How AI in Restaurants Transform Guest Experiences


May 2, 2019
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AI in Restaurants

AI in Restaurants – From Quick-service, Fast Casual to Casual dining, leading restaurant brands across the globe are competing to deliver world-class guest experiences to its tech-savvy customers. Digital tools are streamlining everything from ordering to predictive staffing and inventory, simplifying work for people at every level of the operation. Most promising of all: customer-facing tech advancements—especially those powered by AI in Restaurants are transforming restaurant brands by delivering personalized, seamless and omnichannel guest experiences.

A loyal customer pulls her car into a restaurant’s parking lot – and before she could find a parking space, the restaurant’s beacon technology senses her arrival and sends a ticket to the kitchen for the meal she pre-ordered online.

Across town, a frequent but demanding customer has checked the menu, which has leveraged personalization strategies to serve up a personal selection of the customer’s favorite items based on his past preferences.

What’s more, a restaurant platform makes it possible for a customer to choose from a broad number of restaurants by type of their food preference, build an order through smartphone, initiate delivery, add items to the order before it leaves the kitchen, pay and tip all online, and also see real-time updates on the delivery status as their food approaches.

Leading brands are leveraging AI in Restaurants to make advances like these, and many more. People have come to expect seamless digital experiences (such as mobile access, personalization, loyalty tracking, and no-touch transaction) across other industries and want their dining experiences to be the same way.

To understand the key customer trends and impact of AI in Restaurants, customers across the U.S were surveyed. Below are some of the findings from the study.

  • 73% of diners agree that restaurant technology improves their guest experience.
  • 95% of restaurateurs agree that restaurant technology improves their business efficiency.
  • The most important technology features for guests are online reservations, free wifi, and online ordering.
  • The top features restaurateurs are looking for in a restaurant POS upgrade are ease of use, depth of reporting, and inventory reporting.
  • Restaurateurs say credit card processing, accounting, and inventory are the most important integrations to their restaurant POS.
  • 61% of diners agree that server handheld tablets improve their guest experience.
  • 32% of diners of restaurateurs believe they are lagging in their technology use

Sources: Toasttab, restaurant.org

Business Use Cases of AI in Restaurants

  1. Track your Fat:

Technology and innovation can together assist you to burn calories faster and smarter than ever before. Now you can always keep track of the calories you are consuming per meal with the help of Calorie Mama, a food recognition app that uses your device’s camera to analyze the pixels and give out the typical calorific value of your food.

  1. Know what you eat:

Consider this as an upgrade to any calorie calculator in the world. The Consumer Physics has developed SCiO, a cutting edge one-handed device capable of identifying every ingredient in your food with the help of spectroscopy (the technology used to study stars and cancer). SCiO can also tell you if the food is healthy to eat or it’s spoiled.

  1. Silicon waiters:

Softbank has released the Pepper, an AI-powered bot that can serve food in restaurants, give recommendations, and assist the customers, all while being friendly and engaging to its core. Pepper can help you make payment with the help of your Mastercard account once you finish your meal.

  1. Food and wheels:

If bots can serve you food, then why not deliver it? The answer is yes, it can, and yes, it does. Dominos partnered with Nuro to make a pizza delivery bot that can provide pizzas to any consumer within the range of 1 mile to the restaurant.

  1. Next level Payment:

With the recent advancements CaliBurger, a leading fast-food enterprise, has started using facial recognition so that the customers can pay their bills with nothing but their faces. All you have to do is stand next to the bot and smile for a cashless, non-digital bill payment.

  1. Eat N’ Chat

Now with the help of AI chatbots, you can place orders anytime you want from your mobile phones in your most preferred language setting. One of such similar chatbots is Bot360. It’s an extremely recommended bot that uses natural language processing to converse with the consumers.

  1. Social Eater:

The social chatbot is a bit different from the regular ones, as these provide access to order your food via social networking websites like FB or Instagram. Chatfuel is one such chatbot, and it helps you upscale your business with the help of Facebook by customizing your bot according to your needs.

  1. Next level recommendation:

Many developers are working to designing a food recommendation AI, which can help you go with your preferred taste.

Summary: AI in Restaurants

Taken separately, each of these AI-powered innovations is impressive. But restaurant brands that actually treat them as individual compartments may end up managing a disjointed array of gimmicks instead of an omnichannel service model. Alternatively, if a restaurant offers digital enhancements that are strategic and tightly coordinated, it can take advantage of the resulting data and deliver consistent, personalized customer experiences.

What is the common focal point that can make full sense of Artificial Intelligence in Restaurants and put it to strategic use? The customer. Restaurateurs need to meet the next-gen customer: someone who experiences these technologies day in and day out in other parts of life, and who expects them in a restaurant experience as well.

Doing this can have a huge impact on driving dining frequencies, Customer Lifetime Value, check size, customer conversion, and loyalty. Having said that, digital is not a panacea in itself. The fundamentals matter as they always have in the restaurant experience: menu, value, and location are still paramount in driving customer attraction and satisfaction.

To get a free and personalized consultation on your organization’s digital transformation strategy, Talk to our team now!

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