The Presto Pulse of the Industry study indicates a continuing shift away from dine-in, overall frustration with drive-thru quality of service, and a positive attitude towards technology.
SAN CARLOS, Calif.Over the past two years, dine-in closures forced customers to switch to takeout, delivery, and drive-thru ordering. Despite widespread reopening, this trend away from dine-in is expected to grow further with only 25% of those surveyed more likely to use dine-in compared to last year. On the other hand, nearly half of the survey respondents (46%) are more likely to order takeout and only 22% are less likely to place drive-thru orders compared to a year ago.
These are among the findings of the Presto Pulse of the Industry study (“Presto Pulse”), a survey designed to understand customer trends and perceptions related to restaurant usage, quality of service, and receptiveness to automation technology.
Presto, a leader in the restaurant hospitality technology industry, noted that results of the survey indicate a continuing shift away from dine-in, overall consumer frustration with drive-thru quality of service, and a strong positive attitude towards technology. As drive-thru wait times increase and service seems to worsen, 70% of the respondents want technologies such as A.I. voice assistants, personalized menus, and smartphone apps to help alleviate the pain.
When asked about the quality of their drive-thru experience, the vast majority of respondents (77%) felt the situation is the same or worse than last year. Long wait time was identified as the biggest issue with 27% of respondents saying it has gotten significantly worse over the past year. Friendliness of service came in second worst with 18% saying it has become worse. So while demand is shifting towards the drive-thru, service levels are becoming worse, leading to greater customer dissatisfaction.
“In many drive-thrus it’s difficult to hear the person taking your order,” said one respondent. “This leads to frustration and inaccurate orders.”
“Use technology to make the order process faster,” said another respondent.
So how can this situation be mitigated? 78% of those surveyed thought that automation technology is critical for smooth operations of a fast food restaurant. Most respondents felt that use of technology at a restaurant makes the experience more efficient. They also felt that a technology-augmented experience is more enjoyable, could lead to lower menu prices, and is inevitable. However, a third of the respondents felt that technology could take away from some of the personalized service and may make the overall experience less personal.
“We need a drive-thru with shorter wait times,” according to one respondent. “Automated order taking”, “designated lane for advanced online orders”, and “faster payment methods” were some other suggestions.
Regarding specific drive-thru technologies, customers were the most comfortable with use of an artificial intelligence (A.I.) voice assistant for faster ordering, personalized menus, customized suggestions, and order / payment using a smartphone. Over 70% of respondents indicated that they would be receptive to using one or more of these technologies in the drive-thru if they result in shorter wait times and more efficient service.
Going forward, the company plans to conduct Presto Pulse every 6 months to gauge customer sentiment and identify trends across the industry. The current survey had 243 respondents representing a wide cross section of U.S. restaurant customers accounting for different socio-demographic, economic, and lifecycle variables.
On November 10, 2021, Presto announced the execution of a definitive merger agreement with Ventoux CCM Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: VTAQ), a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company (“Ventoux”), that will result in Presto becoming a publicly listed company. Upon closing, the combined company (the “Company”) will be renamed Presto Technologies, Inc. and expects to trade on Nasdaq under the PRST symbol.
Presto overlays next-gen digital solutions onto the physical world. Our enterprise-grade touch, vision, and voice technologies help restaurant hospitality businesses thrive while delighting guests. With over 250,000 systems shipped, we are a market leader in enterprise-grade labor productivity solutions for restaurants. Founded at M.I.T. in 2008, Presto is headquartered in Silicon Valley, Calif. with customers including many of the top 20 restaurant chains such as Applebee’s, BJ’s, Checkers, Chili’s, Famous Dave’s, Outback Steakhouse, and Red Lobster.
