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The Emergence of AI and its Impact on Restaurants

  • Published on : 29/09/2020

The growing desire to live a better life has led to an increasing dependency on technologies for the completion of mundane tasks. It has inspired many to rather spend that time on doing something more productive. And restaurants are no exception. Integration of AI seems to skyrocket in the restaurant industry, leading to higher staff efficiency, lower need of personnel, and better customer satisfaction. 

Appropriate usage of AI helps in decision making, keeping records, attending clients and much more. Using AI to its utmost potential can help your restaurant to work efficiently, invest more in places previously neglected and build a strong customer base.

What is AI?

According to Technopedia: “Artificial intelligence (AI) is an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans.”

AI is built to deal with – 

  • Problem-solving
  • Knowledge
  • Learning
  • Planning

AI technology in restaurants is primarily used as chatbots, apps, kiosks, etc.

Benefits of AI in Restaurant Business

1. Chatbots or Service Apps

Increase in the usage of chatbots or service apps have helped many restaurants to gain and maintain customers through a strong online presence. This AI technology helps customers with relevant information on the menus and updates them with new campaigns and offers.

Dominos, since 2017 has increased chatbots on Facebook, with the aim to help customers order pizza with ease at any time. All they need to do is type in the word pizza, answer a few questions such as their choice of pizza, and delivery or collection and they are good to go. This trend of AI has helped Dominos gain $4.7M in sales globally.

Utilization of AI is not confined only to large restaurants. Small scale restaurants can also invest in a chatbot to elevate customer services. 

2. Smart Kiosks 

A part of self-service technology, an AI trend of smart kiosks has taken over many chain restaurants, reducing the cost of manual labour drastically. 

Restaurant chains like KFC have introduced the smart kiosks in their outlets,  to avoid long queues at the ordering booth. Using these kiosks, the customers can now order what they want in a much easier manner. This AI technology is programmed to make suggestions according to the need of the consumer and provides various options for add-ons.

With the introduction of smart kiosks, the self- service market is predicted to increase from $54.4M in 2016 to $83.5M by 2021, worldwide. 

3. Cost-efficient Business

Owners today prefer to use cost-efficient technology to reduce unnecessary expenditure. The emergence of AI in the market has benefitted restaurant owners greatly in saving their costs. Manual labour is not cheap and to sustain them the owner has too little to walk away with at the end of the day. But with the introduction of AI, restaurant owners are turning their heads towards adopting this new technology. 

With AI, restaurant owners can avoid mistakes at the peak order times. AI can be used to do repetitive back work such as keeping a check on the important equipment, setting up computerized alerts and much more. 

With the emergence of AI in the food industry, efficiency of work and consistency increase, but with many benefits, there are certain risks to AI technology as well. A shutdown of AI will lead to a shutdown of the restaurant completely dependent on it. There will be no manual jobs available, the robots will not be able to adapt to the change in environment and the consumer experience will remain stagnant as they won’t learn from their mistakes.

To strike a balance between AI and traditional labour is important so that the pros and cons are tactfully handled. 

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