Smarter Drive-Thru Embracing AI and Other Tech

By | February 14, 2021
Burger King Drive Thru
Burger King Drive Thru

Burger King Drive Thru

From Restaurant Business Feb 2021 — Fast-food chains are embracing AI and other technologies to supercharge their premier channel.


Dunkin’ is among the brands working to answer that question. The Canton, Mass.-based chain is testing drive-thrus that can recognize a loyalty member as soon as they pull up using geolocation within its mobile app. That triggers AI-powered digital boards that will greet them by name, display their loyalty points and recent orders, and ask if they want to add their customary donut along with that coffee.

“If you happen to be a loyalty guest, and I know that you are there in front of the digital menu board, you have that moment of time where you have this one-to-one relationship with that menu board,” said Gagan Sinha, VP of IT with Dunkin’ Brands, during RB’sFSTEC Community last month.

Burger King is one chain leaning heavily into AI. Its team of five in-house data scientists worked with tech giant Intel to develop a drive-thru recommendation algorithm that uses variables such as weather, time of day and the first thing a customer orders to generate targeted suggestions.

That technology along with new digital menu boards are in place in about 1,000 Burger King locations, with the main goal being to increase ticket size, Gretz said.

Other interesting Drive Thrus we saw this week include some posted by Humdinner on LinkedIn: