This startup uses computer vision to accurately place fast food orders

An employee hands a drink order to a customer at a drive-through at a Starbucks coffee shop in Rodeo, California.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Restaurant technology startup Agot AI has completed a $ 10 million funding round to help address its mission to improve fast food ordering accuracy.

Start-ups will install overhead cameras in restaurant kitchens and use computer vision similar to that used in self-driving cars to scrutinize workers for proper order preparation. This technology is supposed to improve labor efficiency and reduce customer waiting times.

Agricultural investment firm Continental Grain, which recently acquired poultry giant Sanderson Farm with Cargill, led a startup seed financing round. Kitchen Fund and Grit Ventures, which invest in Sweetgreen, Cava and Gregory’s Coffee, also participated.

According to Pitchbook, Agot raised just $ 50,000 in its last round of funding in May 2020.

“We are pleased to help the Agott team bring computer vision solutions to market, improve work efficiency, improve off-site operations and provide real-time analytics to advanced QSR operators,” Continental Grain said in a statement from CNBC. I will. “

Order accuracy can have a significant impact on the consumer’s willingness to return to the restaurant and the overall experience. According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s annual consumer survey, fast food restaurant orders had an 84% chance of falling from the previous year’s score in 2021.

Agot co-founder and CEO Evan De Santola said the technology found more than 85% of order errors and could alert workers to those issues before serving food to their customers.

“We do it [quick-service restaurant] As a result of the move to drive-through, order accuracy in the industry is becoming an increasingly important issue, “Desantra said. point. “

Drive-through orders were on the rise before the pandemic, but the health crisis has led many consumers to switch to that ordering method due to closed dining rooms, convenience and safety concerns. rice field. According to The NPD Group, drive-through transactions in December increased by 22% compared to a year ago. According to SeeLevel HX’s annual drive-through survey, last year the average time for 10 fast food chains slowed by nearly 30 minutes.

DeSantola and his co-founder, Alex Litzenberger, the company’s chief technology officer, met while a student in computer science at Carnegie Mellon University. They started the company two and a half years ago after experiencing long wait times and wrong orders. The founder’s alma mater also participated in the seed round.

“What was very clear to us about Agot was that it wasn’t a point solution,” said Greg Golkin, Managing Partner of Kitchen Fund. “This is the platform we are building, and order accuracy is just the first application. Computer vision doesn’t stop there.”

Gorkin also said Agott is far ahead of other start-ups looking for similar computer vision solutions within restaurant technology. According to the founder, Agott has received multiple takeover offers that it has rejected.

DeSantola said that Agot’s typical customers have at least 2,000 restaurants. However, he refused to share the name of the current restaurant customer because of a strict nondisclosure agreement.

Agot plans to use funds from the latest funding rounds to grow its product and engineering teams and expand its reach both by adding existing clients and new chains to the roster. ..

This startup uses computer vision to accurately place fast food orders

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