Dec. 27 2021
For a number of years, quick service restaurants have been experimenting with different combinations of technologies in an attempt to resolve drive-thru bottlenecks. Now, a new solution brings voice control directly inside the car.
BurgerFi recently became the first food establishment to launch drive by car on vehicles equipped with 5G. The solution, from Mavi.io, hopes to streamline a driver’s ability to connect with grocers, drugstores, restaurants, nail salons, and other businesses for easier ordering, payment, and curbside pickup.
Eat this, not that! wrote: “The purchasing process takes place hands-free via voice and data displayed on the vehicle’s dashboard screen. The driver simply activates the MAVI.io system, verbally declares what they want to buy, and then receives a list of appropriate recommendations. The user then places a specific order, always by voice, and the system coordinates the ordering and GPS guidance, leading the driver to the pick-up destination, with their own real-time ETA and status. the command.
Other big fast food chains have tried to speed up the lines by giving the drive-thru itself a high-tech upgrade. McDonald’s tested the control of AI-based voice assistants as well as the drive-thru touchscreen control. White Castle explored the license plate recognition based command.
This is not the restaurant’s first partnership with the automotive industry to get customers to order from their cars.
In 2017, General Motors rolled out an in-dash touchscreen solution called Marketplace to allow people to order food from Starbucks, Wingstop and other places directly from their dashboards. Ordering from dashboards was touted as safer than ordering from smartphones, but safety advocates have always found that shopping activity can take drivers’ eyes off the road.
Remote control via a mobile device has proven to be very popular for some QSRs. However, Starbucks experienced mobile order bottlenecks even before the pandemic, even going so far as to open mobile pickup kiosks just to reduce wait times. More recently, a Business intern A June 2021 article characterized Starbucks baristas as being inundated with mobile orders due to an increase in the rate of mobile app orders due to the pandemic.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Does in-car voice control, like the one BurgerFi drives, offer a solution to driving bottlenecks? How would you access the benefits and risks of car dashboard trading versus smartphone ordering?
“Pre-ordering is a smart strategy to speed up drive-thru lines and, for high volume QSRs, it will become the norm. “