Wendy’s is partnering with Google Cloud to roll out “Wendy’s FreshAI,” a chatbot that will take consumer orders at its drive-thrus.
The fast-food giant will be first piloting the chatbot at its company-owned location near Columbus, Ohio, Fortune reports, working out all the necessary kinks before likely expanding it to other locations. Wendy’s has previously worked with Google Cloud, first beginning their partnership in 2021. Since then, Wendy’s has used Google Cloud’s machine learning (ML), hybrid cloud tools, AI, and data analytics to offer faster, seamless, and more convenient ways for customers to connect with the brand.
A Frosty, with a Side of Chatbot
In its research, Wendy’s found that 75% to 80% of its customers prefer to use the drive-thru. However, delivering on a seamless ordering experience with traditional AI has proven to be difficult, particularly because of special requests made, the complexity of the menu options, and even background noise. With the vast amount of combinations made possible via Wendy’s menu, this can cause some miscommunication and incorrect orders. Wendy’s believes that by leveraging Google Cloud’s generative AI, the room for error will be minimized.
“Wendy’s introduced the first modern pick-up window in the industry more than 50 years ago, and we’re thrilled to continue our work with Google Cloud to bring a new wave of innovation to the drive-thru experience,” said Todd Penegor, President and CEO of Wendy’s in a prepared statement. “Google Cloud’s generative AI technology creates a huge opportunity for us to deliver a truly differentiated, faster and frictionless experience for our customers, and allows our employees to continue focusing on making great food and building relationships with fans that keep them coming back time and again.”
Thomas Kurian, CEO at Google Cloud also added that, “Generative AI is fundamentally changing how people interact with brands, and we anticipate Wendy’s integration of Google Cloud’s generative AI technology will set a new standard for great drive-thru experiences for the quick-service industry.”