Though increasingly famous, Restaurant Industry is quite a tough place to succeed as the tastes of consumers, and the format of restaurants is evolving rapidly. The approach of customers in finding the best place to dine in or dine out has changed. There are some who visit restaurants on a friend’s recommendation whereas a few reach out to the latest food trends from a foodie’s Instagram account. So, to stand out in this industry, restaurant owners not only need to understand the customer demands and their approach but also appreciate the changes brought in the business by high tech innovations.
Artificial Intelligence is tremendously impacting a pool of industries, and it has made a remarkable wave in the food serving business more popularly known as the restaurant industry. Right from how food is made to the way it is consumed; AI has its impression on the entire Restaurant POS Software.
While Artificial Intelligence has its strengths and flaws, it has paved a way to aid restaurant owners in overcoming challenges like high staff turnover and increase in minimum labor costs. AI can identify things faster and better than humans.
Reshaping the Food Trends & Redefining Customer Service
As AI is data-driven, it can collect data from different sources, analyze it, and give recommendations to restaurant owners to boost the profit margin.
The most significant advantage offered by AI is anticipating market trends. Restaurants can add readily available data like shipment, survey, outlet demographics, location, and weather information to discover new areas for growth and reshape their trends accordingly.
The location intelligence combines real data with raw data to examine every possible variable related to the location. Let’s say; a fun fair is organized by a club in your restaurant’s vicinity. Imagine if your restaurant management system can predict the traffic your restaurant would observe during the event? Or if it would recommend the staffing levels, you must have in the peak hours? Well, all this is possible as well as manageable with modern AI.
Here is how the restaurant industry is observing changes with the help of AI technology.
What are Chatbots? They are computer applications that are powered by Artificial Intelligence to communicate with humans in a natural language. They use online chat interface, SMS, and even voice chats to have a conversation with humans. Apart from communication, they help accumulate information from other chatbots.
AI-driven chatbots provide a personalized experience and redefine the way customers are being serviced. Nowadays, customers have embraced Chatbots for ordering food online, either by speech or text. Voice-enabled chatbot applications offer a more tailored experience to customers.
Restaurants are now integrating chatbot application with social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to reach out to customers quickly. To make ordering as convenient as possible, Dominos introduced a Facebook Messenger chatbot to enable its customers to order pizza by messaging the word ‘pizza.’
Kiosk refers to a small cubicle from where tickets, refreshments, etc. are sold. It enables customers to select their meal and also personalize the order with interactive prompts. Kiosks even accept credit or debit cards thus reducing the need for a human cashier.
AI-enabled smart kiosks allow customers to order food via a digitized menu. McDonald’s implemented the use of an intelligent kiosk that recommends items depending on the seasons, weather, and customer preferences. Its touch screen board enables a customer to select the sauce he needs in the burger, the amount of salt in fries, and sugar in the soft drink. Customers can also make payment here.
The smart kiosks that use a camera have the potential to identify regular customers. They suggest a menu based on customers’ previous orders. Thus, they form a part of self-service technology. Such kiosks were put in use by BurgerFi, a high-end burger chain. When you select its facial recognition option, it lets you reorder your favorite dish and pay in less than 10 seconds.
Food Service Applications
With a surge in online food orders among people, food service apps are embracing Artificial Intelligence to enhance customer service and minimize errors. Some apps with delivery management technology even provide real-time signals of meal kits that provides the driver’s progress, guide to take the best route for save distance and time, and keep the customers updated along the way.
Halla, an AI-driven food service app, makes the restaurateurs stand out against the competition by customizing the user experience of finding restaurants and choosing meals of their preference.
TellSpec developed a handheld scanner that uses bioinformatics to provide information about the food ingredients and other details. This helps customers to know the composition of food and restaurateurs to learn the quality of their food.
Predictive Analytics & Dynamic Staffing
Restaurants are now partnering with technology companies for predictive analytics. Through this analytics, they can forecast visitor traffic, food orders, inventory needs, costs, and revenues. Depending on the customer traffic, different schedules are created suggesting how much staff will be required and what times will be the busiest for the restaurant. It also sends alerts when an employee is about to have overtime.
One such analytics solutions company is Venga. It uses technology that can collect data and analyze it. The collected data is related to the habits, purchases, and preferences of customers. With this data, restaurants can enhance their customers’ dining experience. The owners can create strategies for restaurant ordering system and implement sufficient cash flow hacks to maximize sales and profit.
Robotic Waiter & Kitchen Assistants
The AI-driven kitchen assistants are equipped with sensors and cameras to help them see how the food is prepared. They can keep a watch on the process and assist chefs by monitoring important tasks like temperature control.
A California-based start-up, Miso Robotics, develops AI-enabled technologies for kitchen. Flippy, its kitchen assistant is designed with the potential to flip, grill, fry, prepare, and plate the food.
Pepper, a humanoid robotic waiter, is developed to process the orders from customers, recommend food items to customers, and receive payment via its handheld tablet. Customers can interact with Pepper just as they do with human waiters.
Though robotics and smart kiosks are still in their infancy, there are other viable Artificial Intelligence applications for leveraging big data and professing the hold in the restaurant industry. Again, a significant technological transformation of the sector will be observed shortly.
I am Nikunj Dudhat, a digital marketing and content curator at SoftwareSuggest, a software recommendation platform. I am passionate about Digital Marketing, and all things digital. Also interested in technology and innovation. In spare time, enjoy playing cricket, and Badminton.