Panera Bread begins testing AI-enabled Tori in the drive-thru

Tori to be tested in Greece, Webster restaurants in Greater Rochester area

Panera Bread began testing an AI ordering technology in its drive-thrus. AI-enabled “Tori,” by OpenCity, will be vetted in a pilot in the Greater Rochester, N.Y. area. Fast-casual Panera will test Tori at drive-thrus in Greece, on Ridge Center Drive, and Webster, on Holt Road.

“At Panera, improving our guest experience is always our priority and we are using this innovative technology to help enable a faster, more accurate order for each of our drive-thru guests,” said Debbie Roberts, EVP and chief operating officer, Panera Bread. “The potential of AI drive-thru technology is incredibly exciting for us – we are eager to evaluate the performance of these tests and the possibility of expanding this technology in additional bakery-cafes.”

Through Tori, these locations will allow customers to order as customary through the drive-thru speaker. In Greece and Webster, guests will pull up to the drive-thru and place their orders with the help of Tori and pay their Panera associate.

Executives expect this technology addition will reduce wait times, improve order accuracy and empower associates to focus on order fulfillment.

The AI-enhanced drive-thru will add to the bakery-cafe chain’s ordering options, including contactless dine-in, curbside, Rapid Pick-Up, and delivery.

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Panera Bread, 800 Greece Ridge Center Drive, Greece, NY 14626

Panera Bread, 935 Holt Road, Webster, NY 14580

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