white castle AI drive thru

Sheila Fitzgerald/Shutterstock @curlprincess3/TikTok (Licensed)

‘What terms and conditions are you agreeing to?’: White Castle drive-thru robot asks customer to agree to ‘terms & conditions’ before ordering

'Everyone should just order on the apps. It’s so much easier than whatever this is.'

 

Braden Bjella

IRL

Posted on Nov 30, 2022   Updated on Dec 2, 2022, 12:46 pm CST

Drive-thru robots seem to be taking over, with companies like McDonald’s and Checkers already implementing their Artificial intelligence (AI)-powered servers across the country.

It seems that White Castle joined that bandwagon. In a video with over 844,000 views, TikTok user Shar (@curlprincess3) documents a recent trip to the restaurant, in which her order was handled by a drive-thru robot.

Curiously, prior to ordering, she was required to accept a series of terms and conditions.

“Oh we in the future future!” Shar wrote in the description.

@curlprincess3

Oh we in the future future!

♬ original sound – Shar

White Castle first announced its intentions to implement AI-powered drive-thrus in 2020 as part of a partnership with Mastercard.

The original pitch also claimed the company would implement license plate recognition, allowing frequent customers to have an order charged to their card automatically based on the car they’re driving. It is unclear how widespread the implementation of this system is.

The terms and conditions referenced in the video appear to relate to the further development of the system, allowing the customer’s voice to be recorded and used to better train the AI.

Regardless, many users on TikTok seem to oppose the transition to robot drive-thru attendants.

“The way that i be screaming ‘representative’ on the phone i know im not built for this lol,” wrote one user.

“If I pull up to a restaurant and see in terms and conditions screen I’m not eating there,” stated another.

“The way I would have backed out,” claimed a third.

Some said that they’ve already had negative experiences with digital attendants.

“Nah they had one at rally’s and it messed my order up,” alleged a commenter.

In contrast, others were enthusiastic about the idea, saying that they hope that further development of AI-powered drive-thru attendants would lead to better outcomes for the customer.

“I love this idea of replacing people with robots because customer service has been really trash and people act like they don’t want their jobs anyway,” offered a commenter.

“PLEASE INSTALL THESE AT EVERY DRIVE THRU PLEASE,” exclaimed a second.

The Daily Dot reached out to Shar via TikTok comment and White Castle press representatives via email.

Update 12:45pm CT December 2: In an email to Daily Dot, Lynn Blashford, White Castle’s chief marketing officer, stated the following:

“This customer was greeted by Julia, our virtual voice assistant that takes orders at the drive-thru. As part of our ongoing innovation, we are currently piloting this new drive-thru technology at two Castles. Customers are able to sign up online and input their license plate. Julia will be able to recognize them upon return and display their prior orders to select from. The technology also enables customers to pay online for a quicker experience. Customers have to provide a verbal agreement to the terms and conditions to proceed, but don’t worry, because one of our team members is listening in and is always there to take an order, too.”

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*First Published: Nov 30, 2022, 6:53 am CST