BurgerFi International Inc., owner of one of the nation’s leading fast-casual “better burger” dining concepts through the BurgerFi brand, and the high-quality, casual dining pizza brand under the name Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza & Wings (“Anthony’s”), announced today the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) phone answering systems in all 60 corporate-owned Anthony’s locations. The systems will leverage ConverseNow, the leading voice AI technology platform for restaurants.
AI is quickly growing in popularity in the restaurant industry. Reports show that 50 percent of restaurants in the country are planning to implement the technology in the next two to three years. Its success lies in the fact that it helps reduce operating costs, expedite and increase order size, and satisfy consumer preferences.
“There’s no question that automation is the future, which is why Anthony’s was an early adaptor of this technology” says Ian Baines, Chief Executive Officer at BurgerFi International Inc. “Anthony’s started testing AI two years ago with different vendors. Initially, the technology appeared somewhat inconsistent. However, the longer it runs, the more responsive it becomes as the algorithms learn to react to the customer order and then upsell. With ConverseNow’s technology, Anthony’s is taking the system to the next level for faster service and an improved customer experience.”
“Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza & Wings is a phenomenal business. We are delighted to work with a leading brand in the restaurant industry and help it benefit from technology that allows it to make better use of its human capital while maximizing its delivery and pick up orders generated by its phone and voice channels,” says Vinay Shukla, co-founder, and Chief Executive Officer of ConverseNow. “Through our best-in-class technology, we will further support Anthony’s mission to provide its customers outstanding service.”
Anthony’s off-premises orders account for nearly 50 percent of sales, with 15 percent being phone orders. In total, the restaurants receive 500,000 phone orders a year. The ConverseNow AI technology will undoubtedly help the brand meet this demand as it is designed to handle 100 percent of calls answered and allows for an expected average check increase of 10-12 percent. Additionally, guests will be able to seamlessly integrate their loyalty numbers to earn points and rewards when ordering with AI.
“Anthony’s is constantly exploring innovative strategies and new technologies to stay ahead of evolving consumer preferences as part of our commitment to providing the best guest experience,” says John Iannucci, Chief Operating Officer at Anthony’s. “Phone orders remain a strong sales driver for us, and by introducing ConverseNow’s AI systems, all orders are addressed quickly and efficiently.”
This announcement comes on the heels of Anthony’s first-ever franchising deal with NDM Hospitality Services. The agreement will franchise three Anthony’s locations in Florida over the next two years. Currently, the brand is present in Florida, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, with plans for an Eastern Seaboard expansion.
Live in more than 1,200 restaurants across 40 states, ConverseNow serves some of the country’s top restaurant brands. The company’s groundbreaking voice AI technology has reshaped the future of restaurants, whereby virtual assistants automate the order-taking process so overburdened staff can turn their attention to fulfillment and in-person service.