Wendy's Is The Latest Fast-Food Company To Adopt Artificial Intelligence In Their Stores As Restaurants Continue To Struggle With Staffing Shortages

Every year, Wendy's serves millions of customers at nearly 7,000 restaurants around the globe. Now, the company is taking a massive step forward. It's partnering with Google to bring artificial intelligence (AI) to a drive-thru at one of the company's Columbus, Ohio-area restaurants.

If everything goes as planned during the pilot test, Wendy's may expand the use of AI technology to additional drive-thrus throughout the country.

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Wendy's Is No Stranger To Fast-Food Innovation

More than 50 years ago, Wendy's changed the fast food industry forever by introducing the first modern pick-up window to its customers. Now, it's on the cutting edge of AI technology. 

“Google Cloud’s generative AI technology creates a huge opportunity for us to deliver a truly differentiated, faster and frictionless experience for our customers and allows our employees to continue focusing on making great food and building relationships with fans that keep them coming back time and again," Wendy's President and CEO Todd Penegor said

With 75% to 80% of Wendy’s customers choosing the drive-thru to order and pick up food, it's natural for the company to seek ways to improve the experience. And AI automation fits the bill.

Through this approach, Wendy's hopes to implement a more seamless and less complex ordering experience. This benefits the customer and allows employees to focus on preparing and serving food with top-notch service. 

“Wendy’s has always been at the forefront of innovation, and we’re thrilled to build upon our partnership with the company with our new generative AI technologies,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud. “Generative AI is fundamentally changing how people interact with brands, and we anticipate Wendy’s integration of Google Cloud’s generative AI technology will set a new standard for great drive-thru experiences for the quick-service industry.”

Wendy's And Google Are No Strangers To Each Other

While this announcement is exciting for both Wendy's and Google, the companies have a strong history of working together. Since 2021, the fast-food giant has employed Google Cloud’s data analytics, AI, machine learning (ML) and hybrid cloud tools to provide a better customer experience. 

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