This start-up makes use of laptop imaginative and prescient to get your fast-food order made precisely

An employee places a drink order with a customer in the drive-through of a Starbucks coffee shop in Rodeo, California.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Restaurant tech startup Agot AI has closed a $ 10 million financing round that will help the company accomplish its mission to improve the accuracy of fast food orders.

The start-up installs overhead cameras in restaurant kitchens and uses computer vision to check – similar to autonomous vehicles – whether the employees are preparing the orders correctly. The technology is designed to improve work efficiency and reduce customer waiting times.

Agricultural investment firm Continental Grain, which recently bought poultry giant Sanderson Farms with Cargill, led the startup’s seed funding round. The Kitchen Fund – which is invested in Sweetgreen, Cava, and Gregorys Coffee – and Grit Ventures also participated.

According to Pitchbook, Agot raised just $ 50,000 during its previous funding round in May 2020.

“We are excited to help the Agot team bring their computer vision solution to market, increase work efficiency, improve off-premise operations and provide real-time analytics to demanding QSR operators,” said Continental Grain in a statement to CNBC.

Order accuracy can have a profound impact on consumer willingness to return to a restaurant and the overall experience. The American Customer Satisfaction Index’s annual consumer survey found that fast food restaurant orders were accurate 84% of the time in 2021, which was less than the previous year.

Agot co-founder and CEO Evan DeSantola said the technology can detect over 85% of order errors and alert them to these issues before staff serve food to customers.

“We see that all over the [quick-service restaurant] Order accuracy in the industry is becoming a growing concern as a result of the shift to drive-through, “said DeSantola.” What was once a minor pain point if accuracy rates haven’t gotten much better is now a much bigger pain point. “

Drive-through orders increased prior to the pandemic, but the health crisis resulted in many consumers switching to this ordering method due to closed dining rooms, convenience and safety concerns. In December, drive-through transactions were up 22% year over year, according to the NPD Group. SeeLevel HX’s annual drive-thru study found that average times at 10 fast food chains slowed by almost half a minute over the past year.

DeSantola and his co-founder, Alex Litzenberger, who serves as the company’s chief technology officer, met while studying computer science at Carnegie Mellon University. You founded the company 2½ years ago after experiencing long waiting times and incorrect orders yourself. The founder’s alma mater also took part in the seed round.

“At Agot, we knew it wasn’t a point solution,” said Greg Golkin, managing partner of the Kitchen Fund. “It’s a platform that is being built and order accuracy is just the first application. Computer vision won’t stop there. “

Golkin also said that Agot was furthest ahead of other startups exploring similar computer vision solutions in restaurant technology. According to its founders, Agot has received several takeover bids that it has declined.

DeSantola said the typical Agot customer has at least 2,000 restaurant locations. However, he declined to share the names of current restaurant customers, citing strict nondisclosure agreements.

Agot plans to use the cash from the latest round of funding to expand its product and engineering teams and expand its reach for both existing customers and adding new chains to its roster.

Simple methods to economize the subsequent time you order takeout

It’s easy to pick up the phone to order takeaway food when you don’t feel like cooking, but a full stomach to take away can leave your wallet empty. This is how you can save.

SAN ANTONIO – You may notice it in your own budget: Texans have been spending more money eating out since the pandemic started. Takeaway food is convenient, but it can cleanse your wallet.

“Spending on eating out, such as spending in restaurants or taking out, has increased much faster than spending on groceries,” said Erika Giovanetti, who wrote a take-away report for. wrote Credit tree.

She found that some Texas households are spending nearly $ 440 a month on takeout. It’s a convenience you’ll pay for, but experts say there are ways to keep your stomach and wallet full.

First, try to cut down on your orders.

“If you order takeaway five nights a week, you might cut yourself down to just three nights a week,” said Andrea Woroch, a money-saving expert. “I like to say start small, and when you have adopted and adopted the next habit, you can reduce it further from there.

Groceries for delivery may have higher prices and additional fees. Instead, collect it yourself.

