ENGLEWOOD, Ohio (WDTN) – Lee’s Famous Recipe, a fast food restaurant in Englewood, is one of the first in the Miami Valley to test Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology for ordering at the drive through.

The software is offered by Hi Auto, an Israel-based tech company that is opening a new office in Dayton.

Eyal Shapira, co-founder of Hi Auto and CTO says this AI software is more complex than that found in an Alexa or Google Home. It is specially made to eliminate background noise like you would find in a drive thru. It also can go through complex conversations like a food order.

“It’s able to understand very complex conversation like what happens in a drive thru,” explained Shapira. “Unlike Alexa, or Google Home where you give them a command and ask them what’s the weather…here you’ve got a conversation going. The person is talking about their order, they want to change it ,they want to add something…”

Chuck Doran, an owner and operator at Lee’s, says Far Hills Development and Hi Auto approached him about implementing the AI software, and he thought it was the perfect solution for some issues that arose during the pandemic.

“If you’re driving up and down looking at all these fast food restaurants you’ll see most of them have help wanted signs out. The pandemic has been very difficult on staffing restaurants,” said Doran. “Our employees are having to work longer, harder and this will be something that alleviates some of those stresses and strains that’s on them

With dining rooms at limited capacity, Doran says there’s a lot more drive-thru traffic. But the new software can help them manage the increase and still give good customer service.

The AI software goes into effect for customers on Monday.