Presto Automation, an artificial intelligence technology provider for restaurants, is expanding its Presto Voice drive-through AI pilot to a Taco John’s outlet in Wyoming, US.

This follows a successful initial pilot at a Taco John’s location in Minnesota that went live in April 2024. The Wyoming pilot is scheduled to be operational before August.

Presto Voice aims to boost drive-through staff efficiency by taking over order-taking duties, which allows employees to concentrate on more crucial tasks and helps to cut labour costs.

The technology also offers customisable upsells, potentially increasing revenue and enhancing the customer experience with immediate service.

The collaboration between Presto, Taco John’s and Qu, a restaurant commerce platform, has facilitated the integration of Presto Voice with Qu’s point-of-sale and kitchen production systems.

This integration ensures that automated voice orders are processed swiftly and accurately within Taco John’s existing technology infrastructure.

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Presto interim CEO Gee Lefevre said: “Taco John’s and Qu have been exceptional partners for Presto because they understand that the technology behind Presto Voice can be seamlessly coupled with a restaurant’s existing technology stack to drive operational efficiencies and improve the guest experience.”

Following the pilot’s completion, Taco John’s plans to introduce Presto Voice across its franchised locations within a year.

Taco John’s technology vice-president Ryan Baune said: “Preliminary test results have been very positive. We are seeing improvements around speed of service, order accuracy and an increase in average ticket size primarily driven by upsell attachment.”

Taco John’s restaurant technology director Steve Smyth said: “As Taco John’s looks to the future, Presto Voice is a natural fit to our technology roadmap. Presto and Qu’s development during this process has unlocked the ability for orders being taken by the Voice AI assistant to show up in real-time on the kitchen screens.”

Qu product vice president Brian Crum said: “Qu is designed from the ground up to support robust, bi-directional, AI-powered integrations, meeting the stringent speed and customer experience requirements necessary for a first-class voice AI solution like Presto Voice.

“The pilot phase with Taco John’s showcases how our collaborative efforts delivered an integrated and scalable solution. By enabling Voice AI natively within Qu’s unified commerce platform, we eliminate the need for bolt-on or redundant interfaces, seamlessly incorporating AI into the order-taking and making process. We are thrilled to see this development come to life, enabling Taco John’s to leverage the benefits of AI in their restaurants.”

With 400 restaurants across 23 states, Taco John’s is a significant player in the US Mexican quick-service restaurant market.

In September 2023, CKE Franchise Group’s StarCorp selected Presto as its voice artificial intelligence vendor for 58 of its Carl’s Jr locations in the US.