Presto Pilots Drive-Thru Voice AI at Taco John’s

by Katie Lee

San Carlos, Calif. — Presto Automation Inc., one of the largest AI and automation technology providers to the restaurant industry, has been collaborating with Taco John’s® and Qu to implement a Presto Voice™ drive-thru pilot at select Taco John’s restaurants.

Presto Voice enhances the drive-thru staff’s productivity by reducing the time they devote to taking orders, allowing them to focus on more critical tasks and reducing associated labor costs. It also provides customizable upsells to increase revenue and improve the guest experience with immediate, friendly service around the clock.

Qu’s unified commerce platform delivers consistent data-driven experiences across all Taco John’s ordering channels and locations. Presto has integrated its Voice AI solution with Qu’s point-of-sale and kitchen production technologies to enable automated voice orders to be quickly and accurately managed end-to-end within Taco John’s existing technology platform.

“Taco John’s and Qu have been exceptional partners for Presto because they understand that the technology behind Presto Voice can be seamlessly coupled with a restaurant’s existing technology stack to drive operational efficiencies and improve the guest experience,” says Gee Lefevre, interim CEO at Presto.

Presto Voice’s initial Taco John’s pilot location in Minnesota went live in April 2024. As a result of its success, Presto and Taco John’s are rolling Presto Voice out to a second location in Taco John’s origin state, Wyoming, which is scheduled to go live before August.

“Preliminary test results have been very positive,” says Ryan Baune, vice president for technology at Taco John’s. “We are seeing improvements around speed of service, order accuracy and an increase in average ticket size primarily driven by upsell attachment.”

“As Taco John’s looks to the future, Presto Voice is a natural fit to our technology roadmap. Presto and Qu’s development during this process has unlocked the ability for orders being taken by the Voice AI assistant to show up in real-time on the kitchen screens,” says Steve Smyth, director of restaurant technology at Taco John’s.

“The pilot phase with Taco John’s showcases how our collaborative efforts delivered an integrated and scalable solution,” adds Brian Crum, vice president of product at Qu. “By enabling Voice AI natively within Qu’s unified commerce platform, we eliminate the need for bolt-on or redundant interfaces, seamlessly incorporating AI into the order-taking and making process. We are thrilled to see this development come to life, enabling Taco John’s to leverage the benefits of AI in their restaurants.”

Taco John’s operates and franchises nearly 400 restaurants in 23 states, making it one of America’s largest and fastest-growing Mexican quick-service restaurant brands. After completing the pilot phase, Taco John’s intends to roll out Presto Voice to their franchised locations this year.

Founded in 1969 in Cheyenne, Wyo., Taco John’s® operates and franchises nearly 400 restaurants in 23 states.

Bethesda, Md.-based Qu is evolving restaurant POS to create a truly connected restaurant experience for guests and operators at quick-service and fast-casual restaurants. For more information, visit

SOURCE: Presto

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