The giant of organized catering, McDonald’s, acquired in 2019 Apprente, an emerging company specialized in the development of software, founded a couple of years earlier in the US. THE. by Itamar Arel and Moshe Looks.
Since the hamburger chain took control of the company, Apprente's name had not been mentioned again in the media. That has changed recently. A weeks ago it became known that the start-up I had been working on a new system artificial intelligence voice-based specially designed for restoration applications.
This tool becomes the intellectual property of McDonald’s and the company's board of directors has already announced that it is in tests in some places.
The impact of artificial intelligence in restaurants
The great potential of AI in the hospitality sector lies in the ability to identify hidden patterns and establish guidelines to improve the relationship with customers. For example, he upselling, O increase in consumptions per ticket, is one of the hot spots. This strategy allows to substantially increase the economic performance of the premises when AI is used to enhance it.. No drastic changes are necessary; Unlike, small modifications in the position of menu items, in the use of forced notifications or in the layout of the premises can lead to unpredictable increases in cash.
Another of the usual applications of artificial intelligence is the Customer Support, either through chatbots, either by virtual assistants voice commanded. Computer programs capable of imitating human speech and interpreting the information contained in it evolve at breakneck speed.
A less common but equally interesting job is the QA. In the past we have witnessed how Domino’s Pizza valued its image recognition system equipped with AI and machine learning to ensure that the quality of the products sold was predictable. This increased customer satisfaction and the volume of orders in the Australian establishments where the pilot project was developed..
In the future we will see many other applications of AI, but these are some of those already present in the world of restoration. So that, you may wonder: What has Apprente developed for McDonald’s?
Apprente's voice order technology
What is one of the biggest weaknesses of speech recognition systems? If we remember how any intercom or speaker sounds in the subway, we probably imagine it: ambient noise and distortions.
In the market there are software AI-based voice care provider for a long time, but the reliability of these systems is not optimal. Every two by three it is necessary to pass the order to a person so that it is attended correctly.
For the client this results in some friction. But even more unnerving is the fact that the noise in the environment prevents our voice. This is where Apprente comes in.. The startup has designed a new technology to be used in checkout lanes. As is evident, engine noise and traffic make words difficult to interpret. Now, with a 85% of success, the orders will be taken without much difficulty.
The new voice recognition system allows to separate layers of sound to isolate those that are significant for the system. In this way, it is possible to accelerate the service in drive-thru and minimize the time staff spend on customer service tasks. Both objectives have a positive impact on the operation of the huge chain of restaurants: reducing the service time per vehicle allows you to do without additional lanes, limiting the surface occupied by each premises.
In big cities, where the prices of the purchase or rental of land reach exorbitant amounts, this optimization is critical.
The system is already working
The first experience with the new Apprente automation is already in operation in 10 drive-thrus de McDonald’s, all of them located in Chicago (OF. UU.). The satisfaction of senior officials is evident, but as indicated by the executive director of the corporation, Chris Kempczinski, the real challenge is to "move from 10 restaurants in Chicago at 14 000 that are scattered throughout the United States ». The investment required will be huge, but the performance of it too.