Wendy's Partners with Google to Introduce AI-Driven Drive-Thrus

Wendy's Partners with Google to Introduce AI-Driven Drive-Thrus
Photo by Batu Gezer / Unsplash

Generative AI models, like OpenAI's ChatGPT, have revolutionized various industries by boosting productivity while requiring fewer workers. Now, the restaurant business is set to embrace this change.

Wendy's announced on Tuesday that it will collaborate with Google to implement generative AI technology in its drive-thrus. The new system, called Wendy's FreshAI, will begin its pilot program in June at a Columbus, Ohio-based company-operated restaurant.

Wendy's FreshAI features conversational capabilities to understand made-to-order requests and provide answers to frequently asked questions. The AI will have access to Wendy's menu information, business rules, and conversational guidelines. Furthermore, it will be integrated with the restaurant's hardware and point-of-sale system.

The goal is to streamline the drive-thru ordering process, allowing employees to focus on food preparation. Approximately 80% of Wendy's customers use the drive-thru service.

This initiative expands the existing partnership between Wendy's and Google, which began in 2021 with data analytics and hybrid cloud tools.

Todd Penegor, President and CEO of Wendy's, stated, "Google Cloud's generative AI technology creates a huge opportunity for us to deliver a truly differentiated, faster, and frictionless experience for our customers while enabling our employees to focus on making great food and building relationships with fans."