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Panera Is Testing a New Voice-Order Technology

One speedy fast-casual chain is about to get even sooner. Lower than a yr after unveiling its “next-generation” restaurant prototype, Panera is rolling out yet one more innovation.

The bakery cafe chain introduced that it’s at the moment testing OpenCity’s AI-powered voice-ordering know-how, known as Tori, at two drive-thru areas within the better Rochester, N.Y. space—one in Greece and one other in Webster.

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To put an order, clients can merely pull as much as the drive-thru speaker and converse to Tori. Panera workers might be obtainable to help as wanted and to take funds for the orders.

In keeping with the corporate, the implementation of the brand new ordering know-how goals to cut back wait instances, streamline order accuracy, and assist workers deal with meals preparation.

“The potential of AI drive-thru know-how is extremely thrilling for us—we’re keen to judge the efficiency of those assessments and the potential of increasing this know-how in extra bakery-cafes,” Debbie Roberts, EVP and Chief Working Officer of Panera Bread, mentioned in a press release.

The deployment of Tori is one in every of a number of tech-forward strikes Panera has made in current months. In June, the bakery chain opened its first digital-only takeout location, Panera To-Go, on Chicago’s North Aspect. The shop doesn’t have a eating room, and three different areas are deliberate for Washington D.C. and California.

In April, Panera revealed that two of its eating places might be testing Miso Robotics’ CookRight Espresso Expertise, which makes use of synthetic intelligence to watch espresso quantity, temperature, brewing time, and buyer demand.

Panera is not the one fast-food chain to faucet into the potential of voice ordering. In June of 2021, McDonald’s started testing voice recognition techniques at 24 areas within the Chicago space. Whereas McDonald’s hasn’t disclosed whether or not this know-how might be launching nationally, restaurant business analyst Peter Saleh instructed QSR Journal that he expects voice ordering techniques to “proceed to evolve and, maybe be prepared for broader adoption later within the yr.”

Brianna Ruback

Brianna is the Editorial Assistant at Eat This, Not That! She attended Ithaca School, the place she graduated with a level in Journalism and a minor in Communication Research. Learn extra about Brianna

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