An AI chatbot will take your order at more Wendy’s drive-thrus


The chain said Dec 11 the software could on average take 86% of orders without intervention from restaurant staff, just exceeding the 85% target outlined earlier this year. — Reuters

Wendy’s Co is expanding its test of an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot that takes orders at the drive-thru.

Franchisees will get the chance to test the product in 2024, the chain said Dec 11. The tool, powered by Google Cloud’s AI software, is currently active in four company-operated restaurants near Columbus, Ohio. More US locations are slated to start using it soon.

Wendy’s announced the pilot in May, joining the AI race as fast-food joints contended with elevated labour costs and the enduring popularity of drive-thrus. The chain said Dec 11 the software could on average take 86% of orders without intervention from restaurant staff, just exceeding the 85% target outlined earlier this year.

The system uses generative AI to create responses and adapt to customers in real time, Wendy’s said. In one location, service times were 22 seconds faster than the average for Columbus. – Bloomberg

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