Some fast food drive-thru customers may soon experience a new ordering process. Hungry drivers rolling up to Sonic for a burger and fries could encounter an AI-driven voice assistant to guide them through a customized menu. Weather conditions and customer preferences will be part of the menu items presented. Will a payment be handled via a voice assistant as well? Recently, McDonald’s acquired developer Dynamic Yield to plan a similar contextual ordering system. Not surprisingly, some QSRs, including McDonald’s, are simplifying their menus since the lengthy food and beverage menu items are creating long lines at the drive-thru. Will be worth watching to see if these upcoming AI-based systems speed up or slow down the line. Let’s see if they remember the extra ketchup.
A QSRweb article discusses more on this topic which is excerpted below.
Mastercard has partnered with Zivelo LLC to enhance the drive-in and drive-through ordering experience for quick-service restaurants with a first-of-its-kind AI-powered voice assistant and personalized dynamic menu. Sonic Drive-In will be the first partner to pilot the new experience at selected Sonic locations in the U.S. this year, according to a press release. The technology will first be showcased at the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago from May 18-21, 2019.
Upon arrival at the QSR’s drive-in or drive-through, consumers will be prompted to order from an AI-powered voice-ordering assistant, which will integrate with a dynamic menu display. The menu will automatically update using a proprietary AI solution developed by Mastercard, which will allow the display to be customized either for a specific customer or for external factors such as weather, time of day, seasonality and location.
“We are excited to be partnering with Zivelo to help QSR merchants further enhance their ordering experience to provide even more contextual interactions with their customers and ultimately allow them to get their food faster,” Stephane Wyper, senior vice president, new commerce partnerships, Mastercard, said in the press release. “This builds on Mastercard’s continued focus on leveraging our payment, loyalty and analytics capabilities to innovate within the retail space alongside our merchant and technology partners.”
Overview by Raymond Pucci, Director, Merchant Services at Mercator Advisory Group