Wendy's adding Google Cloud AI tech to drive-thru ordering as part of test
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Some customers hitting the Wendy’s drive-thru will soon see a new artificial intelligence (AI) technology as they do so.
That will happen for Wendy’s patrons in the Columbus, Ohio, area after the company adds generative AI tech from Google Cloud to a location there. That company-owned restaurant will receive the AI chatbot in June as part of a pilot, according to a Tuesday press release.
At the restaurant where the test will soon take place, the AI will "have conversations with customers, the ability to understand made-to-order requests and generate responses to frequently asked questions," according to Wendy’s. It has been dubbed Wendy’s FreshAI.
"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," Wendy’s CEO Todd Penegor was quoted as saying in the release.
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Wendy’s said it will take what it learns from the upcoming pilot and apply that data to "inform future expansion." For at least three-quarters of Wendy’s customers, the drive-thru is their go-to for placing their order, according to the release.
Last week, CKE Restaurant Holdings unveiled several partnerships as part of its efforts to integrate AI into its brands’ drive-thru ordering. Valyant AI, OpenCity and Presto Automation are working with the company.
The fast-food chains Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s belong to CKE Restaurants.
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Wendy’s incorporation of the AI into the Ohio restaurant will mark an expansion of the partnership the company already has with Google Cloud, according to the fast-food chain. The two first partnered in 2021.
Google has recently been upping its AI-related efforts as the field has been experiencing fast growth and boosted interest. Other firms have been doing so as well.
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"We are excited about helping people, businesses and society reach their full potential with AI," CEO Sundar Pichai said on the tech giant’s recent earnings call.
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