date_rangeMay 06, 2020
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has found its way into numerous sectors, restaurants being one of them. Many popular restaurant chains are exploring the uses of AI and its potential benefits. While some restaurants have started using AI to transform their business, others are still checking out the possibility of using AI. Rising operation costs and the need to make profits are the main reasons restaurants are considering using AI. The food industry is moving towards new and innovative ways to meet the expectations of their customers.
In this article, we look at why AI in Restaurants, some popular chains using AI, etc.
With the introduction of AI, many routine day-to-day activities can be automated. This means restaurants can cut down on labor costs, and once the automation is in place, a lot of the activities are taken care of. Areas like Customer Service, placing orders, etc. can be automated and handled by Artificial Intelligence (AI), thus reducing a lot of cost-overheads.
Robots have been introduced by some restaurants to handle tasks like cleaning the floor, preparing dishes, etc. Restaurant Caliburger introduced robots to help with tasks like preparing burgers. It is said that the robots were able to make more than 300 burgers in a short time. Some restaurants believe that if they can use robots to handle tiring work, then they will be able to give their restaurant staff other kinds of tasks like serving customers, etc. That said, some other restaurants have found robots to be a bad idea, since their initial cost is very high, and their monthly operational costs also come to hundreds of dollars. Some restaurants in China stopped employing robots since they didn’t find them efficient.
A Chatbot is an application that used AI and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to communicate with human beings in their natural language. They communicate in human language via chat interface or voice chat.
Chatbots are widely used to make reservations, handle customer queries, etc. They reduce human effort and are faster and more efficient. Since they are automated, they are less error-prone.
Customers can order their food via automated Kiosks. This reduces the customer waiting time and provides a good customer experience. Kiosks have made the processing of ordering food more manageable and more efficient. Based on previous buying habits and trends, the kiosk booths also suggest food options, dishes to suit the particular customer.
Kiosks help saving time and improve customer experience. Automated kiosks are less error-prone and faster.
Machine Learning techniques can be used to analyze data related to the previous year’s sales, customer buying trends, data about famous dishes, time of the year when sales peaked, etc. These insights can be used by restaurants to plan their business strategies for the current year. Machine Learning can also be used to predict sales based on weather conditions. Restaurants can be prepared for the kind of sales going to happen that year. Promotions can also be predicted using AI techniques, and businesses can learn from the insights provided by AI.
One of the main costs for a restaurant is that which comes from the wastage of food. A lot of food gets wasted every year, which contributes to a lot of extra costs. Using Machine Learning, restaurant businesses can predict which dishes sell the most, which don’t. The ingredients most preferred by people, the ones that usually get wasted. Machine Learning can also indicate the times of the year when people tend to buy more food (festival/ holiday season, weekends, etc.) Based on the insights, restaurants can come up with ways to reduce food wastage.
Dominos is leveraging AI by using Nvidia Technology to perform Deep Learning and Data Research. The insights from the data will help Dominos improve its operations and sales.
Another instance of AI is Dom, that is an AI-Powered Chatbot used by Dominos. Dom takes pizza orders of customers via virtual chat and has already assisted with many orders.
Dominos is also planning to use autonomous pizza delivery robots to help with delivery.
McD has acquired Artificial Intelligence (AI) companies like Dynamic Yield and Apprente to implement AI techniques to its business operations. Dynamic Yield uses Machine Learning, and Apprente used AI techniques to help improve business. McD is expected to enhance its business with the help of AI.
Subway is a leading food chain and operates across many countries. Subway has also started using AI by introducing Subway Order Bot. Customers can place orders to this bot via Facebook Messenger. The introduction of the bot will make it easier for customers to place orders. Since Facebook is a popular social media platform, it is said there are chances that many customers will use the bot to place orders.
CaliBurger has been using Flippy, an AI-driven robot, to prepare burgers. This robot performs cooking tasks in the kitchen and can work in a kitchen. Robots are supposed to be much faster than human beings and are less error-prone. Flippy has made the preparation of burgers quicker and more efficient.
Advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) are making it easier for restaurants to improve their business. Automation of customer support using Bots, taking new orders, improving sales using Machine Learning methods, AI-powered robots are some of the common ways AI is rapidly entering the restaurant business. It isn’t likely that AI will completely take over the restaurant work shortly, but it can help speed up a lot of work. Human beings will continue to work in restaurants, since there are many tasks that AI can’t do, at least yet. AI is one of the technologies a lot of restaurants are looking at to enhance their sales.
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Author - Atma Pai
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