Hardee's and Carl's Jr. to add voicebots to drive-thrus

The burger brands are taking the technology from Presto nationwide after tests showed a significant revenue boost.
A Hardee's drive-thru
Hardee's and Carl's Jr. have 2,800 restaurants in 44 states. / Photo: Shutterstock

Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. are bringing robots to the drive-thru.

The twin burger brands said Thursday they will use AI voicebots from Presto Automation to take drive-thru orders at participating locations nationwide. 

Hardee’s and Carl’s have about 2,800 restaurants in 44 states. Some of them have already been testing Presto’s system, which can greet customers, take their order and offer upsells.

Stores using the technology saw positive results, including a “significant rise” in revenue from the upsells, said Phil Crawford, CTO of Hardee’s/Carl’s owner CKE Restaurants, in a statement. 

“Presto's Voice AI solution is a robust choice as it aligns well with CKE's objective of providing guests with outstanding service while simultaneously increasing operational efficiency,” he said. “We are delighted to offer the Presto Voice AI technology to our franchisee base across the country.”

It’s the biggest contract yet for Presto’s voicebot, which is also being used by Checkers and Rally’s and Del Taco. Presto’s stock jumped more than 12% on Thursday as a result. 

More restaurants are looking at automation as a way to ease rising costs. Bots that can answer the phone and take drive-thru orders have become an increasingly popular solution. 

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