“Just order through your local restaurant and then choose pick-up,” said Woroch. “This is an easy way to avoid these fees. I know there are $ 3 or $ 5 fees here and there, doesn’t sound like a lot and might not break your budget, but if you do this regularly, those little fees add up. Pick up whenever possible and arrange with an errand so it doesn’t feel like you go out of your way just to get the take-away order. “

“Many small restaurants and family-run establishments are having problems right now,” said Giovanetti. “You’d probably really like it if you just called them up and ordered take-away instead of using a third-party service.”

Or save by buying more frozen, prepared foods for quick meals at the grocery store. Woroch always has a frozen pizza close at hand so that a meal can be prepared quickly.

“I also fill my freezer with things that can simply be reheated in the microwave or oven for those nights that I don’t want to order to take away. It still costs a little more than cooking it yourself, but not that much to take away, ”said Woroch. “Have things like frozen vegetables or chicken handy. That way, you have something that is easy to thaw and quick to cook. You don’t have to worry about going to the grocery store. I think that’s usually the main reason people end up ordering takeout. You’re like, ‘Oh, now I have to go to the grocery store and get all these ingredients and then cook.’ When you just have it at home and ready to go in the freezer, it is one less step to take to prepare your own meals and avoid takeout. “

“Everything looks good when you’re hungry,” said Woroch. “If you can make a small appetizer at home, be it humus and carrots or crackers and cheese, it might keep some of that hunger at bay.”

A budget can also help control food spending. Let technology do the hard work for you.

“Budgeting apps for your smartphone can set up automatic notifications when you over-spend in a certain category like restaurants or takeaways,” said Giovanetti.

She recommended using it mint.

Get cash from delivery orders by using coupon codes.

“There are sites like CouponCabin.com that will have offers on these different order sites, ”said Woroch. “Also, if you hit a certain spending limit, like ordering $ 30 worth of food in a restaurant, you might get a 10 percent discount. In that case, you might order lunch for the next day. Then you get this discount and are prepared for a few meals. “

Cashback apps like Get rewards allows you to get more meals for free.

“This gives you points that are good for free gift certificates,” said Woroch.

Also, make larger meals when you’re cooking and freeze leftovers so they can be easily reheated another night.

If you have an eyewitness question, email us at EWTK@KENS5.com or call us at 210-377-8647.

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East St. Louis dwelling well being care employee sentenced after authorities say she stole aged sufferers’ IDs, cash | Regulation and order

FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS – An East St. Louis woman was sentenced to one year and one day in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to stealing identity and money from elderly patients.

Erica Rose, 31, pleaded guilty in November of a conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud and escalated identity theft, according to the US Attorney’s Office for the southern district of Illinois.

According to authorities, Rose worked as a home nurse for a company called CareLink that looked after elderly patients.

In addition to her jail term, Rose will be sentenced to two years of judicial surveillance and pay nearly $ 10,000 in restitution when she is released.

Rose’s co-defendant Ashley McKinney has a pending arrest warrant. Prosecutors say Rose gave the McKinney patient information.

New Gov. Cooper govt order to extend occupancy capability at companies, leisure venues | WJHL

RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) – Governor Roy Cooper said he will sign an executive order Tuesday that will further relax COVID-19 restrictions, including increasing maximum occupancy in some companies.

“Strong security protocols, including the mask mandate, remain in place. It will still be important to stay socially aloof and develop good judgment, ”said Cooper.

Museums, aquariums, retail stores and stores, hairdressers / salons / personal care stores can be at 100 percent capacity.

Restaurants, breweries and wineries, entertainment areas as well as gyms and pools can be used up to 75 percent.

Bars, sports arenas, and other live venues can be 50 percent busy.

All of these facilities still require masks and 6 feet of social distance, and Cooper said some of them may not be able to meet the maximum occupancy allowed by the order.

From Friday, the curfew for alcohol consumption will be lifted on site at 11 p.m.

The bulk gathering limit, which covers other types of gatherings not otherwise specified in the order, will be increased to 50 indoors and 100 outdoors.

“These are significant changes, but they are safe to make. We’ve been saying all along that the science and data would be our guide to this dimmer switch approach and they show that we can do it, ”he said.

The ordinance comes into force on March 26th.

“This virus and its contagious variants are still spreading and we may need to be even more careful as we relax restrictions as we will likely come into contact with more people as we leave our homes and go to public places,” said Cooper.

