AI Reshapes Restaurant Industry, Offers Competitive Edge

The restaurant industry has long been an early adopter of technology. Now, it’s an integral part of operations, customer service, and more. With technology evolving, the restaurant has a new tool in its technology toolkit—artificial intelligence (AI).

Speak Up to Order Up

AI has the power to revolutionize every aspect of the restaurant industry and improve the customer experience. Consider the reality of voice-activated ordering. Dunkin’ Donuts just announced its integration with Amazon’s Alexa.

Members of Dunkin’ Donuts’ loyalty program can place an order via Alexa then head down to the store to pick it up. Dunkin’ Donuts is in good company with this strategy in the hospitality space. Brands like Pizza Hut, Wingstop, and Starbucks all have similar capabilities either with direct ordering with a digital assistant or through chatbots.

AI Enters the Kitchen

Robot engineers have found a new use for these AI-driven machines—kitchen operations. Miso Robotics has developed an AI kitchen assistant, “Flippy.” The robot can assist with grilling, frying, prepping, and plating. It is like having a few extra hands in the kitchen. It works with software integrated with sensors, so it can “see” the food.

Flippy could become a restaurant’s most reliable employee and a clear advantage over the turnover that is part of the restaurant industry. In the long run, it could save restaurants money on labor, as the minimum wage continues to rise. Caliburger, a quick-serve restaurant, is using Flippy in its locations with a commitment to have them in place in at least 50 locations by 2019.

Robots have also made their way outside of the kitchen and could be taking customers’ orders soon.

AI Is The New Real Estate Agent

Over half of restaurants fail in the first year and most do so because of location. While restaurateurs certainly do their homework about a possible site, AI can help them make even better decisions.

AI removes some of the risk of failure due to location. Location intelligence combines raw data from a business with location information from massive databases. Then each variable is analyzed that relates to location. It can predict the effects of competitors and foot traffic. AI has the ability to guide restauranteurs towards the best location, with much more statistical precision than even commercial real estate experts.

From easy ordering to more efficient kitchens to the ideal location, AI is bringing exciting changes to the restaurant industry.