Presto Automation, an automation solutions provider for the hospitality industry, has signed agreements with 13 quick-serve restaurant (QSR) franchise groups that collectively own and operate more than 500 locations across the US.

The franchise groups have agreed to start using the company’s Presto Voice, a drive-thru automaton solution.

The company claims that the solution features human-like artificial intelligence (AI) voice assistance, which is available 24/7, operating at peak efficiency.

With Presto Voice in place, QSR brands can save on labour costs while benefitting from a full-time equivalent system to take care of repetitive tasks round the clock.

According to the company, such a collective rollout is considered to be the largest ever in the fast-developing drive-thru automation segment. The move is claimed to be a significant milestone both for itself and for the industry in general.

The estimated value of this addressable market for this space is $2.25bn in the US alone.

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Presto claims that its Presto Voice customers have experienced better results where drive-thru operators see an incremental increase of up to 6% along with demonstrable labour redeployment to accelerate the speed of service.

The solution can also upsell as much as four times higher than human order-takers, the company claims.  

With such a solution, fast-food operators can increase their sales without additional hiring in an already-challenging labour market.

Presto president Dan Mosher said: “We’ve achieved notable traction with franchise operators over the past several months and we look forward to generating widespread adoption of our Voice AI solution at these drive-thru locations.

“The results are encouraging for franchisees, restaurant staff, and guests. We look forward to growing our partnership with some of the largest and most successful QSR brands and their franchisees as we continue working together to create delightful AI-powered guest experiences.”