Press Release: Hi Auto, the first company in the world to widely deploy voice ordering in drive-throughs, is now taking orders in 250 restaurants across the US and releasing new capabilities to improve the profitability of restaurants
Tel-Aviv, Israel, September 12, 2022, www.hi.auto
Hi Auto, a graduate of Intel Ignite’s inaugural cohort – Intel’s growth program for startups – announced today that its system is currently deployed in 250 restaurants across the USA. It now takes orders from millions of customers every month.
Oil prices and inflation increased due to the Covid-19 crisis and the war between Russia and Ukraine, which in turn led to an increase in employee salaries and restaurant supply chain prices. In addition, 80% of restaurants do not have enough workers to meet their staffing needs.
As a result, many drive-through restaurant chains are currently implementing new automation technologies to provide quality and profitable services, while filling the manpower gap. The field of Voice AI is advancing fast, and its leader is an Israeli start-up, Hi Auto. No other company has deployed this technology at scale.
Drive-through Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) orders in the USA account for about 60% of the QSR market, which is estimated to be worth 300 billion dollars. Hi Auto’s solution allows restaurants to take orders from vehicles through a virtual assistant. This allows drivers to have a natural conversation with a virtual assistant when they arrive at the ordering point. Several chains work with the company and it is growing rapidly.
When a driver enters the ordering station, Hi Auto’s speech recognition system enables the driver to converse in natural language with “Auto”, the AI-based smart assistant. It takes the order, recognizes each item, offers the customer additional suggestions (upsell), and sends the order to the Point of Sale. Hi Auto can understand complex menus, half-sentences, accents, and detailed requests, and follow up on changes made by the customer during the ordering process. Hi Auto uses Intel technology on the edge.
“Hi Auto is the first virtual assistant in the world that is widely deployed in Quick Serve Restaurants,” notes Roy Baharav, CEO of Hi Auto. “The solution we developed reduces the burden and dependence on personnel by automatically taking orders. It also helps overcome a shortage of approximately 1.5 million workers in the USA, which has become more serious over the past two years. In the future, the virtual assistant will be responsible for improving all sales processes in the restaurant and managing the kitchen work.”
Baharav reveals, for the first time, a newly-introduced capability offered by the company: ”Starting next month, Hi Auto will add an optimization capability that allows a brand to configure different sales scenarios in different stores, measure and draw conclusions, and adopt the most profitable processes. The ability to control the sales playbook in each and every store makes it possible for the first time to treat a drive-through sale as a sale on an e-commerce site and to optimize all the parameters.”
About Hi Auto:
Hi Auto was founded in 2019 by Roy Baharav (81 and Google graduate), Eyal Shapira (Talpiot and 81 graduate and entrepreneur of several start-ups), and Zohar Zisapel (who serves as active chairman and investor in the company). The company is preparing for their series A fundraising roundduring 2022.