Fast-food chain continues its investment in AI-fueled technology; plans to roll out SoundHound’s voice AI drive-thru service to over 100 lanes by the end of 2024
SoundHound AI, Inc. (Nasdaq: SOUN) (“SoundHound”), a global leader in voice artificial intelligence, and White Castle, America’s first fast-food hamburger chain, today announced a first-of-its-kind expansion of their partnership to deliver a superior voice AI-enabled drive-thru experience to restaurant customers across multiple locations nationwide.
This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20230802921803/en/
White Castle plans to roll out SoundHound’s voice AI drive-thru service to over 100 lanes by the end of 2024 (Graphic: Business Wire)
In the first phase of its partnership, SoundHound’s technology powered voice AI ordering technology at select White Castle drive-thrus. This new agreement between the two companies will grow that coverage to over 100 of White Castle’s US drive-thru lanes by the end of 2024 – many of which will run 24/7.
Unlike other available options, SoundHound’s technology is based on complete end-to-end AI, and is not a human-assisted system. That means it relies entirely upon intelligent automation to deliver a fast, accurate, scalable, and consistent service right across locations and channels (including kiosk, phone, and other devices).
SoundHound and White Castle’s next big step marks a commitment to take sophisticated drive-thru AI to broad implementation based on years of proven results. These include:
- 90% order completion rates that exceed previous staff-based benchmarks
- Average order taken and processed in just over 60 seconds
- Consistent, reliable, and “always on” performance
- Scalable and repeatable infrastructure
“White Castle is committed to investing in the best available technology to create welcoming and enjoyable drive-thru experiences for our customers,” said Mike Guinan, Vice President, Operations Services for White Castle. “Our partnership with SoundHound has allowed us to be first movers in this space and we’re excited to do even more to satisfy cravers everywhere. Working together, we’ll be able to deliver the drive-thru experience of tomorrow today.”
An upcoming study by SoundHound reveals that a majority of customers (over 60%) are already comfortable using an automated voice assistant at a drive-thru. Even the majority of the segment that are “AI skeptics” would willingly use an automated voice assistant to order if it speeds up the process. Well over half of all customers (57%) state that long lines at the drive-thru are their biggest pain point, ahead of incorrect orders (52%).
“Together, White Castle and SoundHound are uniting great food and great technology to give quick service restaurant customers the most advanced ordering experience available today,” said Keyvan Mohajer, Co-Founder and CEO of SoundHound. “We know that AI is going to be a keystone of the restaurant of the future, and we’re delighted to take another step towards that by bringing our deep AI knowledge to even more locations.”
This partnership builds on SoundHound’s innovative track record in the services space, spanning capabilities and products including its breakthrough Dynamic Interaction, and phone-based Smart Answering and Smart Ordering offerings. For more information, please visit www.soundhound.com
About SoundHound AI
SoundHound (Nasdaq: SOUN), a global leader in conversational intelligence, offers voice AI solutions that let businesses offer incredible conversational experiences to their customers. Built on proprietary technology, SoundHound’s voice AI delivers best-in-class speed and accuracy in numerous languages to product creators across automotive, TV, and IoT, and to customer service industries via groundbreaking AI-driven products like Smart Answering, Smart Ordering, and Dynamic Interaction™, a real-time, multimodal customer service interface. Along with SoundHound Chat AI, a powerful voice assistant with integrated Generative AI, SoundHound powers millions of products and services, and processes billions of interactions each year for world class businesses.
About White Castle®
White Castle, America's first fast-food hamburger chain, has been making hot and tasty Sliders since 1921. Based in Columbus, Ohio, the family-owned business owns and operates more than 350 restaurants as well as a retail division providing its famous fare in freezer aisles of retail stores nationwide. As part of its commitment to offering the highest quality products, White Castle owns and operates its own Slider Provider meat plants, bakeries and frozen-Slider retail plants. White Castle has earned numerous accolades over the years including Time magazine's "Most Influential Burger of All Time" (2014, The Original Slider®) and Thrillist's "Best Plant-Based Fast-Food Burger" (2019, Impossible™ Slider). In 2021, Fast Company named the fast-food pioneer one of the "10 Most Innovative Dining Companies." White Castle, which earned the Great Place to Work® Certification™ in 2021, 2022 and 2023, is known for the legendary engagement of its team members, more than 1 in 4 of whom have worked for the business for at least 10 years. White Castle is beloved by its passionate fans ("Cravers"), many of whom compete each year for entry into the Cravers Hall of Fame. For more information on White Castle, visit whitecastle.com.
Big Village Methodology
This CARAVAN survey was conducted by Big Village among a sample of 1,015 respondents who eat at or order from restaurants 1 or more times a month. This survey was live on July 18-24, 2023.
Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have volunteered to participate in online surveys and polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to multiple sources of error, including, but not limited to sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey adjustments.
Big Village is a collaborative and consultative research partner to hundreds of organizations around the globe. We possess a wide variety of resources, tools and technologies to collect and analyze information for our clients. As a member of the Insights Association and ESOMAR (the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research), Big Village adheres to industry ethics and best practices, including maintaining the anonymity of our respondents. Our authorization is required for any publication of the research findings or their implications.
Big Village has exercised its best efforts in the preparation of this information. In any event, the company assumes no responsibility for any use which is made of this information or any decisions based upon it.
1 Big Village