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Will you be ordering from a robot next time you call Jersey Mike’s?

By Jake Beardslee · January 29, 2024

In brief…

  • Jersey Mike's rolling out AI voice ordering system at 50 US locations
  • Customers will place orders by speaking with an AI instead of an employee
  • AI trained on full menu to understand natural speech
  • Allows employees to focus on in-store service
  • Previous restaurant AI rollouts have seen mixed results
Jersey Mike's is implementing AI phone ordering technology that will allow customers to place orders by speaking with an artificial intelligence system rather than an employee.  Michael Rivera/Wikimedia

Popular sandwich chain Jersey Mike’s is implementing a major change that will affect how customers place orders over the phone. The company has announced a new partnership with SoundHound AI to roll out artificial intelligence voice ordering systems at 50 locations across the United States, The Sun reported.

Instead of speaking with an employee when calling to place an order, customers at select Jersey Mike’s will now interact with an AI system optimized to understand natural speech. The AI tech has been specifically trained on Jersey Mike’s full menu in order to recognize menu items as customers speak.

The new voice ordering system will take calls, place orders, and even answer frequently asked questions about the menu, specials, promotions, store hours, allergies, and parking. This allows Jersey Mike’s employees to focus their time and attention on in-store customers and food preparation rather than answering phones.

While the transition to AI phone ordering aims to improve efficiency and customer experience, previous attempts by fast food chains to implement similar technologies have seen mixed results. For example, several McDonald’s locations testing AI drive-thru bots have drawn customer complaints when orders were messed up by the technology.

Jersey Mike’s states that their new system answers 100% of incoming calls and can handle multiple orders simultaneously. The company says the AI is optimized to converse naturally without requiring customers to change how they speak or order. Time will tell whether Jersey Mike’s execution of the tech proves successful.