Marco’s Pizza has announced a 50-store pilot of its proprietary voice-to-text ordering system with the goal of a system-wide rollout by the end of 2022. The voice application uses artificial intelligence (AI ) conversational that yielded 100% order accuracy in initial beta testing as well as increased employee and customer satisfaction.
Initial voice-to-command beta testing began in the summer of 2021 before moving to pilot. Designed to provide seamless interaction with customers, the system receives phone orders via voice and automatically translates the SMS order into the POS system alerting team members to begin filling the order , which saves time, reduces call abandonment rates, and improves order speed and accuracy – all to maximize the customer experience. The use of conversational AI is unique to this technology, which simulates human-like conversation and can translate voice across multiple digital channels and technology platforms. This technology creates a personalized experience for the guest and feels very different from a basic interaction with a chatbot. The technology understands both English and Spanish as well as a variety of accents, dialects and colloquialisms.
Despite advances in technology, many customers find it easier and more convenient to pick up the phone and place an order. This technology can accommodate these guests and create a much better experience using conversational AI. As Marco’s digital sales continue to soar – tripling over the past four years – the adoption of this technology will play a significant role in growing the brand’s digital presence to its 85% goal.
“There are places where AI makes sense within the business – where it creates a better experience for team members and guests,” says Rick Stanbridge, senior vice president and chief operating officer. information from Marco’s Pizza. “Not only does this technology provide franchisees with a convenient and cost-effective solution to reduce labor costs and drive results, it provides support to team members while enhancing the customer experience.”
Through the use of this technology, the customer experience is improved above all else, and team members no longer have to deal with the frustrations that come with busy nights when there is an influx of orders, sonic distractions in the kitchen and the challenge of juggling multiple tasks. . As a people-oriented organization, Marco’s understands that when team members are happy, so are guests.
The voice-to-text initiative is one of many projects Marco’s is embarking on after announcing the investment of millions of dollars in technological innovations over the next few years as it becomes the fourth largest pizza brand. . These projects include the continued adoption of third-party delivery, in which Marco’s has grown 610% in just two years, using AI to generate automated delivery times, verifying and testing innovations in robotic kitchen, ghost kitchens and new operational equipment.
“There are a lot of technologies on our radar, but our strategy is to aggressively pursue those that we can bring to market quickly and that will have the greatest impact on customers, team members and franchisees,” Stanbridge says.
The 1,000+ unit brand continues to see record double-digit year-over-year same-store sales increases and is on track to hit $1 billion in annual sales nationwide of the system in 2022. As a result, enthusiastic and sophisticated entrepreneurs and multi-unit operators are flocking to the franchise opportunity.
The brand continues to grow at a rapid pace, setting a development goal of 1,500 open units by the end of 2023. According to FRANdata, a leading research and advisory firm that analyzes the franchise market, FUND Marco’s 2021 score is in the top 1% of all franchise systems evaluated and is in the top three scores for all quick serve brands. Marco’s top 50% franchise stores generated $1,059,574 AUV for 2020.
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