We have seen a major surge in drive-thru orders since the pandemic. Many fast-food chains are trying to speed up wait times and make the drive-thru experience more efficient. Panera Bread has decided to test out a program called Tori which is an artificial intelligence technology software. The chain started testing it out at two of their New York locations, customers pull up and have their order taken by a robot. Customer service representatives are on standby to correct any mistakes. This is a big step for Panera and has sparked other fast-food chains to follow a similar suit.
Many other fast-food chains are investing in technology. McDonalds recently partnered with IBM to develop a similar artificial intelligence software. In order to increase efficiency of order online and pick up in store, other chains have added additional drive-thru lanes or reconfigured the layouts of their stores. Ease and efficiency of getting food to customers is paramount in standing out amongst competition. We will continue to see the new design and functionality of quick serve restaurants evolve over time.