Xina AI CEO Carl Sconnely Shares Thoughts on Why Voice Ordering Is The Future of Restaurant Business

Carl Sconnely
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Voice ordering is transforming the restaurant industry, making ordering meals faster and more efficient than ever. Xina AI, a new entrant to the scene, aims to revolutionize the restaurant dining experience with its advanced AI-powered technology.

By leveraging the power of natural language processing, Xina enables restaurants to provide customers with a seamless and personalized dining experience, from ordering to payments. Xina AI is poised to disrupt the restaurant industry and provide customers with unprecedented convenience and order accuracy.

Carl Sconnely, CEO of Xina AI, discusses the company’s origins and why voice ordering is the future of the restaurant industry.

Can you briefly describe your background and career before starting Xina AI?

Sconnely: For over 40 years, I’ve been an entrepreneur and early technology adopter. I happened to enter the software industry at the right time. The year was 1982, and the personal computer revolution was just getting started. Because these businesses did not have any software, everything had to be done by hand. You can get great education writing software for a variety of businesses, including car dealerships, chemical companies, dairy factories, restaurants, and everything in between.

I had the pleasure of working with some very prestigious companies, including Ford Motor Company, Daimler Corporation, Bank of the West, and a very interesting project for General Motors China. We were beta testers for Microsoft’s Windows 95 product in 1995 and saw the value of a graphical operating system and applications. We immediately began a very profitable venture developing ERP systems based on Microsoft’s Windows. I had my third company exit in 2018, and it wasn’t long before I was looking for another project.

When I’m not pushing my professional and personal boundaries, I enjoy club tennis, backwoods snowboarding, and jet skiing. I also enjoy auto racing, from track driving to high-speed driving on winding European roads with the Porsche and Audi driving clubs.

I enjoy traveling the world and sampling Michelin-starred cuisine and fine wines. Overall, I’m always looking for new experiences and opportunities to push the boundaries of my personal life and business.

How would you describe the app to someone who has never heard of it?

Sconnely: Xina AI is an innovative idea that could change how restaurants work. The app uses artificial intelligence (AI) to understand the restaurant ordering language and quickly determine what the customer wants. Restaurant ordering isn’t a structured conversation, guests can jump subjects and food categories all in the same sentence. It also makes suggestions based on what the customer has ordered or has not ordered, such as “would you like fries with your order?”

Customers can order from a kiosk or their phone using the cloud-based Xina AI; no apps to download or install. After placing an order, the app will ask about other preferences, like size, flavor, and cooking temperature. Customers can also ask questions like “What is your soup of the day?” or “What kinds of donuts do you have?” and even “Where are the bathrooms?”

Xina will offer upgrades and extras like cheese on your hamburger or French fries with your order. 

For those dining in groups, their orders can be paid in full or split. The order is automatically sent to the kitchen, and the order status of each item is indicated by a color, which alerts the service staff when the food needs to be taken to the table.

Xina is designed for all classes of restaurants, including QSRs, fast casual, family-style, and fine dining. In restaurants that want a staff member taking the order, Xina can be switched into Server mode. Servers listen to the customer and then speak to Xina on their own device. This increases the accuracy of the order as customers can hear what was said. Other features include over 20,000 cocktails and their recipes to assist your bartender, along with a wine sommelier function that can suggest wine pairings and knows your wine list better than your employees.  

Xina also has a Call My Server feature for beach chairs, swimming pool lounges, and fine dining restaurants. This feature is like a pager, which summons a server to the guest’s seat without them having to wave their hand or yell “excuse me!” from across the room.

What led to the creation of Xina AI?

Sconnely: In 2018, I was at a fast-food restaurant, attempting to use the kiosk to place an order for coffee and pancakes. The drill down process of tapping breakfast, scrolling down pages of breakfast items to find the pancakes, and then finding my way back to the drinks. I asked the young lady at the register, who was watching me struggle: “Can I get pancakes and a small coffee?” She said yes, quoted me the price, and it was done. She said that most people struggle with the kiosks, and it occurred to me that I should have been able to walk up to the kiosk and say what I wanted. 

I was determined to make this idea a reality from that point forward. I spent the next four and a half years developing the software that would eventually become the Xina AI Restaurant Voice Ordering App.

For whom is this technology intended?

Sconnely: It is intended to revolutionize the restaurant industry and is the ideal solution for any hospitality business, from small cafes to large hotels (room service). We designed Xina to be user-friendly for people of all ages, and we strive to make it accessible to people of all backgrounds.

Xina is an excellent labor-saving solution. It contributes to reducing the number of servers on staff while also reducing wait times to turn tables faster, it helps customers receive the excellent service they deserve. Furthermore, Xina aids in order accuracy, ensuring that customers receive the right food and beverages, saving time and money.

What makes your voice-ordering app different from others?

Sconnely: Xina is different from other POS systems because it can be used in different kinds of restaurants and is cloud-based, so you don’t have to install any apps. Furthermore, Xina AI voice ordering accommodates the wishes of the customer, if the customer prefers to text, or use a traditional tap method to place an order, they can do it. making it easier for the customer to get exactly what they want. The app also assists restaurant owners in better understanding their customers, allowing them to make better business decisions.  

For example, if a receipt shows a hamburger and fries, did you get an upsell on the fries or did the customer just order it with the hamburger? With Xina, you will know if the fries were added after an upsell question, plus Xina will find something else to upsell, unlike staff at the counter.

Why is voice ordering the future of the restaurant industry?

Sconnely: Xina AI is the future of the restaurant industry because it reduces the need for human interaction, allowing customers to order in a more efficient, accurate, and cost-effective manner. It also reduces human error and expedites the ordering process, allowing restaurants to increase operational efficiency, save money, and turn tables faster. As restaurants strive for greater efficiency and customer satisfaction in this competitive market, voice ordering AI will become indispensable.


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