Valyant AI Is Bringing Artificial Intelligence Tech to Drive-Through Ordering
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Artificial intelligence has now leapt from the pages of science fiction novels and into the real world. Once the domain of video game entertainment, AI is now being deployed in industries the world over.
While robots capable of the type of true human thought and reasoning that could pass the Turing Test are still a way off, in reality, software now exists which can learn based on pre-set rules while gathering and analyzing vast amounts of data in a fraction of the time it would take a human. The resultant insights generated by this technology can drive new policies and processes and make industry more efficient than ever.
Tech startup Valyant AI is deploying artificial intelligence in a slight twist on another of its classic applications.
Another way AI is frequently deployed - and one which is perhaps more congruent with its science fiction origins - is in customer service chatbots.
Chatbot software usually operates via an existing messaging platform such as Facebook Messenger. It handles simple queries, avoiding the need for customers to wait in a phone queue to speak with a human operator. Thanks to the machine learning made possible with artificial intelligence, these chatbots can also "learn" from each interaction, enabling them to become capable of handling ever more sophisticated questions the more they are used.
And it's this functionality which the Colorado-based Valyant AI is using to help restaurants better serve their vehicle-bound takeout customers.
The technology developed by Valyant AI is designed to replace the human operator who speaks to drive-through customers and takes their order. The chatbot-like software can listen to a customer's order, send it to the kitchen, tell the customer how much it will cost, confirm the order, and send the customer to the collection window to receive their food. Thanks to the powerful artificial intelligence contained within, the technology can also suggest other products and special promotions - such as meal upgrades - based on the current order.
"Seconds count in the drive-through, and if customers see a long line, they'll often keep driving and look for another restaurant," said Valyant AI CEO and Founder, Rob Carpenter. "By improving ordering accuracy and decreasing wait times, our platform improves the customer service experience and allows [restaurants] to serve more customers more quickly."
Good Times Burgers and Frozen Custard of Denver, Colorado have recently agreed to implement the technology into their own drive-through ordering system. Good Times Burgers is testing the technology in just one of its restaurants during the breakfast service period only. They hope to roll it out to further locations once the concept has been proven.
Good Times Burgers is reticent to admit that it wants the Valyant AI technology to replace human operators entirely but has said that it has the potential to offer an important safety net for busy periods. With a massive focus on lean labor operating - i.e. having the minimum number of people on shift necessary to meet demand - in the restaurant industry, any last-minute absence can have a huge impact on staff morale and customer wait times. Having Valyant AI in place means the chatbot tech can pick up the slack and empower the business to keep serving its customers in the best way possible.
Likewise, Valyant AI is hoping that its initial run with these brands will act as its own proof of concept, and hopefully attract further interest from other restaurant brands - especially some of the bigger household name fast food companies.
"For now, the bot is only taking breakfast orders in one restaurant, but the startup behind the technology, Valyant AI, hopes it will soon become a trend worldwide," reports The Telegraph. "It claims the tool will benefit employees by eliminating 'the drudgery of taking 400 customer orders over the course of a shift'. Businesses automating the ordering process will enjoy 'increased order sizes' and reduced fraud, it says."
Artificial intelligence chatbots are enabling brands in many industries to better serve their customers. With innovative startups such as Valyant AI working hard to deploy artificial intelligence in other sectors like drive-through service, the applications of this wonderful technology will become ever more diverse in the future.
"Valyant AI has developed a proprietary conversational AI platform that integrates with existing drive-through hardware and on-premise or cloud point of sale (POS) systems. Our platform includes custom-built hardware, conversational software based on your menu and guaranteed accuracy," says the company.
Artificial intelligence technology is set to be a hot topic at Future Restaurants 2019, taking place this September in Austin, TX.
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