Valyant AI and Paerpay Team to Bring AI to the Drive-Thru


A new partnership between Valyant AI and Paerpay focuses on using AI in the drive-thru.

The partnership, announced Tuesday (June 6), comes as a number of companies in the quick service restaurant (QSR) space are embracing artificial intelligence (AI). It is designed to pair Valyant AI’s voice-based AI intelligence customer service platform and Paerpay’s contactless payment system.

“With this integration, Valyant AI and Paerpay automate order-taking and payment processes, enabling human staff to concentrate on tasks that require human involvement and expertise to enhance the overall dining experience, such as personalized customer service and higher accuracy in order fulfillment,” the companies said in a news release.

While Valyant uses AI to streamline customer interactions, Paerpay lets diners choose from a range of payment options, including Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Last month, CKE Restaurants, parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., launched a partnership with Valyant AI to automate order taking at the drive-thru with conversational AI, letting the brand take spoken orders while reducing labor costs.

“As a company, we’re always looking for ways to deliver a better guest experience through the introduction of new, emerging technologies,” CKE Chief Technology Officer Phil Crawford said in a statement.

“The AI technology not only delivers on that vision but also enables our franchisees to adopt these new technologies into their tech ecosystem(s) in a streamlined and efficient manner.”

That partnership came within days of an announcement from rival QSR Wendy’s that it was testing the use of Google Cloud’s generative AI and large language models to automate the drive-thru ordering process.

As noted here at the time, pickup — rather than delivery or eat-in — is on the rise amid inflation, “and restaurants are being challenged to find ways to meet this increased demand while mitigating their labor needs and protecting their margins.”

Research from the PYMNTS study “Connected Dining: Rising Costs Push Consumers Toward Pickup” revealed that nearly half of consumers have been more likely to pick up their food orders themselves rather than have them delivered because of inflation.

Meanwhile, PYMNTS spoke Tuesday with Michael Koch, co-founder and CEO of marketing technology company HubKonnect, in the wake of a partnership between his company and Dunkin Donuts that uses AI to optimize stores’ performance on a unit-to-unit basis.

“Let’s say one Dunkin’ is on a university, and the age demographics are 18 to 22,” Koch said. “Our technology then recognizes that and offers more data-driven digital solutions, as opposed to, say, a location in Florida in an older retirement community, where there may be more [paper] handouts. … Based off of our data, we know there’s a technical threshold within age groups, different comfortability, so why would you have mobile offers with an older demographic that’s not going to download the app?”

This sounds like a fairly broad example, but the technology can provide much more detailed insights about the specific needs of any given location. It can look at how consumers’ ordering behaviors are impacted by other demographic considerations, such as how far they are from their store or how they get there.