Sunday , March 26, 2023

Restaurant Chain Checkers Rolls Out an AI-based Voice Ordering System

As part of its drive to increase operating efficiency, Checkers Drive-In Restaurants Inc. is rolling out an artificial intelligence-based voice-automated ordering system. The system will enable consumers to place orders at the drive-thru lane of corporate-owned Checkers and Rally’s restaurants without the assistance of a restaurant employee. Checkers, which specializes in hamburgers, hot dogs, French fries, and milkshakes, operates a total of 836 restaurants across 28 states and the District of Columbia. 

The voice-ordering technology was co-developed by Presto, a provider of touch, vision, and voice technologies for the hospitality industry, and Hi Auto, a provider of conversational artificial-intelligence technology. Presto introduced the technology, known as Presto Voice, in 2021.

Tampa, Fla.-based Checkers piloted the technology during a four-month period in 2021. During the pilot, 98% of drive-thru orders were completed with minimal intervention from restaurant employees, according to Checkers. The Presto system also performed well with unique or infrequently ordered menu items and is programmed to recognize various human voice accents, Checkers says. In addition, the technology can accurately accept and process orders at varying noise levels. The system can also be programmed to create upsell opportunities, based on a customer’s order.

A depiction of the voice ordering system at a Checkers location.

“As a company, we embrace technology that will help our team members maximize time and efficiency while making their jobs easier and more enjoyable, creating a better experience for them as well as our guests,” Checkers and Rally’s president and chief executive officer, Frances Allen, says in a prepared statement. “Checkers & Rally’s is the pioneer of the double drive-thru restaurant model, so our decision to again lead the industry with the largest rollout of an A.I.-based voice-assistant solution should be no surprise.”

Redwood City, Calif.-based Presto says its voice system can be deployed in different restaurant settings, such as drive-thrus, line-buster configurations, kiosks, and pay-at-table systems. Presto Voice has an accuracy rate of more than 95% and a human-backup option, according to the company. 

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