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Sonic Drive-In to Pilot Voice AI-Powered Ordering, Dynamic Menus

Sonic Drive-In will be the first to use the AI voice ordering tech developed by Mastercard, Zivelo

Mastercard announced a partnership with Zivelo, a provider of self-service kiosk technology, to enhance the drive-in and drive-thru ordering experience for quick service restaurants (QSRs) with an AI-powered voice assistant and personalized dynamic menu. Sonic Drive-In will be the first partner to pilot the new experience at selected Sonic locations in the U.S. this year.

The technology will be showcased at the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago from May 18-21.

Upon arrival at the QSR’s drive-in or drive-through, consumers will be prompted to order from an AI-powered voice ordering assistant, which will integrate with a dynamic menu display. The menu will automatically update using a proprietary AI solution developed by Mastercard, which will allow the display to be customized either for a specific customer or for external factors such as weather, time of day, seasonality and location.

“We see facets of our brand, our restaurants, and AI technology converging in a way that makes for a special customer experience. Sonic is known for a fun environment and a full menu with extensive customization options that allows guests to personalize every meal,” said Jon Dorch, vice president of integrated customer engagement. “Voice AI promises to provide carefree conversational ordering that complements the overall experience. We anticipate AI integration will also provide opportunities to streamline repeat orders, personalize suggestions based on data, and offer rewards that are truly relevant.”

The artificial intelligence engine that powers the voice ordering experience to provide a dynamic menu was developed through Mastercard Labs and can be adapted for the needs of each specific merchant partner. The solution is built on OakOS, Zivelo,’s software operating system for public computing experiences, and relies on Zivelo’s expertise within the self-service display industry, having successfully deployed tens of thousands of kiosks in restaurants to date. Mastercard also provides innovation support through an off-the-shelf voice AI solution for merchants that can be designed, developed and launched without significant effort, allowing them to quickly deploy the experience in-market.

The voice ordering experience and dynamic menu solution was designed to be flexible for each unique QSR. Additional partners will pilot the technology as it continues to roll out in 2019.

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