Artificial intelligence to take drive-thru orders at Englewood restaurant

ENGLEWOOD — Can I take your order?

It won’t be a human taking your order at the Lee’s Famous Recipe restaurant in Englewood for much longer.

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Beginning Monday, the restaurant will be using artificial intelligence to take orders of customers passing through the drive-thru.

The Hi Auto technology will be used after it was developed with speech enhancement software that eliminates background noise and is able to accurately recognize a person’s voice.

“The Artificial Intelligence (AI) order taker will greet the customer, take their order and enter the order directly into the register system,” said Andrea Newport, spokesperson for the restaurant. “Employees in the restaurant will be able to listen to every transaction through existing headsets and intervene in case an issue arises during the order process.”

Far Hills Development, LLC, which operates the Englewood location and 12 other locations around the Miami Valley, said they believe the technology will improve service times and alleviate staffing challenges that have impacted restaurants during COVID-19.

The technology also can be scaled to include video and recognize license plates and greet regular customers by name and know their favorite menu items, Newport said.