Dayton area Lee’s chicken restaurants to feature celebrity voice in drive-thru

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

Customers at select Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken restaurants in the Dayton area will soon hear sports broadcaster and former NFL player Keith Byars when ordering at the drive-thru.

Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken is testing Hi Auto’s new AI voice-cloning feature that’s expected to humanize the customer drive-thru experience, a press release from the restaurant said.

“Lee’s has been blessed to partner with Hi Auto since December of 2020, utilizing their AI voice recognition technology to help our employees and restaurants through the pandemic. We look forward to implementing their latest innovation to make our customer’s drive-thru experience the most unique experience in the Dayton market,” said Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken owner and operator Chuck Doran.

Lee’s restaurants have partnered with Byars since his radio program launched in 2018.

“The integrity, quality and excellence Keith brought to the football field and continues to bring to his broadcasts is what we strive to provide every customer that visits Lee’s,” Doran said. “This is just one more step in that quest.”

Byars is a Dayton native who played football at both Trotwood-Madison and Roth High School. He went on to play for Ohio State from 1982-1985. In 2000, Byars was inducted into the Ohio State Hall of Fame and in 2020 he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Byers played in the NFL for 13 seasons with such teams as the Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots and New York Jets. He hosts “The Keith Byars Show,” which can be heard on ESPN 1410 WING-AM.

The following restaurants are expected to feature his voice in January:

  • 527 S. Main St. in Englewood
  • 885 E. Main St. in Dayton
  • 6315 Chambersburg Road in Huber Heights
  • 6056 N. Dixie Dr. in Dayton
  • 4140 N. Main St. in Dayton
  • 1415 Troy St. in Dayton
  • 3225 Linden Ave. in Dayton
  • 4030 Wilmington Pike in Kettering
  • 1031 E. Second St. in Franklin
  • 550 W. Main St. in Xenia

The AI voice-cloning feature captures all the nuances of a particular person’s voice including tone, accent and dialect with just a few minutes of recorded speech, the release said. The technology is then able to create a digital voice and incorporate it into the restaurant’s order-taking system.

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