Artificial intelligence has infiltrated a number of industries, and the restaurant industry has been one of the last to adopt this technology, mainly due to the global pandemic and the need to switch to online orders.
This need continues to grow. In 2021, some 60% of Americans ordered takeout or delivery at least once a week, and 31% used a third-party delivery service. The market research report predicts that the global restaurant management software market will grow nearly 15% annually to reach $6.95 billion by 2025.
However, we’ve all had that experience where you receive your food delivery only to find out that the order is wrong. Agot AI uses machine learning to develop computer vision technology, initially targeting the fast food industry (QSR), so that these types of errors can be avoided.
The company was founded three years ago by Evan DeSantola and Alex Litzenberger to solve this operational perspective in restaurant technology, reward employee success and improve restaurant customer satisfaction.
Its product confirms real-time order accuracy for online orders and notifies employees if an order needs correction; for example, they forgot to add cheese or ketchup.
Since unveiling its technology, the company has worked with a group of leading foodservice brands to deploy it, including Yum! Brands, which Agot is partnering with to pilot the technology in approximately 20 restaurants (with plans to expand to 100 restaurants if the pilot is successful), CEO DeSantola told TechCrunch.
Gavin Felder, Chief Strategy Officer at Yum! Brands, said via a written statement that the company is “always looking for innovative ways to leverage technology to empower our team members and improve both their experience and the customer experience at our restaurants,” and that early results from the pilot program “indicate promising potential for delivering more accurate orders to our customers across all channels we serve.
Yum! Brands is not just a customer, but one of Agot AI’s investors – it participated in Agot’s $12 million funding round which included Conti Ventures, the venture capital arm of the investor. strategic Continental Grain Co., Kitchen Fund and Grit Ventures. This brings the company’s total fundraising to date to $16 million.
Agot will deploy its new capital to grow its engineering team, secure more pilot programs with QSR brands, and add more features so restaurants can deliver a better overall experience both at the drive-thru and behind the counter.
The company has demonstrated its operational capabilities in deploying small to medium-sized proofs of concept and is ready to scale its technology to broader markets and audiences.
Although Agot did not disclose his growth metrics, Mike Regan, the company’s chief commercial officer, said he was previously an investor when he met DeSantola and saw how important order accuracy was. and how Agot took a holistic approach to doing so, calling the company’s vision “nothing less than transformational”.
While companies, like Toast, were among the pioneers of restaurant management, other startups have responded to this industry need over the past two years and have not only come up with their own approach, but have also received venture capital.
For example, in the past few months alone we’ve seen Lunchbox, Deliverect, Orda, Zak, Sunday and Margin Edge all announce new tricks, suggesting there’s plenty of cash to spend as restaurants figure out how to s adapt quickly to the new ordering standard.
The restaurant industry is “tight” right now, Regan added, but Agot is “far beyond what a three-year-old startup” should be in terms of success and is on point. to take the majority of QSR activity in the next two years. of years.
Indeed, the new capital “will take Agot to the next stage of our business,” DeSantola said.
“We have demonstrated success in early pilots and are excited to scale with current and additional enterprise partners,” he added. “We intend to use the capital to expand our suite of offerings, customer pacing and analytics, operations analytics and drive-thru technology.”