US-based fast-casual chain Newk’s Eatery is deploying voice artificial intelligence (AI) ordering systems at its 100 franchised locations across 16 US states.

For this technological initiative, Newk’s has partnered with San Francisco-based technology firm kea for its voice AI ordering system.

The fast-casual chain selected kea’s system to operate the phone channel and further digitise its off-premise business, which contributes to a third of all its orders since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Newk’s Eatery Information Technology vice-president Adam Karveller said: “When callers can’t get through to a cashier, we risk upsetting loyal customers and losing a significant segment of our customer base.

“Not only that, if the phone is constantly ringing off the hook we also risk losing employees who are stressed and overwhelmed, compounding the labour shortage problem we already face.”

kea’s technology is currently used at all of Newk’s corporate locations and will now be rolled out across its entire franchise network.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Leveraging natural language processing, the technology assesses incoming calls and then transcribes, upsells and confirms orders.

A payment card industry (PCI)-compliant system is then used to process the payment, and the orders are sent to the restaurant point of sale (POS) system.

Newk’s Eatery Franchise Operations vice-president Mark Reedy said: “When we were looking at options for to-go ordering, we didn’t want a one-size-fits-all technology. We wanted a customer-centric solution that specialised in the phone channel.

“We found that kea was much more accurate and user-friendly than the other options, and based on the check averages going up, we know that it’s been more successful too.”