Flying Pie Pizzaria

Flying Pie Testing Conversational AI for Phone Orders

The system from kea is designed to ensure that every phone order gets answered and placed during peak rush hours.

Idaho-based Flying Pie Pizzaria has begun testing a conversational AI ordering platform from kea at all seven of its locations.

According to a press release, the goal is to improve Flying Pie’s guest experience by ensuring that every phone order is answered and placed during peak rush hours.

Founded by CEO Adam Ahmad in 2018, kea describes itself as “the cashier in the cloud improving hospitality and restaurant operations with AI.”

Currently, Flying Pie gets more than 50% of its to-go orders through the phone. In small towns where the chain operates—such as Eagle, Idaho—phone ordering is common, but not every call gets answered, especially at locations facing a labor shortage.

“We want to capture every phone order at peak times, and right now we can’t,” Flying Pie owner Florian Penalva said. “But with a cashier in the cloud that knows our entire menu front to back and that can place an order in just a few seconds, we can both increase the number of calls answered and the speed at which orders are placed. We have all reason to believe this is going to work.”

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Since Flying Pie Pizzaria recently transitioned to Olo, a leading open SaaS platform that handles digital ordering and operations for restaurants, the chain can use Olo’s integration of kea for phone orders. In four weeks, the press release states, kea learned all of Flying Pie’s 15,000-plus menu entities, which includes all original items and potential customizations. Now, when a call comes in, kea triages the call, transcribes the order, confirms it with the customer, handles payment, and sends the order through Olo.

kea always has a human in the loop to ensure there aren’t any accuracy issues or technology adoption barriers on the customer’s end, the company noted. If the call drops, or if the customers prefers to speak to a person, a kea operator will jump in and finish the order.

Flying Pie Pizzaria marks kea’s third collaboration in 2023 alone. In the last eight months, the company says it has seen a “100% lift in restaurants adopting its technology.”

“There’s a clear need for technology that digitizes the phone channel, and I’m glad restaurants are getting it and fast,” Ahmad said.