Buckeye Carl’s Jr using artificial intelligence to take orders

A fast-food chain struggling to hire staff is using AI to help fill the gaps at the drive-thru.
Published: May. 5, 2023 at 9:58 PM MST
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BUCKEYE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - AI is here in the Valley, and it’s looking to take your order. “This new system is reliable, it runs 24/7 and it really helps,” said Agustin Medina, a Carl’s Jr store manager in Buckeye.

In partnership with Presto Automation, Carl’s Jr has brought out artificial intelligence to take orders at drive-thrus, with one of the first locations in the country being in Buckeye. It can adapt to what you’re saying and even offer other items on the menu. “I was a little taken back at first but it did have a very pleasant voice,” said customer Terri Baker.

Medina said AI isn’t here to take away jobs but let his staff focus on other tasks like preparing the food. “We’re not cutting hours or cutting another person from the schedule it’s just someone else that can help.”

The AI takes the order and sends it to a screen inside the restaurant where the workers then make the food. The process overall is a little slower than talking to a real person, and it’s also not perfect. A staff member is on standby, just in case. “We are always wearing our headsets so we are always ready to intervein,” said Medina.