Dr. Mandy Cohen of the State Department of Health and Human and Services said 31.7 percent of North Carolinians over the age of 18 have been partially vaccinated against the virus.

According to Cohen, 18.8 percent are fully vaccinated.

Monitoring A Misplaced Or Stolen Cash Order – Forbes Advisor

Editor’s note: Forbes may earn a commission on sales made through affiliate links on this page. However, this does not affect the opinions or ratings of our editors.

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A money order is similar to a check, except that it is a guaranteed form of payment – unless it’s lost or stolen. If you’ve lost a money order that you’ve received or bought, your money isn’t necessarily gone.

There is some work that you need to do to keep track of your money order. If that doesn’t work, you may be able to cancel your money order instead. Read on to learn what steps you can take to track down a lost or stolen money order.

How to track a money order

When you’ve lost one Money order or you think it was stolen, the first thing to do is track it. You can track a money order by contacting the money order issuer. The steps to follow up on a lost money order vary depending on who originally issued it. Here’s how to track a money order through three popular money order issuers.

USPS

The United States Postal Service has been in the money order business for some time, offering domestic and international money orders. Domestic money orders are limited to $ 1,000 per single order. International money orders cost a maximum of $ 700 per single order.

You can see if a money order has been honored by checking the box USPS website. Hopefully you have saved the money order slip as it contains the information you need to keep track of the money order. To view the status of the money order, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Serial number
  • Post number
  • Dollar amount

If you would like a copy of a redeemed money order, you must complete and submit PS Form 6401, the official money order request. It can take up to 60 days for the USPS to investigate the status of a lost or stolen money order.

You can’t stop paying for a USPS money order, but you can have it replaced if it’s found lost or stolen. In this case, a replacement instruction will be issued. The USPS charges a processing fee of $ 6.25 to replace a lost or stolen money order.

Western Union

There are two ways to track a lost or stolen Western Union money order:

  1. Once you have the receipt, use the request form on the back to begin the process of tracking or replacing the money order. Submit the completed form and $ 15 processing fee to the address provided.
  2. If you don’t have the receipt, you’ll need to fill it out and submit it Western Union Money Order Application Form. There is a $ 30 processing fee and requests can take up to eight weeks to process. You can submit the form in three ways:
  • Fax: 1-720-864-0477
  • Email: RMO@westernunion.com
  • Mail: Western Union Financial Services, Inc., P.O. Box 7030 Englewood, CO 80155-7030

If the money order has already been cashed, Western Union will send you a photocopy of the cashed money order. If they check the money order and find that it has not been cashed, you will receive a refund.

MoneyGram

MoneyGram money orders are available at thousands of retail stores in the United States. You can also purchase a money order through the website or the mobile app. You can track a MoneyGram money order by completing the Online form or by phone at 1-800-542-3590. You will need to provide the money order amount and serial number. This is also how you are requesting a replacement instruction through MoneyGram.

Online inquiries are the cheapest and fastest way to get a replacement money order. The processing fee is $ 18. It usually takes seven working days or more to process.

You can also request a paper form using the automated phone line mentioned above. There is a $ 25 processing fee for paper inquiries. It may take 20 working days or more to process.

If the money order is cleared, you can obtain a photocopy of the cashed money order by visiting a participating MoneyGram retail location. Complete a MoneyGram Express payment and pay the $ 18 processing fee. You can also email a photocopy request, but the fee is $ 25 per request.

If your money order was purchased from a different issuer, there may be a different process for tracking and replacing money orders. Check with your money order issuer for details on how to proceed.

What if the money order has been cashed?

As mentioned above, most issuers can provide a photocopy of a money order if it has already been cashed. This won’t help you get your money back, but it can come in handy if you decide to file a fraud lawsuit. The money order issuer can refund your money if you can prove you were a victim of fraud.

How to protect yourself against money order fraud

Money orders are often used as part of Bank fraud. There are steps you can take to protect your money after you’ve bought or received a money order.

