Improving the Restaurant Industry with Voice Technology with Derrick Johnson, CEO of Encounter AI
Today my guess is Derek Johnson the founder of encounter a. I welcome Derek. Thanks for being here thanks Kurt. Thanks for having me now. You've been working in the tech space for a while now. Where did your interest in voice technology coming? Yes so I've always been technologies being exposed to computers barely early. You know. And so in brochure from uncle sweat computers on various electronics. And then you know Bacne Day. We had the service call America Online and so like every time you log onto the platform. You regretted with this verbiage. You have male riding so that forced me to understand the voice possible with computers our from a technical standpoint. It wasn't conversational. Aix Time but it did for shadow will be right and so you know today. We reached a tipping point. Where it's actually possible to deliver those faces. And so I wanted to explore a lot of ideas about adult time and now was the top. So and your company encounter. Ai Is voiced technology for the restaurant industry. And I WANNA I start off by saying congratulations to you on choosing niche and really trying to dominate in that area. Can you tell us about the idea for encounter a and how it came about and what it does definitely so from career perspective. I had stints. Companies like Disney Spent some time at censure innovation labs plus I had some experience as an owner investor for the restaurant brand freshly right in numerous other regional restaurants and so I saw first hand the needs of the industry scale ability in operational perspective and I wanted to blend my data science and artificial intelligence background kind of with my love and passion for the restaurant and right in a second. It's a personal journey. No unfortunately I lost both of my parents at an early age to chronic disease right and so I decided the best way to of Transform. Health was to start at the source and one of the facts. Most people don't know as you know anywhere between thirty five to forty percent of the. Us population consumes dry food. Right and so that was our mark. How do we transform health? Kinda one of the highest impact points from their developing solution that enables contact with ordering across restaurant drive-thrus. In store kiosks. You don't have to touch the screen as well as tabletop solutions that you see you know largest sit down brands like chilies etc right. So you know what the core our platform collaboratively helps ordering associates. Meaning that they get off meant and helping then route. The customer take the order and even accept payment right plus we have kind of what we call the consumer magic. Where if you a repeat customer you know we can do various things around offering you up different preferences when that's no seasonality intentionally. You have allergies that you always wanted to take each incineration you know. And so the goal is to just give the customer a ubiquitous kind of digital enhanced customer experience that they're used to you know in their homes on their phones etc agreements to real life route right and so that was why I started. Ray I and that's what we're doing today and your company venture backed startup. Why did you Hughes to go that route? And what was the process like for you in getting funding? Yes Oh for most businesses you know. Oftentimes they're tied to brick and mortar. They're tied to physical space right and so four. Assassins business such as ours. You know traditionally that's been the domain by friends and family of comes from those type of networks or venture capital right and so for us. We took the venture capital route because we wanted to move fast and we also wanted to see customer expectations right and so that meant that one from a capital perspective we needed it right within to having networks of individuals who built world class and coach changing products with the intent that they can help us right and so the process was that we apply for venture capital via concept called celebrate right and that's where essentially investors provide capital plus wraparound services to prepare a startup founders on kind of best practices of being one a startup company but then to complement their teams. Where appropriate such that they have the scale and velocity necessary to be success? And I love if you could share with us. The experience so far from a user perspective and a business perspective in using encounter a I if you can share with us any stats or stories. That'd be great. Yuck so when you look at the restaurant industry like you know you have your large companies that are billion dollar corporations. You have your smaller mom and pop diners and cafes writing. We wanted to ensure that we had a solution work for both in our early implementation. You know from a technical perspective. We saw thirty percent improvement on speed in near human level accuracy across regional accents dialects and slaying right. And what that meant is you know often exempt as we say as you know at Burger King for example you know. The proper name of their salads. Is the rapper sound right? I don't think anyone in the history of bordering has ever said that right and so is being able to take a technology apply it to different sectors and have an exprienced customers really want you know one restaurant owner in a college town. This restaurant was right off of the expressive writing. So what was that for breakfast? You know there was a peak in demand right for lunch a peak and demand right for dinner picking the man but throughout the day largely there wasn't enough volume for him to have more than a skeleton writers. So with our technology you know breaking in an augment that owning associates such one person but now seamlessly to restaurant drive rights and so that meant that gave the owner of fighting chance to eat doors open when he was looking to shutting down and furthermore allow customer associate in the store the feel like he or she also had help and transformed how our technology has been applied and also change a lot of as and you know when you were sending me some of the videos. Some of the information on your company you had talked about when you're using this kind of AI. For restaurants not only obviously that saving time it saving money for businesses as far as they don't need to hire as many people to help with this sort of thing but you also said that more people feel comfortable to talk to an Ai. Order something then they do a person which when sometimes they're ordering more than they would so that you're actually having the restaurant see a higher level of revenue coming correct and often times. Talk to you know without college. You know if you want a lot of food and you're talking to a person sometimes you have that emotional lens right. Where like you don't want to appear but generally gladness or you don't WanNa pay that you ordering more than you should be right talking to. A virtual assistant or conversational is assistant. You don't have that we'll see higher ticket sales but also you know coming up selling respective items that potentially liked the cheap potentially no aware of also right so for example for me. I love chocolate shakes strikes with that means you know bite though from brand to brand with our technology even though the ordering dissociate doesn't know and love chocolate shades potentially our grand solution does right and so we can offer. That upset me agnostic Brian across multiple brands and that often leads to higher ticketing box. That's amazing so you're saying you could go if somebody if there were multiple restaurants using your A. Let's say you went to local mom and pop shop. You went to Chili's you Ansa Burger King that. If they were all using your they would know that you as the user love chocolate shakes and be able to offer. Hey did you know we have this here if he wanted it? Absolutely that's amazing. I love that that is exactly how signal and a I should work so I think that's really great.