Meet Tori, the AI ​​for fast food ordering

Rochester, NY (WROC) – Extra mayonnaise? A side of fries? Chips instead of bread? “Tori” can handle all of your fast food accommodations.

Tori – Artificial Intelligence (AI) Launched by OpenCityBoston-based company – touted as the restaurant industry’s first voice chatbot in drive-thru.

At Webster Panera Bread, Tori really takes orders, and we put her to the test. If you want to hear Tori in action, check out the video attached at the top of the article.

Nick Pelsito, CEO of OpenCity, has worked in the restaurant world for nearly 25 years, diving into restaurant technology for nearly a decade. He was poised to fire up a tori in restaurants after the peak of COVID-19 led to staff shortages, and caused restaurants to struggle to stay open.

“These are essential businesses, hmm [drive-thrus] They were the only restaurant styles open during COVID to feed people. And today, when you look at the job market, where unemployment was at historic lows, the restaurant industry has been hit the hardest. “The restaurant industry from a business standpoint has been hit hard,” Pelsito said.

Tori is able to take a customer’s order, enter it into the register, as well as deliver it to the kitchen on her own – with staff able to listen in while they can now prioritize other tasks in the kitchen. Pilcito says that Tori differs from the AI ​​heard when calling customer support lines because she is able to have perceptive, natural conversations with the consumer.

“I talk to Tori just like I would talk to a human employee, place an order, stop and get my food,” Pelcito said. “It’s an identical experience, and hopefully a smoother one. Tori is promptly turned on to take your order. From the employee’s perspective, I can hear everything Tori says, I can hear everything the guest is saying, so I can start multitasking. I don’t have to swipe.” on every order so I can save my time as an employee.I can handle guests in front of me to check on them.I can start packing, and I can check the bag to make sure everything in there is accurate.Tori asks clarifying questions often about certain things.So, if you’re in the kitchen And you have a speaker in the ceiling, I can hear too. Tory asks the guests what the guest is saying. So, it keeps everyone in the back of the house or in the kitchen side on the same page with exactly what’s going on.”

According to Belsito, Tori is able to handle more than average demand. It is able to accommodate those with speech impairments, multiple accents and languages. And if there’s an order Tori can’t successfully complete, the drive-by staff can jump in quickly and keep their customers happy.

“We don’t want to serve you the wrong food. If Tori doesn’t know, we ask the employee to jump in to help. Tori is able to tell the employee, Hey jump here and can you help complete the application here? “The clerk is free to talk to the guests at any time because they hear the full conversation,” Pelsito said. With dialects and languages. The beauty of AI is that we train Tori, and we train our models in an enormous array of dialects. Deep in the South in Louisiana, we’re in New York, and it’s a different speed of speech, you have tonal accents. You have Latin accents. Lots of accent and originality stuff, we’re doing a great job there.”

In addition to accents and languages, Pelcito said those who typically get anxious when ordering through drive-thru feel more at ease and at ease talking to Tory, rather than to a human employee.

The humans struggled with them as they commanded and the stress and anxiety they felt when they heard Tori think If a human can’t hear him, can Tori handle my request? And Tori ate it flawlessly and the guy was crying, because it was the first time he felt like someone in America talking to get their food and now he goes over there so he doesn’t have to stress about making that order,” Pilcito said.

Pelcito argues the question posed by introducing an artificial intelligence such as Tori in, Does this take jobs away from the people who need them?

“When you talk about the labor market, it’s at an all-time historic low. When you look at the rest of the problem, it’s the hardest hit of anyone at a huge multiple around other industries,” Pelsito said. people to help you. This makes my job more stressful as a general manager or owner and you have to make some tough decisions. Will we open our campaign through today? Shall we open the dining room? They make really tough decisions that affect the bottom line, which also affects how they deliver food and service to their customers. So, it’s really hard to lay off a job for a job you can’t hire for. What we’re doing this supplement is to help them properly help the employee become a person again, help the employee do their job better to help this store stay open.”

Tori is ready to take orders at restaurants across the country, including Panera Bread, Hardee’s, and more.

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