When Wendy Meets Karen.

Because the economy is so awesome, Wendy’s is working with Google on integrating an AI chat-bot into their drive-thrus. The italics might be an indicator of sarcasm.

Granted, I’m not a fan of fast food jobs, though when it comes to fast food burgers in the United States, I do lean toward Wendy’s. Even so, I have noted over the years that the Wendy’s I visited weren’t necessarily the best maintained areas to eat. That could be a factor of geography in Florida.

So cutting costs and decreasing lines would make sense, except… well, there are people who are working multiple jobs working in these fast food areas and making not that much to get yelled at by angry Karen’s who will demand to see the manager.

“…Penegor [Wendy’s Chief Executive] said the goal of the chatbot is to help reduce long lines from forming in the drive-thru lane, which could prompt some potential customers to go elsewhere. In my experience with most fast food joints, it’s not the long lines that turn customers away but rather, the slow pace and incorrect nature in which an order is prepared in the kitchen that’s the problem. Other establishments like Chick-fil-A and In-N-Out Burger figured this out long ago and can successfully manage long lines with efficiency…”

Shawn Knight, “It’s happening: AI chatbot to replace human order-takers at Wendy’s drive-thru“, TechSpot.com, May 9th 2023.

With the price of gas as it is just about anywhere in the world, the only time I go through a drive-thru is when there is nobody else in the drive-thru. Honestly, who but a blithering idiot would be in a drive-thru spending money on gas while waiting in a line – which you’re generally trapped in – waiting more than a few minutes.

I agree with Shawn Knight, too. The problem isn’t in taking the order, the problem is in producing the order at peak times in time for the line to continue moving and taking orders. Granted, Wendy’s may have done some metrics and come up with this, or at least I would hope that they have, but generally speaking taking the order is not the problem.

Well, at least not on the employee end.

The other side of the problem are the people who get to where they can make the order… and don’t know what they want. And that leads to how far away the menus are from where one orders. It’s nice to have the menu where you order, but if you’re in line it might help speed things up if you could see the menu before you get there. This theory doesn’t pan out when you walk inside to order, though, because people are… well, not that sharp.

In the end, some people will lose jobs, and they won’t be getting jobs as software engineers at Google.

The real fun will begin when the Chatbots meet Karen.


One thought on “When Wendy Meets Karen.

  1. Pingback: Reality Fragments

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