Artificial intelligence (AI) is the next big thing in the restaurant industry. AI is a collection of technologies that are designed to make computers more like humans. AI works by learning and understanding data, then making decisions based on that information. It’s already being used to automate certain processes in the restaurant industry, but it’s expected to grow exponentially over the next few years.
AI has already made its mark in other industries, such as finance and healthcare, so it’s only logical that it will have an equally large impact on the restaurant industry. We will take you through some of the ways AI is changing the restaurant industry — from how AI will change your life as a diner to how AI will change your job as a server or manager.
What is AI in the Restaurant Industry?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a type of machine intelligence that aims to replicate the human thinking process, to gain self-awareness and to eventually achieve matches with the human level of consciousness. AI has become a buzzword for businesses looking to apply advanced analytics to their operations to make smarter decisions and reduce costs. AI is already showing promise in customer service, helping call centres automate certain processes and make them more efficient.
In the restaurant industry, AI can be used to support customer engagement efforts by automating certain tasks like creating online menus. AI can also be used to analyze customer data to improve operations and customer experiences. For example, AI can be used to help optimize the restaurant kitchen’s heat, airflow, and timing to ensure consistently high quality food.
AI can also be used to improve server scheduling, so that wait staff are assigned to tables in a way that optimizes service timing and flow. AI can also be used to improve customer service and ensure that guests are greeted promptly and provided with the assistance they need.
AI for restaurant staff
Many restaurants use an automation platform to help manage front-of-house and back-of-house operations. In the restaurant industry, these platforms are often referred to as a POS system because they provide Point of Sale (POS) functionality. AI can be used to help manage your staff’s workflow and organize information better.
For example, an AI-enabled POS system could be used to create individual profiles for each member of the staff team, so that each member has access to the information they need.
AI for ordering and payment
AI is already being used to help improve the ordering process for customers. For example, instead of requiring customers to specify exactly what they want (and possibly ending up with too many orders due to imperfections in the order-taking process), AI can be used to automatically modify a customer’s order based on their preferences. Some POS systems can also be integrated with credit card readers, so that customers can order using a credit card.
AI can be used to automatically manage customer orders by combining ingredients or adjusting quantities based on the customer’s order preferences.
AI for reservations and scheduling
AI can also be used to automate reservations and scheduling. For example, some reservation systems allow restaurant managers to create a list of wait times for each table. Once this functionality is enabled, managers can create a list of tables and see how long each table will be waiting. AI can be used to help manage this workflow. For example, AI can be used to automatically create reservations for tables that don’t currently have reservations.
AI will change the restaurant industry in many ways over the next few years. AI will help to automate certain tasks, like order-taking and reservations, and will help to streamline the ordering process for customers. AI will also be used to support back-of-house operations, like optimizing the timing of food preparation and checking if certain equipment is operating correctly. AI will also help to improve staff engagement, with tools that help manage workflow, organize information, and automate tasks, like creating lists and making reservations.
Partnering with AI in the Restaurant Industry
AI is a new technology, so it makes sense that most restaurateurs don’t yet have a fully fleshed out strategy around how to implement it. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to prepare for the future. First, get in touch with a partners such as EZ-Chow and ask them how they can support your AI initiative. Make sure that you’re getting the level of expertise, training, and access you need to succeed with AI.
What does the future hold for AI in the Restaurant Industry?
AI is still in its early stages, but there are a number of trends that indicate what’s to come. First, there will be more advancements made with AI algorithms and training data. Second, there will be more advancements made in hardware, with the goal of creating smaller, more energy-efficient devices. Finally, there will be more advancements made in the area of language processing, including speech recognition and language understanding.
EZ-Chow has solutions such as an Online Ordering, Self-Ordering Kiosks and Rewards/Loyalty Solutions that integrate into your existing POS systems. To learn how EZ-Chow can help you with these initiatives and more, get started by contacting us here.