SoundHound Partners With Mastercard on Voice Tech for Drive-Thru

Anna Wolfe
Senior Editor, Restaurants

Dunkin’ and White Castle will begin testing voice-enabled drive-thru solutions in Q4.

SoundHound Inc. partnered with Mastercard to develop voice-enabled drive thru solutions that deliver low-touch, high-engagement experiences for QSRs and their customers. The AI Powered Drive-Thru technology will begin pilots at White Castle locations next month, and will be rolling out to other quick service restaurants later in the year.

Innovation is ramping up in the drive-thru.  White Castle is also piloting vehicle recognition tech from Rekor and Mastercard.


Driving Innovation

At a time when the impact of COVID-19 is motivating consumers to seek safer alternatives, Mastercard is looking to transform drive-through and drive-in interactions through vehicle recognition, voice ordering and artificial intelligence

Houndify's Speech-to-Meaning and Deep Meaning Understanding technologies are uniquely positioned to reduce friction and ease backups common at QSR drive-through stations. Houndify’s advanced voice AI technologies enable the system to understand complex orders, substitutions, and special requests quickly and accurately — even during peak hours. QSR patrons can order what they want with natural voice queries, and confirm the accuracy of their orders, just like they were talking to a human.

For example, a customer can say: "Can I get the hamburger combo, extra large, no pickles, add onions and mayonnaise, substitute the drink for a vanilla milkshake, and give me a side of chicken nuggets with hot mustard dipping sauce." The voice ordering system will quickly understand and repeat the order, letting the customer know if any of the items are unavailable. The customer can then add items and modify the order at any time: “Add a medium fries to that order and change the vanilla milkshake to chocolate.” Houndify’s conversational intelligence maintains context without requiring the user to repeat previous inputs.

Prioritizing Tech for CX

This partnership is part of Mastercard’s new suite of solutions for retailers to help reimagine physical shopping experiences, as brands worldwide continue to prioritize enhanced technology for safer and more efficient in-person engagement. Applicable and adaptable to any retail environment including restaurants, Mastercard’s solutions reduce friction within the ordering process by removing the need to wait for an employee to take an order, enabling staff to focus on order throughput.

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