Restaurants had to evolve quickly at the onset of the pandemic—and they’re still transforming. Footprints are shifting and shrinking, even as customers expect the same lightning-fast service with greater say in how they pick up their orders. “Your crew is serving more customers in new ways—drive thru, mobile order pickup, curbside pickup, walk-up windows, third-party delivery, dine-in service, and more. As a result, operators are being challenged to figure out how to manage multiple touchpoints successfully and smoothly,” says Scott Mullica, senior director of product management at HME Hospitality and Specialty Communications.
Once upon a time, it was enough to serve customers in the drive-thru lane quickly and efficiently. Today, operators also need to meet service expectations at every additional touchpoint, and some are now turning to artificial intelligence (AI) in the drive thru to help fill the gaps and maintain efficiency even when staffing fluctuates.
“While an AI bot greets your guests, takes their orders, and inputs the order on the POS, your crew is empowered to provide better service in other areas,” Mullica says. “Your staff can multitask and support the front counter, kitchen, or anywhere around the restaurant that needs their friendly and enthusiastic nature.”
Choosing a communication platform with voice AI integration helps future-proof a restaurant, setting it up for success whenever the time comes to upgrade. According to Mullica, planning ahead allows a restaurant to move at its own pace when it’s ready to start implementing voice AI ordering. Without built-in voice AI integration, operators need to customize the equipment and connection to their chosen voice AI provider.
NEXEO | HDX, on the other hand, is a communication platform designed to alleviate those roadblocks. When operators are ready to upgrade to voice AI ordering, the process is efficient and streamlined. “The NEXEO | HDX platform is purpose-built for drive-thru voice AI integration,” Mullica says. “Other communication solutions on the market need additional audio boxes or conversions to integrate with your voice AI provider, but NEXEO | HDX provides for a seamless integration, resulting in the best voice AI ordering experience available for customers and staff.”
NEXEO | HDX’s direct integration makes for a wonderfully efficient system. It’s quick and easy for crew members to take over the AI ordering process at any point, while also supporting system escalation that alerts a crew member if the voice AI system needs help completing an order. Whether the order taker is a person or AI-driven, HDX Digital Audio delivers the industry’s first fully digital end-to-end audio, which helps eliminate hum and noise throughout the system. Plus, advanced telemetry continuously monitors and evaluates the system interconnection to ensure it is always operating at peak performance.
The NEXEO | HDX platform is a high-quality drive-thru audio solution, while also uniquely designed for operators who want greater efficiency at every customer touchpoint—with the ability to integrate seamlessly with preferred voice AI providers. “Even if you’re not quite yet on the market for AI-driven ordering, you’ll enhance your operation with HDX Digital Audio, hands-free voice commands, integrated timer-to-headset alerts, one-to-one calling, group communication, targeted alerts, and more,” Mullica says.
To learn more, visit hme.com/vaio.