows quick-service restaurants to redeploy drive-thru staff to higher-value tasks, ensuring orders are packed out accurately and quickly, providing superior service to their guests.
The Time to Take Action is Now
In today’s fast-paced and competitive restaurant industry, embracing next-generation technology like Generative AI voice solutions is crucial to staying ahead and capturing customer loyalty. Those who adopt these cutting-edge technologies will benefit from increased efficiency, reduced labor costs, higher check sizes, improved order accuracy, and ultimately, better guest experiences. On the other hand, those who fail to adopt these technologies may struggle to maintain profitability and keep up with the demands of the market. As you drive through your favorite fast-food restaurant, remember that the use of AI voice assistants like Presto Voice is just the beginning of a new era of innovation in the QSR industry. What seems like magic today will be table stakes tomorrow; there is no denying this is the direction the industry is headed.
Will you be one of the leaders who embrace this change and reap the rewards, or will your competitors get there first?
Chad Gretzema, President of Del Taco and I will be participating in a panel discussion at the 2023 Restaurant Leadership Conference in Phoenix, Arizona, where we will explore the profound impact of enterprise-grade Generative AI solutions on drive-thru operations. Our discussion is scheduled for Wednesday, April 19, at 8:15 a.m.