Being a technologically-driven industry, it is not surprising that most restaurant professionals are already looking into utilizing artificial intelligence in restaurants. You may already have initiated utilizing it on your operational processes without really noticing it.
If you’re thinking that introducing AI in your restaurant means robots roving inside your dining area, well it’s time to shift that mindset. While it won’t hurt to deliver your customers a fresh and thrilling experience, you should realize that AI comes in diverse shapes and sizes.
Read along to understand more about artificial intelligence. What does it offer for restaurant owners, like you? Know more about the different ways an AI can support your restaurant business, boost its sales and drive into success.
What is Artificial Intelligence – AI
AI are programs that are designed to respond to specific triggers, environments, or inputs by executing a task. In a restaurant setting, these are the interactive software that you use or you let your customers use to enhance your current work process.
Running a restaurant is a tricky job, and it’s not simple to maintain everything coordinated and in place. Fifty-two percent of restaurant owners claimed that aside from food costs, operational costs are their top management concerns.
Initially, your response, in this case, would be deploying more staff to work. But how can you generate efficient and streamlined operations without paying more for labor costs? That’s right, by optimizing the capacity of innovation and AI available at your disposal.
Every AI is programmed differently. With machine learning, it can perform accordingly by analyzing and learning from the data and algorithms sent by the AI. It’s considered one of the most advanced technologies that are accessible in the Restaurant Industry.
Machine learning is what occurs when a computer system is trained to adapt to its demands. Have you ever wondered how Netflix, Youtube, and Spotify offer you on-point suggestions? Yes, that’s machine learning and AI working for you.
AI Application in Restaurants
Just as mentioned above, you may be already using AI in your restaurant without realizing it. But in case you want to apply more for your restaurant, know first what are the basic functions of an AI.
An AI is usually constructed to simplify the following functions for a restaurant and other types of businesses.
- Simplify manual labor
For restaurants, here’s how AI is represented and deployed.
This AI setup can apply to you and your customers. Fifty-four percent of consumers stated that the use of virtual assistants improved their experience. This is incredibly helpful, especially for your online ordering services.
Modern diners are more than dependent on the internet. For their food, they’re most likely to check out their phones first before deciding which one would be their pick. Virtual assistants collect all the data and information available according to their preferences.
If you provide customers an AI that will function as their virtual assistant, it will show them everything they know about your restaurant. Information such as location, distance, menu, wait times, will be accessible for your customers’ perusal.
From a management perspective, personal virtual assistants are helpful for you. All data and numbers are kept organized. You can assemble reports with a single click, and you can supervise your restaurant without the manual collection of information.
If there’s a technology that was completely justified by this pandemic, it would be the ordering kiosks no doubt. The non-contact process has provided customers with a simpler and safer ordering process.
Particularly in a fast-casual or quick-service dining setting, where everything needs to be fast and easy. Usage of this AI type also shows how steadfast your restaurant is in technology advancement. Seventy-seven percent of UK millennials say that restaurant technology enhances their dining experience.
Consumers constantly look for a solution to their demands. While you may be equipped to answer them all, you can’t possibly tend to everybody on time. That’s why chatbots are developed. They’re specifically constructed to respond to inquiries quickly.
Additionally, they also speed up the online ordering process. Sixty-four percent of UK millennials are content and pleased with their purchase with the help of a chatbot. It’s still a great number considering how much buying power they hold.
Automation in restaurants is not a new thing. While it can be intimidating at first, you should now realize how much help it brings to your table. Your POS system, KDS, Inventory Management System, and even your Waste Disposal Management are technically mini-robots with specific functions.
Now, if you’re thinking of the typical robot running inside your restaurant, it’s possible. Some fast food and commercial kitchens in the UK are already being developed to operate as a robot-friendly environment. The same goes for online ordering for restaurants.
Analyze artificial intelligence’s benefits and risks in the context of a restaurant.
- It reduces your hiring and management costs. Other tasks, such as online inquiry answering, will also be handled.
- AI enhances efficiency in your operations. If it were a robot, it could produce consistently outstanding customer service.
- Accuracy will be your new service focus. All systems will be automated, which will reduce errors.
- All repetitive tasks will be handled more quickly.
- Stagnation in service may occur. Although your AI will adapt soon, it will still act the way that they were programmed to act.
- It may lead to unemployment. Staff may be more expensive than investing in AI.
- A technical error can disrupt efficiency more than anything else.
- It may cost too much, especially for small restaurant owners.
Best Practices for Using AI in Restaurants
It’s not enough that you understand how AI operates in your restaurant. You must also know how you can intelligently use it to bring out its highest potential for your restaurant.
Use it to improve your customers’ experience.
Customer service and sales are connected. If you provide a good experience, you’re creating a repeat business opportunity for your restaurant. There’s also a great chance that you’ll earn a positive review from them within their circle (or even on the internet).
If you have a chatbot on your restaurant website, lost sales because of unattended inquiries will be reduced. You can also redirect the users into a self-service option to give them more customizing authority over their orders. In this way, you show them how much you care for them.
A budget restriction could be your main hindrance to this innovation. But worry not since there are different chatbot platforms that you can use. These are easy to set up, and you don’t need to hire a programmer to do it for you.
Use it to get to know your customers./
A targeted marketing campaign’s effectiveness cannot be underestimated. The process of creating one for your restaurant is simple yet complex. The accuracy of your data and information about your customers is critical to producing one.
With the use of artificial intelligence, there’s no need to manually extract those data from your website analytics or online surveys. The preferences and other useful information from your customers can be retrieved by machine learning and incorporated into your reports. Just keep in mind that this is only possible if the customers agree to it.
These data will be utilized to improve your marketing campaigns. In addition, you can craft more appealing and personalized content for your customers. Even though it might seem insignificant, it has a big impact on your customers.
Use it to offer product suggestions.
Upselling is never easier without the help of an AI. Chatbots and virtual assistants provide product and service suggestions to your customers even without them asking it. What’s even better is they present it so that it seems as if they need it.
It’s like turning your chatbots into a personal shopper for your customers. A diner who ordered a fish-and-chip meal will be suggested to try out your new beer. It is like showing your patrons “you may also like” options.
Use it to facilitate the operations.
Streamlining processes makes work more efficient and effective. Using AI can relieve your restaurant’s staff of other responsibilities. Now your AI can handle time-consuming tasks such as answering inquiries, making reservations, and even processing payments online.
Ensure that your AIs are programmed to respond to customer’s queries. It will adapt to repeating requests, allowing your staff to focus on other customers. If your customers need to interact with staff to place more complicated orders, offer them options to do so.
With extra workload lifted from their shoulders, all staff now serve and provide exceptional customer service.
Use it to respond to customer’s needs.
Use artificial intelligence to know what are the needs of your customers, and when they want it. It is highly critical to provide them their needs at the time they need them. Customer information that your AI has captured is the key ingredient in this recipe.
In addition to that, some tools collect all the reviews about a particular subject. Maintain a high level of service by responding to all reviews. Then consider how you might apply it to your current circumstances if it is a great idea.
Future technology will grow, that’s a fact. Rather than be concerned that artificial intelligence might overtake your restaurant, why not explore more forward-thinking ideas instead? Providing high-quality, sustainable, and personalized meals to consumers is the future trend of restaurants and the industry as a whole.
We must rethink the way we serve as trends and forecasts point to amazing developments in the future.