Wednesday Mar 01, 2023

AAP Podcast #25: AI and the Fast-Food Industry


Over the last few weeks, there have been quite a few announcements and even more headlines when it comes to artificial intelligence, or “AI” as it is usually referred to. On this week’s AAP podcast, we are taking a pause from the usual market-related conversations Chris Versace has been having of late with Todd Campbell, the brains behind the Street’s Smarts product to share a recent conversation between Chris and Raj Suri, the CEO of Presto Automation (PRST).


Presto is an AI company focused on addressing labor-related issues for the fast-food industry, one that is contending not only with the tight labor market but also increasing minimum wages across the company. With more fast-food companies, including the AAP Portfolio’s Chipotle (CMG), as well as other types of retailers leaning into drive-through service, there is a pain point that needs to be addressed. As Raj explains, one solution is AI, and longer-term he sees more automation taking hold within the fast-food industry. Raj also shares some of the productivity and other metrics that led to Checkers deploying Presto’s voice ordering solution as well as the recent win with Jack in the Box’s (JACK) Del Taco.

We at AAP will want to keep our eyes on PRST and watch for further deployment announcements from the company. For now, however, given our average daily trading volume restrictions and its average daily volume of 65,000 shares, we will have to admire the company’s progress from afar. Currently, the company with the lowest average daily trading volume of just over 300,000 shares is Chipotle, but that is an outlier compared to the rest of the portfolio.



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