business news in context, analysis with attitude

•  USA Today reports that "CKE Restaurants Holdings, the parent company of fast food chains Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, is rolling out artificial intelligence at its drive-thrus.

"The company is partnering with AI companies Presto Automation, OpenCity, and Valyant AI to automate voice ordering at participating drive-thru locations across the country, according to news releases. Carl's Jr. and Hardee's operate roughly 2,800 restaurants across 44 states.

"The partnerships are meant to boost accuracy, speed, and revenue and help fast-food chains manage staffing shortages.

"CKE chief technology officer Phil Crawford noted that a pilot program with Presto yielded positive results, with deployed stores recording a 'significant' uptick in revenue thanks to the technology’s ability to upsell customers."

•  The Boston Globe reports that Christmas Tree Shops - which has offered year-round accessibility to holiday decorations - has "filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which means the business will stay open and restructure its finances under court supervision by August. But owner Handil Holdings announced in a statement that the move will likely to lead to the closure of up to 10 its 82 stores, which include 15 in Massachusetts and four in New Hampshire."