Hardee's & Carl's Jr. plan rollout of Presto A.I. drive-thru ordering tech

AI is coming to the fast food business.

Marcus & Millichap

We’ve seen how artificial intelligence can be used to for technology and gaming, but companies are looking for ways it can be useful in other businesses, too. Particularly, fast food. Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., two popular fast-food restaurants have announced that they will be introducing an automated drive-thru powered by Presto AI.

CKE Restaurants, which owns and operates both Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., announced its partnership with Presto to create new automated drive-thru technology, as CNBC reported. In an interview with the outlet, CTO Phil Crawford talked about how AI can improve CKE’s business. "Like most people in the [quick-service restaurant] industry, we've obviously seen a continued surge in drive-thru ordering," he said. "This is us focusing on speed of service and accuracy."

The exterior of a Carl's Jr.

Source: Getty Images

After testing the technology at a small number of restaurants last year, CKE and Presto are ready to roll out its automated drive-thru technology to more Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. locations. The companies state that Presto has increased the speed of order, upselling, and order accuracy. While the AI software handles orders independently, human workers inside the restaurant are still able to hear the exchange and intervene when necessary.

With Presto, Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. will hope to compete with Mcdonald's, which entered an agreement with IBM to develop automated drive-thrus back in 2021.

Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. combine for roughly 2,800 restaurants in the United States. 250 of them are operated by CKE, while the rest are run by franchisees. It’s currently unclear how many of the non-CKE-run locations will use Presto. In other AI news, Salesforce recently unveiled Slack GPT, an AI chatbot designed to improve the digital workplace app.

News Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Scream nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

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