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Fast food chains begin using AI speaker box

A fast food company said that these digital interactions have improved accuracy and wait times for customers.
Fast food chains begin using AI speaker box
Posted at 3:12 PM, May 09, 2023

The next time you order from a fast food restaurant, the voice on the other end of the speaker box might not be real. 

This month, CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Hardee’s and Carl Jr.’s, said they will begin using Tori, a proprietary artificial intelligence voice ordering platform. The burger chains said Tori would "maximize operational efficiency, increase speed of orders, and improve accuracy to enhance the overall customer experience."

Tori would be installed at select restaurants throughout the U.S.

CKE Restaurants said customers will place their orders through a "digital interaction" with Tori. Customers will then pay an associate at the window. 

In tests, CKE Restaurants said Tori has improved wait times and accuracy. 

"Everything just runs better using Tori," said Raj Patel, a Regional Manager at Carl's Jr. "We love it. It's one of the best technologies I've ever seen. It used to be impossible to plan staffing with callouts every day. But, with Tori, I always feel that we're fully staffed; and the guests are having fun using Tori to order their meals."

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A TikTok user captured his interaction with Tori, which has gotten 2 million views. The interaction was akin to one a person would have with a live human.

The technology has also been tested by OpenCity at Popeyes chains. 

"The implementation of OpenCity's AI technology at our drive-thru's has significantly benefited our business by enhancing the speed and accuracy of order processing, resulting in reduced wait times for customers and increased efficiency for our staff," said Phil Crawford, CTO of CKE Restaurants. "The AI technology has transformed our drive-thru experience, providing us with a competitive edge in the market and helping us to better serve our guests."

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