Case Study: Wingstop’s Dive into Voice AI with ConverseNow

Background

Wingstop, a fast-casual restaurant chain with over 1,500 locations worldwide, recognized the potential of digital transformation, especially in the realm of order taking. The company had been on a digital trajectory, with 60% of its revenue coming from digital sales in a recent quarter. Yet, nearly 30% of Wingstop transactions still came over the phone. Seeing an opportunity to streamline phone orders and enhance efficiency, Wingstop partnered with ConverseNow, a leading voice AI provider for restaurants.

Key Takeaways

  • Wingstop formed a strategic partnership with ConverseNow to leverage voice AI for phone orders.
  • Voice-AI virtual assistants were introduced in selected Wingstop outlets to enhance the phone-ordering experience.
  • Customers benefitted from reduced hold times and received personalized menu recommendations.
  • Integration with Wingstop’s existing POS system allowed for seamless processing of AI-taken orders without additional training requirements.
  • Feedback from other restaurant brands using ConverseNow suggests potential increases in average order values and operational efficiency improvements.

Deep Dive: Wingstop’s Dive into Voice AI with ConverseNow

Approach

Wingstop’s approach to integrating AI focused on enhancing the customer experience. They collaborated with ConverseNow to leverage their voice-AI powered virtual assistants to not only take orders but also make personalized recommendations. Wingstop envisioned this technology as a way to mirror human conversation and provide a seamless phone-ordering process for its customers.

Implementation

In the pilot program, the AI-powered assistants were introduced in select locations. These assistants could take multiple phone orders simultaneously, reducing missed calls and hold times. They could process orders in both English and Spanish, offering a broad appeal to a diverse customer base. All orders taken by the AI were processed via the restaurant’s existing point-of-sale system, ensuring a smooth integration without the need for additional staff training.

Results

The preliminary outcomes indicated several benefits. The automation of phone orders ensured fewer missed calls and reduced hold times, even during peak hours. By eliminating the need for staff to answer phone calls, in-restaurant teams could focus more on in-person service, enhancing the overall guest experience. Additionally, the AI’s ability to provide dynamic upsells based on personalized recommendations had potential implications for increasing the average order value.

Challenges and Barriers

While the information provided primarily highlights the positives of the initiative, implementing AI in such environments can pose challenges. These might include potential resistance from staff, ensuring the AI understands diverse accents and dialects, handling complex or unique orders, and ensuring the technology seamlessly integrates with existing systems without glitches.

Future Outlook

ConverseNow’s technology has already been adopted in over 1,200 stores across 46 states. This, combined with the positive feedback from brands like Domino’s and Fazoli’s, paints a promising picture for the future of AI in restaurant order-taking. Wingstop’s pilot program may very well pave the way for a broader rollout across its locations, potentially pushing the brand closer to its goal of digitizing 100% of its transactions.

Sources:
ConverseNow’s Voice AI Soars to New Heights with Wingstop Partnership
Wingstop pilots AI-based voice ordering system
Wingstop tests AI powered virtual assistants for order taking
Chatbots for chicken wings: AI voice startup ConverseNow expands with Wingstop


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