Attia began the conversation with a brief explanation of what AI is in the food service industry; in the QSR space, McDonald’s is one of the only companies who have utilized AI in their restaurants. To aid in this endeavor, McDonald’s acquired an Omnichannel Personalization Platform, Dynamic Yield, for $300 Million in the spring of 2019.
While this type of AI personalization is similar to the shopping experience Amazon provides, Attia detailed how the QSR industry can deploy it in a different way. One new product introduction that Attia said is doing well in the QSR industry is the self-service kiosk. The kiosk’s help reduce the pressure on the person ordering, who doesn’t feel pressured to hurry up and place an order. QSR’s have reported a 10-15% uptick in sales due to the kiosks.
Attia provided an example of a QSR formally known as Eatsa, which positioned itself as a 21st Century Automat, with a cashless, all digital order flow. Eatsa is now rebranded as a technology company, Brightloom, and has partnered with Starbucks. In exchange for an equity stake in Brightloom, Starbucks has licensed aspects of their mobile ordering and rewards technology to the QSR.
Attia and Litwin discussed why QSRs are slow to adapt AI technology, and how it can provide a deeper look into analyzing areas of the QSR workflow, from drive-thru lines to fry-cook temperatures. Attia went on to explain how AI can improve bottlenecks in the QSR workflow.
What many QSR’s may not know is, their existing hardware often would not have to change in order to employ these AI technologies. Attia walked Litwin through the steps a QSR must take in order to employ AI software on their existing hardware.