There are no face-to-face interactions at a drive-though. No hand gestures. No facial expressions. Only the microphone and the speaker.
Why not introduce AI and feed the audio and the order data into the engine? The AI will get the info of what was ultimately ordered and if any mistakes were made in the order once it has been picked up (wrong item given, misunderstanding about what was ordered, etc). Often the cashier asks certain things twice because they did not catch the response the first time or perhaps the customer does not have the best English. AI will learn all that stuff.
After some time (years?, months?) the AI will be allowed to take *some* orders — say 2% of the orders and success can be assessed. If AI is doing well, give it more orders. If not, keep training it.
Once AI is doing well and is capable handling *most* orders, juts have the cashier as a backup who can step in in the event of a very complicated order.
How much money will this save? One person. Usually drive-throughs have 1 person taking the orders with the headset and other people handing out the food, taking the payments, etc. So not a huge saving — but if AI is doing well it may be introduced in front counter as well, enhancing or replacing those order screens which do take longer than talking to a person. This is where the real benefit comes in. The only thing that’s faster than talking to a person is having a preset order on your fast food app, but I often change things up so presets don’t work for me. Having multiple presets confuses me.
The main goal here is to achieve efficiency — allowing a location to move more product. Move the front counter personnel and drive though order taking folks into the back (to cook food, etc) and allow for faster intake of order requests. Then the chain can move more product, with the same number of staff.