Wendy’s scales up its GenAI-driven drive-thru, Wendy’s FreshAI, enhancing customer interaction and service efficiency.

Wendy’s, renowned for its bold innovations in the fast-food industry, has recently expanded its GenAI endeavors with Wendy’s FreshAI. This cutting-edge platform transcends the limitations of traditional AI, primarily in drive-thru settings. It’s designed to fluidly comprehend casual customer conversations and adeptly navigate the complexity of Wendy’s extensive menu options. Following an extensive trial in Columbus, Ohio, Wendy’s has garnered valuable insights, significantly redefining the drive-thru experience.

Diverging from conventional rule-based systems, Wendy’s FreshAI utilizes GenAI to dynamically generate responses and adapt in real-time. This approach results in a more personalized, responsive interaction for each customer. Given the myriad of ways to order a single menu item like Dave’s Double, integrating GenAI is critical to innovate the drive-thru experience.

The success of Wendy’s FreshAI is gauged by its capability to process orders autonomously while ensuring a consistent customer experience. During the Columbus test, the GenAI-powered service notably reduced service times by 22 seconds compared to the local average. Impressively, Wendy’s FreshAI achieved nearly 86% accuracy in autonomous orders, escalating to 99% with crew assistance. This technology has enabled restaurant teams to concentrate on enhancing order preparation quality and speed.

Wendy’s commitment to evolving Wendy’s FreshAI is evident in the thousands of hours invested by their technology and operations teams. These teams have been directly engaging with restaurant staff and customers, refining the GenAI application based on real-world feedback.

Currently active in four Wendy’s locations in Columbus, Ohio, Wendy’s FreshAI is poised for further expansion. By the end of 2023 and into early 2024, additional company restaurants will integrate this technology, with franchisee pilot opportunities in 2024. Looking ahead, Wendy’s plans to incorporate Wendy’s FreshAI into various channels, including their app, in-restaurant kiosks, mobile devices, and even smart home devices.