Being an economic staple, the Food Service Industry generates billions of dollars as an annual revenue. From on-demand food ordering to interactive applications, the restaurant sector is pivoting towards more innovative approaches to meet and exceed customer expectations, surpassing the everyday challenges of low profit margins and high turnover. While AI is steadily making its way in the Food and Service Sector, it is important to adapt to disruptive technologies.
When coupled with a cognitive approach, artificial intelligence can streamline the overall business and process flow, transforming the entire food service experience not just for customers but also for restaurants. AI in restaurants is enhancing and changing the way service is delivered—making it easier, more interactive, and high-tech. As a result, all types of food service establishments, ranging from delivery to sit-down dining and fast-casual food joints are turning to AI and other automation technologies to stand out in this highly competitive industry.
Here are some effective ways how restaurants are leveraging AI to overhaul their customer service:
Chatbots Growing into Customer Support Roles
Cutting support costs while boosting engagement and interaction with the customers, Chatbots are gaining an increased acceptance and popularity. These AI-enabled bots are capable of handling a variety of tasks such as managing reservations, responding to customer queries, taking orders, and freeing up the executive staff to spend more productive time in augmenting the customer experience. Many restaurants and food industry establishments have already adopted these virtual assistants and are advancing with an improved ROI. Offering a highly personalised customer service experience, these bots can process an extremely high number of orders at any time, day or night. Speeding up interactions, increasing sales, and improving customer loyalty—introducing these AI based bots to your food outlet or the restaurant business will help you achieve all this while keeping your brand up to date in a diverse digital market.
Robots Becoming More Common in Restaurants
How about getting all the assistance at your table? From reservations to taking orders in an interactive manner and offering you the recommended dishes, smart bots are becoming more common in restaurants. These robots help reduce training costs and overcome turnover challenges, including the major contributing factor of increased minimum wages. In addition to assisting customers with reservation management, bots are also stepping into front-house operations. Based on your past orders, matching historical patterns, they are able to provide appropriate food recommendations, helping you place orders and even processing payment. With the latest advancements, companies are also coming up with bots that can interact in a close-to-normal speech pattern and are improvised with effective voice & facial recognition functionalities.
Assistance in Back Office Operations
One thing that every restaurant has to deal with is managing their back-office operations. AI has made handling of these mundane tasks faster and easier. These AI-driven portals and applications can help you process vendor orders, schedule staff, and keep a record of credit card transactions or payrolls. AI tools also provide some predictive analytics to forecast visitor trafﬁc, food orders, and inventory needs, as well as revenues and costs. Having a system monitor inventory will ensure your outlet never runs out of food, drinks, and other goods. These AI-equipped applications also give you a weekly analysis of whether the restaurant is properly staffed during slow and busy times, thus providing further scheduling assistance.
A lot of talk in the AI industry today circles about “human-in-the-loop” intelligence wherein human completes the long tail of task which a machine cannot perform. However, in the restaurant industry, the emerging approach is “machine-in-the loop”, where human is at the forefront and machine takes up the services that are less centric to the guest experience. Self-ordering kiosks make ordering completely customer friendly. This helps reduce the chances of human errors and elevates accuracy. From self-serve soft drink machines to kiosks that make custom salads, these self-ordering kiosks will soon replace vending machines that are commonly found in cafeterias. Recent AI-driven technologies encourage self-maintenance and automation, saving food service establishments a lot of money.
With slim profit margins and high-staff turnovers, it is high time for restaurateurs to be creative in cost-saving aspects while improving the customer service experience to maximise business efficiency. Restaurants are being more adoptive of technology and advancements. If you are looking for such tailor-made web and app-based solutions for your food service outlet, Clavis Technologies can provide you an all-inclusive assistance with its high-end Chatbot and AI development expertise.