Published on February 27, 2024, 7:56 pm

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Matt Spessard, in his role as Chief Technology Officer (CTO), successfully introduced Google Vertex AI chatbot features to revolutionize the drive-thru experience. Now transitioning into the Chief Information Officer (CIO) position, he aims to expand this innovative program. Wendy’s, following suit with other fast-food chains, is embracing generative AI technology to streamline restaurant operations and enrich customer interactions.

Major players like McDonald’s and Domino’s are not far behind; they are partnering with tech giants such as Google Cloud and Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI service to enhance their analytics capabilities using AI solutions.

Under Spessard’s guidance, Wendy’s has been making significant strides in technological advancement. From integrating chatbots into select Ohio restaurants last year to implementing a technology-driven dining environment termed Wendy’s System, the company is at the forefront of leveraging AI for operational efficiency.

In a recent announcement during an earnings call, plans emerged for utilizing AI to facilitate menu modifications and introduce dynamic pricing strategies by 2025. Moreover, there are considerations to extend the FreshAI initiative to mobile applications and in-store kiosks.

Following Kevin Vasconi’s tenure as CIO at Wendy’s since 2020—after his stint at Domino’s—the tech landscape continues to evolve rapidly. Companies like IBM, Cisco, and SAP making strategic acquisitions signify a shift towards consolidating IT investments around key vendors. Executives must stay vigilant on developments in generative AI while ensuring prudent resource allocation and addressing tech talent shortages within their organizations.

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