kea, the “cashier in the cloud” empowering restaurants with revenue-boosting customer service, initiated its partnership with California Fish Grill. The collaboration focuses on upgrading the restaurant chain’s traditional phone ordering systems to kea’s human-centered conversational AI. The goal is to streamline California Fish Grill’s operations, freeing restaurant staff to focus on the customer experience inside the restaurant.

“We believe in creating a supportive and collaborative environment for our employees at California Fish Grill,” said Patrick Waiyawaytar, Vice President of Information Technology. “We are working to reduce stress for our valued front-of-house team, especially when dealing with phone orders. Kea’s AI technology allows us to streamline processes, easing the workload for our cashier team and ultimately enhancing the overall customer experience.”

A cornerstone of kea’s human-centered approach is its innovative “the human in the loop” feature. Rather than using only AI, which often has a low call completion rate, kea’s system integrates live agents that monitor the order, increasing order accuracy, call completion and customer satisfaction. If the customer ever needs to speak to someone in real time, agents can jump in, or if the call drops, the agent will call the customer back.

California Fish Grill has integrated kea into all 55 locations first, and kea handles the majority of the restaurant chain’s call volume. So far, California Fish Grill has seen a boost in average ticket size due to kea’s upselling feature. Kea’s natural language processing understands the difference between menu items so it can suggest what to add to a customer’s order and is guaranteed to identify intelligent selling opportunities on 100% of calls.

“Our mission is to empower local restaurant chains to thrive,” said Adam Ahmad, CEO and Founder of kea. “With kea, California Fish Grill can continue to focus on what they do best, serving high-quality, sustainably sourced seafood, and we can focus on handling their to-go orders for them. It’s a win-win.”

Restaurants interested in trying AI to enable hospitality and scale through digitization can book a demo at

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