Monday, March 13, 2023

AI Talking Drive-Thru Can You Hear Me Now


Do you think you have heard enough about ChatGPT?  According to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® who stated, “you may think you have heard enough about ChatGPT but it’s only just the beginning.

AI just keeps learning and getting better.  Regular readers of this blog are well aware of Foodservice Solutions® four step process for driving continued success within your four walls:

1.       Build

2.       Measure

3.       Learn

4.       Repeat

While they have work well, Johnson says that the time has come to revise that process to include AI learning.  Today you need to; Build - Ideation, Measure with AI, learn with AI, and then repeat the process while you roll out a test.  How can you best do that?  Well, here is an example within just the drive-thru space.

So, while Presto Automation Inc., the largest drive-thru automation technology provider in the hospitality industry, they recently announced a collaboration with OpenAI, an AI research and deployment company, to drive greater innovation around its drive-thru AI voice assistant.

Now, OpenAI’s ChatGPT API will be used to expand the feature set of the Presto’s drive-thru AI voice assistant (Presto Voice), resulting in interactions that are more natural and human-like. This collaboration reflects Presto’s commitment to introducing the most advanced automation technologies in its industry-leading AI products.

Zack Kass, Head of Go-To-Market at OpenAI, stated, “We are excited to see Presto leverage the ChatGPT API to improve restaurant guest experience”.

In case you have not heard of or know, Presto Voice uses advanced AI techniques including large language models (LLM) and generative AI to understand natural human language and offer logical responses to customer queries. The AI engine in Presto Voice seamlessly integrates with the restaurant’s menu and provides support for a variety of options including item combos, coupons, price variations, and seasonal items.

So, as more customers use the system, the AI engine becomes smarter and more context-aware – incorporating new accents, alternative terms, and unique customer queries. According to data from hundreds of stores where Presto Voice is currently deployed, over 95% of restaurant drive-thru orders are typically taken without any staff intervention.

Rajat Suri, Founder and CEO of Presto, stated, “We are thrilled about our collaboration with OpenAI since it will enable us to accelerate product innovation and further our mission of overlaying next-generation digital solutions onto the physical world,”. “Both ChatGPT and Presto Voice represent cutting edge AI applications that can supercharge productivity and revolutionize the way humans work and think.”

Currently, Presto has identified three specific areas where it is planning to use the ChatGPT API to augment the Presto Voice AI engine:

·         Enhanced Menu Options - ChatGPT will be used to create restaurant-specific and region-specific menu knowledge bases. These can then be used by Presto Voice for better restaurant data management and more powerful menu management.

·         Platform Robustness - ChatGPT will be used to create tens of thousands of test guest orders representing different tones, personas, and order types. This data can then be used to test Presto Voice and make it more robust by improving the stability of the AI engine.

·         More Natural Responses - ChatGPT will be used to make the responses to customer queries and interactions sound more natural, improving the user experience. For example, rather than saying "I have 1 burrito no guacamole, 1 burrito no tomatoes" Presto Voice could say "that's 2 burritos, one with no guac and one with no tomatoes."

Presto Voice, offers an average 6% increase in sales due to consistent upselling and up to 8 hours of labor saved per day per store. Presto announced a custom voice feature last year, where Presto Voice can use the voice of a celebrity, a brand persona, or even Santa Claus. The company also offers another AI solution, Presto Vision, which provides 16 unique pieces of real-time data for drive-thru operations optimization.

Foodservice Solutions® team is here to help you drive top line sales and bottom-line profits. Are you looking a customer ahead? Visit for more information or contact: Remember success does leave clues and we just may the clue you need to propel your continued success.

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