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Checkers Starts Drive-Thru Voice Assistant Roll-Out at 267 Restaurants | by Tapaan Chauhan | Jan, 2022

Tapaan Chauhan

Checkers and Rally’s have started to install a voice assistant in their drive-thru restaurants to assist their customers digitally. The voice assistant is designed by hospitality tech developer Presto. They have successfully installed the assistant in 267 restaurants, making them the only company to adopt this specific technology in such a huge number.

The voice assistant provides digital assistance to drivers when they pull up. The AI is capable of taking orders and up-sell products and offers available at the restaurant to potential customers. It can grasp basic instructions as well.

Rajat Suri, Presto’s CEO said that they are happy to be selected as Checkers & Rally’s exclusive “drive-thru automated speech recognition partner’ for all their corporate-owned real estate. He further added that the company is envisioning a unique and inspiring future by adopting this latest technology and his team is more than ready to walk with the company to accomplish their desired goal.

The last couple of years have witnessed some distinguishable growth in Artificial Intelligence that is specifically designed for restaurants. For instance, Wendy’s started adopting restaurant-centered voice AI by making Google Cloud its Tech provider for creating a voice assistant.

The recent highlight was McDonalds selling their McD Tech Labs to IBM, and partnering to create an automated drive-thru service.

In 2019, Valyant AI, developer of a proprietary conversation AI platform, incorporated a voice assistant into Good Times Burgers & Frozen Custard. It has accumulated a total of $4.5 million of funds to further enunciate their growth.

Interestingly, ConverseNow accumulated even a larger sum of money in July 2021, with an excruciating amount of $15 million funding round.

This technology is going through experimental trails and development. An example for this would be adoption of SoundHound’s voice assistant at some White Castle and Sonic restaurants.

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The rapid development of this technology has also been influenced by the pandemic and a subsequent shift in consumer and labor markets. NPD group conducted a research which revealed that 2020 witnessed a 22% rise in drive-thru orders with a subsequent rise of 30 seconds in time taken for completing an order. Voice assistants can potentially complete an order within a lesser period of time.

The primary reasons given by Checkers which influenced them to adopt the voice-centered technology has been specified as the technology itself and shortage of labor. They further clarified that adopting this technology wont hamper the jobs of their already existing employees. The employees are redirected to roles that require human interaction and the technology is focusing on escalating the rate and momentum of hiring workforce for the company.

Frances Allen, Checkers and Rally’s CEO said that they are very excited about their new partnership with world class tech developer Presto, who is leading the restaurant hospitality technology field. Their company wants to make the best use of the latest available technology that guarantees better employee experience along with improved customer satisfaction rate.

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