Additional Information and Where to Find It
In connection with the proposed business combination involving Ventoux and Presto, Ventoux has filed a registration statement, which includes a preliminary proxy statement/prospectus, with the SEC. The proxy statement/prospectus will be sent to stockholders of Ventoux. This press release is not a substitute for the proxy statement/prospectus. INVESTORS AND SECURITY HOLDERS AND OTHER INTERESTED PARTIES ARE URGED TO READ THE PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS AND ANY OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS THAT HAVE BEEN FILED OR WILL BE FILED WITH THE SEC, AS WELL AS ANY AMENDMENTS OR SUPPLEMENTS TO THESE DOCUMENTS, CAREFULLY AND IN THEIR ENTIRETY WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT PRESTO, VENTOUX, THE PROPOSED BUSINESS COMBINATION AND RELATED MATTERS. The documents filed or that will be filed with the SEC relating to the proposed business combination (when they are available) can be obtained free of charge from the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. These documents (when they are available) can also be obtained free of charge from Ventoux upon written request at Ventoux CCM Acquisition Corp., 1 East Putnam Avenue, Floor 4, Greenwich, CT 06830.
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In addition to factors previously disclosed or that will be disclosed in Ventoux’s reports filed with the SEC and those identified elsewhere in this communication, the following factors, among others, could cause actual results and the timing of events to differ materially from the anticipated results or other expectations expressed in the forward-looking statements: (1) the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstances that could give rise to the termination of the merger agreement or could otherwise cause the transactions contemplated therein to fail to close; (2) the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted against Ventoux, Presto, the Company or others following the announcement of the proposed business combination and any definitive agreements with respect thereto; (3) the inability to complete the proposed business combination due to the failure to obtain approval of the stockholders of Ventoux or Presto; (4) the inability of Presto to satisfy other conditions to closing; (5) changes to the proposed structure of the proposed business combination that may be required or appropriate as a result of applicable laws or regulations or as a condition to obtaining regulatory approval of the proposed business combination; (6) the ability to meet stock exchange listing standards in connection with and following the consummation of the proposed business combination; (7) the risk that the proposed business combination disrupts current plans and operations of Presto as a result of the announcement and consummation of the proposed business combination; (8) the ability to recognize the anticipated benefits of the proposed business combination, which may be affected by, among other things, competition, the ability of the Company to grow and manage growth profitably, grow its customer base, maintain relationships with customers and suppliers and retain its management and key employees; (9) the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the business of Presto and the Company (including the effects of the ongoing global supply chain shortage); (10) Presto’s limited operating history and history of net losses; (11) Presto’s customer concentration and reliance on a limited number of key technology providers and payment processors facilitating payments to and by Presto’s customers; (12) costs related to proposed business combination; (13) changes in applicable laws or regulations; (14) the possibility that Presto or the Company may be adversely affected by other economic, business, regulatory, and/or competitive factors; (15) Presto’s estimates of expenses and profitability; (16) the evolution of the markets in which Presto competes; (17) the ability of Presto to implement its strategic initiatives and continue to innovate its existing products; (18) the ability of Presto to adhere to legal requirements with respect to the protection of personal data and privacy laws; (19) cybersecurity risks, data loss and other breaches of Presto’s network security and the disclosure of personal information; and (20) the risk of regulatory lawsuits or proceedings relating to Presto’s products or services. Actual results, performance or achievements may differ materially, and potentially adversely, from any projections and forward-looking statements and the assumptions on which those forward-looking statements are based. There can be no assurance that the data contained herein is reflective of future performance to any degree. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a predictor of future performance as projected financial information and other information are based on estimates and assumptions that are inherently subject to various significant risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are beyond our control. All information set forth herein speaks only as of the date hereof in the case of information about Ventoux and Presto or the date of such information in the case of information from persons other than Ventoux and Presto, and we disclaim any intention or obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of developments occurring after the date of this communication. Forecasts and estimates regarding Presto’s industry and end markets are based on sources we believe to be reliable, however there can be no assurance these forecasts and estimates will prove accurate in whole or in part. Annualized, pro forma, projected and estimated numbers are used for illustrative purposes only, are not forecasts and may not reflect actual results.