Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza & Wings is introducing a new AI answering system to stay ahead of customer preferences. The company announced on Monday that it will introduce this new AI system at all 60 corporate-owned locations. According to PRNewswire, the systems will leverage ConverseNow, an AI voice technology leader for restaurants. For those unfamiliar with ConverseNow, the company offers AI-powered virtual ordering assistants for restaurants. In short, this automates the order-taking processes with a focus on high-volume chains. Some of the communications channels ConverseNow has worked in have been drive-through ordering and orders from the phone.
The beginnings of this launch date back two years. The company was using a variety of vendors as they searched for ways to automate the order-taking process. But during that time, the results were less than stellar and proved to be too inconsistent for mass rollout. With more time moving forward, the systems began to learn more. With the addition of ConverseNow’s AI, the casual pizza chain was able to develop a system they were confident enough to release.
Speaking about the announcement, John Iannucci, Chief Operating Officer at Anthony’s stated, “Anthony’s is constantly exploring innovative strategies and new technologies to stay ahead of evolving consumer preferences as part of our commitment to providing the best guest experience,…Phone orders remain a strong sales driver for us, and by introducing ConverseNow’s AI systems, all orders are addressed quickly and efficiently.”
This is at the heart of this program, delivering improved experiences for customers while ensuring the accuracy of their orders. Some might note that this isn’t the first AI move in 2022 for high-volume food chains. In late summer, Chipotle unveiled an AI program to assist employees with the burdens of rushes. Not only would it track and monitor food on the floor, but the AI would also inform employees of the best times to prepare the worker to get ahead of any customer rushes it learned from real-life patterns. As for Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza & Wings, it seems they’re in a similar direction, finding ways to make better use of employees with technology.
Vinay Shukla, co-founder, and Chief Executive Officer of ConverseNow stated about the program, “Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza & Wings is a phenomenal business. We are delighted to work with a leading brand in the restaurant industry and help it benefit from technology that allows it to make better use of its human capital while maximizing its delivery and pick-up orders generated by its phone and voice channels…Through our best-in-class technology, we will further support Anthony’s mission to provide its customers outstanding service.”
Of course, Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza & Wings and Chipotle aren’t the first fast-food or casual restaurants to use AI and technology. McDonald’s earlier this year was testing a similar AI voice ordering system. Though those results haven’t as much promise as Anthony’s in accuracy thus far. But it seems that artificial intelligence and the restaurant business are only getting started. It will be interesting to see how the industry will change with new technology and datasets.