This fast food restaurant is using AI to take orders

A fast-food chain struggling to hire staff is using AI to help fill the gaps at the drive-thru.
Published: May. 7, 2023 at 12:41 PM CDT
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BUCKEYE, Ariz. (KPHO/KTVK) - A restaurant in Arizona is using artificial intelligence to help take customer orders.

A Carl’s Jr. in Buckeye is one of the first locations in the country that partnered with Presto Automation to use AI to take orders.

“This new system is reliable, it runs 24/7 and it really helps,” Agustin Medina, the store’s manager, said.

Medina said the system can adapt to what the customer is saying and can even offer other items on the menu.

“I was a little taken back at first, but it did have a very pleasant voice,” one customer said.

Medina said the new AI system is not meant to take away jobs from human employees but instead to help his staff focus on other tasks, like preparing the food.

“We’re not cutting hours or cutting another person from the schedule, it’s just someone else that can help,” he said.

The AI takes the order and sends it to a screen inside the restaurant where the workers then make the food.

The process overall is a little slower than talking to a real person, and it’s also not perfect. A staff member is on standby, just in case.

“We are always wearing our headsets so we are always ready to intervene,” Medina said.