  1. Fill out the money order as soon as possible. Write the payee name and other information on the money order shortly after purchase.
  2. When you receive a money order, you can deposit or redeem it immediately. The less time it spends with you, the less likely it is to be lost.
  3. Always keep your receipt until you know that the payment has been received by the payee.
  4. Avoid leaving money orders in a Dropbox. Either hand it over to the payee or hand it in personally at your local post office.

Bottom line

Money orders are safer than cash, but there’s always a chance the money order could be lost or stolen. You also usually pay more fees for money orders than for other forms of payment. Do your best to protect your money order so you don’t have to track down lost or stolen money orders. These days there are more modern options too Sending money to people digital, which can be better than using a money order.

Cornershot: Grocery order gone haywire | Leisure

Our new lifestyle has created opportunities to laugh at ourselves and our new situations.

I check in to my friend Joan in Northern Virginia almost every morning. She lives alone and the morning well-being check is enough for a coffee over the back fence.

Did I mention Joan’s my age? Far behind our three points and 10?

Joan refused to put groceries online but she eventually gave in and took great care to place an order online. It was time consuming, but everything worked fine. After the first order, she gained confidence and continued the practice.

There are replacements sometimes, but the store’s policy is that if the customer fails, they will be given credit and they can just keep the item. I think replenishment and actual return are too cumbersome.

Joan was pretty pleased with the way her grocery gathering made her life easier. But recently there was a problem. There was a surprise in her order when she was unpacking everything – five boxes of Tampax with no expiration date! However, Joan is well past her own “expiration date” for this product.

Fortunately, her neighbors are a young family with three daughters who were delighted with these supplies. But the mistake made Joan and I speculate: was it a young man filling out the order and not knowing what the product was? Was it wrong for cleaning rags or paper napkins? We’ll never know, but it’s just another ridiculous moment in this COVID reality and we need ridiculous moments.

Biden will not elevate Europe, Brazil journey restrictions regardless of Trump order, spokeswoman says

A traveler leaves a test center at Heathrow Airport in London on January 17, 2021.

Hollie Adams | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The incoming Biden administration said Monday it would lift entry bans on most visitors from Europe, the UK and Brazil no less than an hour after the president saw it Donald Trump ordered an end to travel restrictions for Covid-19.

“With the pandemic worsening and its infectious variants around the world, it is not time to lift restrictions on international travel,” the president-elect tweeted Joe BidenThe spokeswoman for Jen Psaki.

Trump put in the rules first March to contain the spread of the virus Covid-19 was already in circulation in the US before.

On Monday evening, he issued a proclamation lifting restrictions just two days before Biden’s inauguration. The rules prohibit most non-US citizens from entering the US if they have been to Brazil, the 26 Schengen countries in Europe, Ireland or the UK in the past two weeks.

Trump’s proclamation on Monday came less than a week after the US announced that travelers, including US citizens, would have to fly to the US from abroad Test negative for Covid-19 before the flight. This requirement goes into effect on January 26th – the same day the travel restrictions would be lifted. Trump said it would keep travel restrictions from Iran and China. Much of Europe is still banning most US citizens.

Airlines have repeatedly urged the U.S. government to replace the bans that contributed to a collapse in demand Billions in losseswith preflight covid tests. International travel volume fell more sharply than domestic travel volume during the pandemic.

Companies sue state for misplaced cash resulting from complying with public well being order

Nicholas Sydow, the attorney representing the state, said the governor was in her executive powers to implement the public health order.

Sydow added that any compensation for companies affected by the public health order should come from lawmakers.

“The court has ruled an argument regarding claims for damages based on the public health orders. The court may legally determine that no compensation is available. Therefore, the state and governor support economic facilitation for people and businesses benefiting from the compensation are affected. ” Pandemic and affected by the necessary public health responses to it, neither the Constitution nor fair support for individual litigation based on public health ordinances. “

The plaintiffs in this case, who are suing the state, point to government action.

They claim that government measures are so restrictive of the business owner’s property rights that they have a negative impact on the business and its finances.

A. Blair Dunn, who represents the companies in the lawsuit, pointed out how the state exercised police powers in the implementation of a public health policy.

“If you cannot be content to process protection in government actions, you must not use police powers,” said Dunn.

The court adjourned without making a decision. A decision is expected soon, however.