White Castle drive thru menu with voice assistant on screen (l) White Castle building with sign (c) White Castle drive thru menu with Terms & Conditions on screen (r)

Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock @soundhoundofficial/TikTok (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

‘The largest screen for terms and conditions that is wild’: White Castle drive-thru is an AI worker—and there’s a catch

'Does the price go down now that the labor that used to do this is not needed anymore?'


Beau Paul


Posted on Aug 4, 2023

Artificial Intelligence may be the future but it looks like “paperwork” isn’t going anywhere. White Castle is rolling out a new AI voice assistant for its drive-thrus but customers have to sign off on a “Terms and Conditions” screen before they can satisfy their slider cravings.

Two days ago, SoundHound AI (@soundhoundofficial) revealed its new voice AI ordering technology in use at a White Castle drive-thru in a video posted to the company’s TikTok account. The video, which has 33,500 views as of today, shows a customer pulling through the drive-thru and ordering a burger and dessert from “Julia,” an AI-powered voice assistant.

@soundhoundofficial HOT OFF THE PRESS: Check out SoundHound’s powered voice AI ordering technology at one of the @whitecastle drive-thru locations. Today, we announced this technology will be live in over 100 locations by the end of 2024. 🍔 🍟🥤 #VoiceAI #restauranttechnology #drivethru ♬ original sound – SoundHound AI

“Julia” appeared to function without any glitches, but viewers couldn’t help but point out that before proceeding with the transaction, the customer had to agree to a set of terms and conditions that filled the entire monitor screen.

TikToker BillyGc (@billygc) commented “the largest screen for terms and conditions that is wild.”

One viewer implied that customers should be wary of any such agreements, stating “Nothing gets better the agreeing to sharing your voice data to a AI company through a White Castle drive through.”

Another user asked “If you say no to the T&C will it transfer you to a real person?”

Some viewers also seemed to show concern for the human employees and wondered if the cost benefits of AI “workers” would pass on to the customers. Most White Castle restaurant workers are paid a wage of at least $15 an hour.

“And does the price go down now that the labor that used to do this is not needed anymore?” asked one.

“Is @White Castle gonna pay their employees more now?” wrote Cory Andre (@pacdude).

In all there seemed to be an almost equal split between the viewers of whether the AI assistant was a positive or a negative. “Nope. The end of drive thru for me.” said Thran_Physician (@thran_physician) while PandaSmugg13r (@pandasmuggl3r) wrote “Yes please. Add this to every restaurant.”

According to the video’s caption, the AI service is expected to roll out to “over 100 locations by the end of 2024.” The Daily Dot has reached out to SoundHound and White Castle vias email for further comment.

We crawl the web so you don’t have to.
Sign up for the Daily Dot newsletter to get the best and worst of the internet in your inbox every day.
Share this article
*First Published: Aug 4, 2023, 5:57 pm CDT