Wendy’s is reportedly developing an artificial intelligence chatbot powered by Google’s natural-language software designed to automate drive-thrus.
The Wall Street Journal spoke with Wendy’s Chief Executive Todd Penegor, who said the fast-food chain’s chatbot would be rolled out in June at a company-owned restaurant in Columbus, Ohio.
The Wendy’s drive-thru chatbot “will be very conversational,” Penegor explained. He said, “You won’t know you’re talking to anybody but an employee.”
Wendy’s software engineers have been working with Google to build a large language model to understand words, popular expressions, and phrases in various dialects and accents when a customer orders. It’ll understand acronyms unique to Wendy’s, like “JBC” for a junior bacon cheeseburger.
“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,” Penegor said in a separate conversation about the chatbot while speaking with Gizmodo.