Have you heard the latest buzz about Del Taco? They’ve pulled the plug on their Presto voicebots in the drive-thru. Remember those automated voices that took your orders and tried to upsell you on extra guacamole? Yeah, they’re gone.

What Happened?

Del Taco gave Presto’s voicebots a test drive, and initially, it seemed like a match made in fast-food heaven. The bots were supposed to streamline ordering, cut labor costs, and boost sales. But after some time behind the wheel, Del Taco hit the brakes.

Why the U-Turn?

Well, it turns out that the voicebots weren’t as smooth as Del Taco had hoped. Customers complained about confusing interactions, missed orders, and a lack of the personal touch. Plus, the bots weren’t as effective at upselling as human employees.

AI in Drive-Thrus: A Rocky Road?

Del Taco’s decision raises questions about the viability of AI in drive-thrus. Other fast-food chains, like McDonald’s and Wendy’s, are still testing voicebots and automated ordering systems. But Del Taco’s experience suggests that AI might not be ready for prime time in the drive-thru lane.

The Human Factor

At the end of the day, customers still seem to prefer interacting with real humans when they’re ordering their tacos and burritos. The personal touch, the ability to ask questions, and the reassurance of a friendly voice can’t be easily replaced by AI.

What’s Next?

Del Taco’s decision doesn’t mean that AI is dead in the fast-food industry. But it does show that there are still challenges to overcome before voicebots become a standard part of the drive-thru experience. For now, it seems like the human touch is still the secret sauce that keeps customers coming back for more.

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