Without a doubt, AI is one of the hottest topics of our time. At Presto, we are excited to be leading in our space as an applied AI company focused on the Quick Service Restaurant industry. Our solutions help restaurant drive-thru operators run more efficient restaurants, sell more food, and provide a consistent, always-on guest experience. Given our focus on applied AI, you might wonder how exactly we help our customers realize these benefits. Let’s dive into how we make this happen:

Focus on Restaurant Staff Intervention

Prestonians – as we call ourselves – are focused on a performance metric we call the Non-Intervention Rate, or NIR for short. NIR is a measure of how frequently our system is able to independently process a drive-thru customer’s order without a member of the restaurant’s staff needing to take over that order. This metric embodies the benefits of our solution which cannot be realized by our customers if their restaurant staff needs to frequently take over orders. Today, we are proud to say that the NIR across all Presto Voice-enabled restaurants is 85% on average, with certain restaurant locations at 95% – some are even higher.

When it Comes to Staff Intervention, the AI Approach Matters

At Presto, we believe the reason so many drive-thru voice AI experiments either fail or take such a long time to produce only modest success is a function of the AI approach used. More specifically – whether the AI system is powered completely independently by technology, or augmented by humans using a branch of AI known as HITL, or Human-In-The-Loop.

We were recently the subject of an article in Bloomberg that delved into our AI strategies at Presto. It’s always enlightening to see our work recognized in the media, and we appreciate the opportunity to engage with different perspectives on AI’s role in the Quick Service Restaurant industry.

While the article accurately detailed aspects of our HITL approach, we’d like to emphasize that our use of Human-In-The-Loop is not a marketing tactic; it’s a deliberately chosen feature of our system; it’s a strategic choice that has been well-known in the AI community for years. By combining the strengths of AI with human involvement – where human agents enter, review, validate, and correct orders – Presto believes it is able to offer a more robust, adaptable and accurate service to our customers that delivers a high Non-Intervention Rate, our North Star for system performance.

Presto is an Applied AI Company

Prestonians are dedicated to advancing the use of AI. Our team of talented engineers has developed custom Natural Language Understanding (NLU) AI models and leverages cutting-edge tools like GPT from OpenAI. We integrate Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) and Text-To-Speech (TTS) technologies, and we use HITL to create a seamless and efficient customer experience.

Of course, like any AI company, our goal is to continue to reduce our reliance on human agent intervention, while advancing our AI capabilities and maintaining our high NIR. Approximately 30% of orders taken at select Presto Voice locations that are piloting our AI technology do not require human agent intervention. We have published our roadmap for continued improvement and are rolling out this enhanced AI capability to all Presto Voice locations that use our AI technology. We see this as a journey toward perfecting our technology – a journey we are excited to be on.

Presto is confident that its approach to AI development in the drive-thru will help our customers achieve high NIR, which is ultimately what matters. Restaurant operators are focused on running efficient, high-performing restaurants – not whether their voice AI partner does or doesn’t use humans to help drive those results.