Coca-Cola integrates its smart robotics for the ultimate drive-thru experience

By QSR Automations

- Last updated on GMT

Coca-Cola integrates its smart robotics for the ultimate drive-thru experience

Related tags: QSR Automations, Soft drink, Technology, Coca-cola

QSR Automations has helped Coca-Cola pilot a machine that looks set to disrupt the market for back-of-house drinks dispensers.

According to Guinness World Records,​ the Two Panda Deli in Pasadena, California, became the first restaurant to employ robot waiting staff when it opened in June 1983. The fast food outlet used robots named Tanbo R-1 and Tanbo R-2 to bring Chinese food to its customers, whilst also telling jokes and playing music at the same time. Popular with customers and proving to be a major draw to the restaurant, the Japanese-built robots each cost $20,000. 

Fast forward to May 2022 and Coca-Cola announced the launch of Coca-Cola Freestyle 8100, a new back-of-house drinks dispenser which utilises cutting edge technology to streamline the pouring of drinks for teams, whilst also helping to reduce drive-thru wait times for customers. 

Drive-thru traffic in the U.S increased dramatically over the past two years, initially spurred by the pandemic and concerns over public spaces, which naturally led to fewer people dining inside restaurants. Coca-Cola, ever quick off the mark, saw an opportunity to bring innovation to the consumer-driven occasion and turned to its restaurant customers to identify the features most desired in an updated beverage dispenser.

“We interviewed crews, managers, directors and leaders at more than a dozen restaurant customers - those with and without Coca-Cola Freestyle dispensers, to understand what they needed,” says VP of Equipment Strategy for Coca-Cola Freestyle Felicia Hale. 

“The Freestyle 8100 includes features directly requested by our customers to solve common drive-thru challenges, including speed, order accuracy and ease of use and maintenance.”

Key to the success of Freestyle 8100 is its ability to dramatically improve speed of service by integrating directly with a restaurant’s POS system or kitchen technology. We’re extremely proud to say that QSR Automations partnered with Coca-Cola to pilot this feature for a major quick-service restaurant brand in Southern US. 

We believe robotics aligned to kitchen integration is a trend that is here to stay. So what’s so great about it? The design is incredibly sleek and has an extremely user-friendly interface. It uses state-of-the-art technology and has over 200 beverage choices, which in itself is mind blowing. What has been created is a streamlined beverage-pouring experience for back-of-house teams, which also provides speed, order accuracy and a multitude of beverage choices for drive-thru diners. 

New and enhanced features include: Cutting edge POS integration - which has been cleverly configured to enable the dispenser to automatically queue a customers total beverage order once it is keyed into the POS system, without the need for a manual drink selection by a member of the team. 

Ultimately, this technology streamlines order fulfilment and improves order accuracy by ensuring the right beverage is poured for the right customer with very little team involvement, something that can’t be ignored with the current labour crisis.  

Do we believe Coca-Cola is living by its latest slogan ‘Real Magic?’. Most definitely. 

To find out how our technology can seamlessly integrate across your restaurant operations visit​ or call 020 3870 4571. 

Related topics: Trends & Reports

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