With algorithms determining the most efficient cooking order for line cooks and AI-enabled cameras that detect order accuracy right as meals come out of the oven or off the line, Dragontail Systems is helping some of the largest restaurants like Domino’s and Pizza Hut seamlessly integrate curbside and delivery orders into the mix without placing that nearly impossible task solely on the shoulders of floor managers or expediters.
Now, with seven years under its belt and its high-tech kitchen equipment operating in more than 2,500 restaurants across the globe, the Israeli upstart with a fresh eight-figure investment deal, is looking to bring its high-tech kitchen management to smaller-scale restaurants as it moves into the U.S. market for the first time.
Dragontail Systems CEO Ido Levanon spent most of his adult life in the U.S. working for Fujitsu in San Diego and Dallas before moving to Israel when he was approached by a regional Domino’s and Pizza Hut operator who wanted help integrating off-premises orders into their finely tuned kitchen operations that were being upended by big changes in customer ordering preferences.
While investigating the restaurant industry, Levanon was struck by the number of crucial restaurant functions that were still made in a fully manual way, often at the sole discretion of a manager or expediter trying to determine which orders needed to get fired at what time—a task that’s further complicated when hungry guests in the dining room see takeout and delivery orders going out the door while they’re still waiting for appetizers or entrees.
“All the AI advancements [in the world] never touched the restaurant, so seven years ago the idea was to develop a company, we called it Dragontail Systems, that will basically build a system that is AI- and algorithm-based that will optimize every key decision that a shift manager or store manager has to make,” he said. “We decide when to [cook] it in the kitchen, when to pack it, when to dispatch it, which driver takes this order … and it’s quite a complicated system and, as of today, there is no other system like this.”
Describing a typical restaurant line on a busy Friday night, Levanon said even a “math genius” would struggle with the task of juggling 50 outstanding orders, with impatient in-store diners and a growing line of curbside customers and third-party delivery drivers—and deciding the most efficient order to fire one ticket over another. It’s a task that doesn’t just vary by the number of orders or how full the dining room is, but takes into account everything from weather, traffic conditions and even the location of delivery drivers heading back to the restaurant for their next order.
To achieve this near-holy balance in busy kitchens, Dragontail’s secret sauce is twofold: complex algorithms to optimize cooking orders and AI-enabled cameras that are just as good—or better—than humans at determining if the pizza order matches what’s coming out of the oven.